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Bonkers : My Life in Laughs - Jennifer Saunders

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'As the steady march of time takes its toll on my memory and the vultures circle, I thought I should have a stab at recollecting how it all happened . . .'

Jennifer Saunders' brilliant comic creations have brought joy to millions for three decades. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Absolutely Fabulous to Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia, her characters are household names.

But it's Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. This is her funny, touching and disarmingly honest memoir, filled with stories of friends, laughter and occasional heartache - but never misery.

From her childhood on RAF bases, where her father was a pilot, to her life-changing encounter with a young Dawn French, on to success and family, the book charts her extraordinary story, including the slip ups and battles along the way.

Prepare to chuckle, cry, and whoop with delight.

About the Author

Jennifer Saunders is a comedian, writer and acress. She has won three BAFTAs, an international Emmy, a British Comedy Award, a Rose d'Or, two Writers' Guild Awards and a People's Choice Award. She first found widespread attention in the 1980s when she formed The Comic Strip after graduating from the Central School of Speech and Drama. With Dawn French, she wrote and starred in French & Saunders, the long-running hit sketch show. She won worldwide acclaim in the 1990s for writing Absolutely Fabulous, playing Edina Monsoon.


Good Read


Overall a good read.....

Gold Coast



4.0 1


Fabulous? Yes. Funny? Absolutely Mail on Sunday Beautifully written and frequently hilarious Guardian Delightfully funny... she writes with moving honesty Hello! Her account of battling breast cancer is as honest as it is uplifting Daily Mail 'Hilarious and brilliant' -- Kirsty Young BBC Radio 4 Endearing and hilarious. If only all celebrity biographies were this funny Telegraph

I have been told that publishers these days like a particular type of memoir. They like a little bit of misery. They like a 'mis mem'. Well, I'm afraid I have had very little 'mis' in my life, and nowadays I have even less 'mem'. So we can knock that one on the head. In fact my brain is a bit soupy overall re the past. Sometimes it's hard to know what is an actual memory and what is simply a memory of a photograph.

Was I really called 'Podge' as a child? Answer: yes.

Was I really surly, apathetic and introverted at school? Apparently not. That is simply an image I invent for myself.

The truth is, I was fairly friendly, sometimes hard- working, and quite good at things.

My mother has kept all my school reports. I imagined these would be a rich source of hilarity and irony, but they turn out to be decidedly average. She has also stashed a good selection of my schoolbooks, clay models, posters from my teenage bedroom wall, a few Fab 208 magazines and a selection of diaries: the Pony Club diary, the Honey diary, a diary with a small elf on the cover that was a present from my friend Karen.

All these diaries are written in remarkable detail for the first couple of weeks of January. Then nothing. So a lot of the incidents that I will write about in this book may all have occurred in January. I have scant info re summers and autumns.

One of the teenage diaries contained a code so I could write really important secrets. Each letter of the alphabet was represented by a shape taken from the capital letter A. Quite complicated, but luckily I had written the code down in the diary itself. I'm no fool! It is just about decipherable, so I could now read my deepest, darkest teenage desires.

This was thrilling in anticipation, but sadly not in practice. I knew it was going to be disappointing when the result of the first code- crack read: 'I really want a velvet hacking jacket.'

Memory is a liquid and strange thing. Researching my own life, I realize that there are major events I have totally forgotten, people I don't remember meeting, shows I don't remember being in and places I don't remember going. And that can leave you vulnerable.

Quite a few years ago, my agent Maureen rang me at home. Her normal voice said, 'Hello, love, a couple of things to go through vis‑à‑vis availabilities and dates and so on.'

We talked these things over and then she said, not in her normal voice, 'Love, just wanted to check.' Nervous laugh. 'Have you ever been in a porn film?'

Me. Not normal voice. 'Pardon?'

Maureen coughs. 'Have you ever been, do you think, in a porn film? I'll tell you why, love. The papers have been on to me to say they've seen your name on the credits of one such film and it looks like you in it.'

My heart is now beating fast. I think, I know I have never been in a porn film, but something is making me doubt myself.

'I don't know, love, I mean, I just thought I'd run it past you. I thought perhaps when you were in Italy?'

I spent seven months in Italy after I'd left school. Maureen knew this.

Now I'm seriously considering the possibility. Was I in a porn film? My memory soup is working overtime. Was I drugged by some boyfriend? How could this have happened? I eventually resolved that the best thing was to say, 'No.'

Maureen, relieved voice. 'No. I didn't think so, love. I suspect they're just fishing.'

This happens quite a lot, apparently. The press go fishing and cast out into the celebrity pool with outrageous bait, just hoping to touch a nerve and get a nibble.

I can honestly say to you, dear reader, that I have never been in such a film. However, there might well be a porn star out there with my name. Most people calculate their porn name by using the name of their first pet and their mother's maiden name. That would make mine Suki Duminy. Just so there's no confusion.

ISBN: 9780241001561
ISBN-10: 0241001560
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 10th October 2013
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.2  x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.61
Edition Number: 1