Going Off Alarming
by Danny Baker
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
I've just finished this second volume of autobiography (continuing on from Going To Sea In A Sieve) by Danny Baker. It has been another enjoyable bus tour through his "crackpot life", fizzing and crackling with experiences, yarns, japes and jibes told with energy and flamboyance in his own inimitable way. We get glimpses of his family life and snapshots of his adventures in the media, mostly told with a keen and cheeky eye on a juicy punchline.
It is impossible, to me anyway, not to read it without hearing the razor-sharp, rat-a-tat-tat delivery that is his trademark....and the book is all the better for it.
We are reminded of his TV and radio shows, his hirings and firings, his nose-thumbing at authority and pompous prigs and his encounters with some famous people along the way. He has earned money and spent it with glee as a devoted family man, faithful friend, magnanimous host and lover of life.
Whether it is Pets Win Prizes, Win, Lose or Draw or the Daz doorstep challenge, the many radio shows or his writing credentials, Danny Baker is a master broadcaster and storyteller via the gob or the nib.
The book is full of great tales, (although, there is a rather overstretched chapter concerning the family dog). The chapter appraising his friend Paul Gascoigne is funny, honest and sincere, a fine piece of writing on its own.
But, the book should carry a WARNING. If you read it in public, you might suddenly laugh out loud, so be prepared for stares and harumphs, if you do.