I always liked Eric Sykes as a comedic actor. He was alwys funny, he was never crude and The Plank still makes me laugh. So, when I found a copy of his autobiography at a book sale buying it was a no-brainer.
This is less of an autobiography than a series of anecdotes in chronological order.
The earlier chapters about growing up in Oldham are the most detailed, like a more usual biography. Sykes describes growing up on the borders of poverty, his early jobs in factories and shops and then his call up into the RAF during the war.
As with many comics of his generation it was the people he met during the war who influenced him to become an actor, comic and writer after the war rather than to settle down back into a steady job in a factory or shop again.
The show-biz years parts of the book are a series of stories about Sykes work or about his family rather than telling the reader much about Sykes the man. I suspect that like a lot of autobiographies there is a lot that has been left out or swept under the carpet.
Generally though Eric Sykes comes across as a modest man who was interesting and interested. A man driven to keep working and who also enjoyed what he did.
I’m really pleased I read the book. And that writing this has taken nearly 3-times as long as a review usually does because I’ve kept been side-tracked into watching YouTube videos. It’s not often I spend more time laughing than typing when writing!