The Autobiography – Johnnie Walker

I’ve had this book on my selves for ages and somehow never got round to reading it. I used to enjoy Johnnie Walker’s Drivetime show on Radio 2, particularly when he and Sally Traffic got the giggles, and I enjoyed going to see him speak about his life and work when he came to a venue local to me.

This book does what it says in the title, goes through Walker’s life from childhood, pirate radio, Radio 1, USA and back to UK.

Some of what’s in it I already knew from the talk I saw but there was a lot that was new about his personal life and the work he did in USA.

I liked finding out more about what it was like working for pirate radio and then making the transition to the Beeb. It was interesting finding out about Walker’s time in USA. Somehow I was under the impression he’d been a really successful DJ over there when the reality seems to be that he struggled.

I also like finding out more about what happened with the drugs bust and cancer treatments whilst on Radio 2 Drivetime. I heard it on air as a listener and it was interesting to find out what went on behind the scenes.

Like all autobiographies though, I think this book has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Johnnie Walker writes a lot about being a spiritual person. Maybe he is. But what comes across in the book is that he is very much a self-centred and selfish man who generally finds a way of convincing himself that what is right for him is the right thing to do.

Reading the book doesn’t put me off enjoying Johnnie Walker’s radio shows but it doesn’t make him endearing not does it put him on my fantasy dinner party list.

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