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Titles to make you laugh out loud. Or just smile. Or both.
As its nine hundredth episode approaches, Just a Minute has consistently entertained BBC Radio 4 listeners, and many others around the world, since its first broadcast in December 1967. Inspired by a punishment handed out at school, the show's creator Ian Messiter devised a deceptively simple and versatile set of rules that has allowed the game to adapt and thrive as each new era of comedy entertainers emerges. Over forty-seven consecutive years, fans have laughed along with Kenneth Williams' outrageously funny 'battles' with Sheila Hancock, Paul Merton's imaginative flights of fancy, Clement Freud's acerbic wit, Julian Clary's flagrant innuendos, Graham Norton's celebrity 'gossip', Jenny Eclair's brutal honesty, Gyles Brandreth's extravagant monologues and Sue Perkins' infectious enthusiasm to name only a handful of the more than two hundred star entertainers who have braved the Just a Minute panel. In this official celebration, chairman Nicholas Parsons, the only person to have appeared in every programme, recalls the very best, occasionally awkward and often hilarious, moments that have lit up the comedy airwaves over six decades. Magical minutes, verbal dexterity, sharp one-liners and witty challenges can all be marvelled at once again as Nicholas tells the Just a Minute story from its inauspicious pilot episode, through television and stage versions, and on to the present day, without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Well, not too much deviation...
April 2012 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Having been a bookseller, one of my weirdest moments was being asked for a pound of sausages. We tracked that down to the shop having been a butcher in a previous incarnation but really, looking round is a Bookshop likely to sell sausages? Another time a customer hummed a tune and got into a rage when I couldn’t identify it, pointing out that we were a book and not a music shop, his rage increased and a letter of complaint was duly sent to my Managing Director who dealt with him rather like the unfortunate youth who got caught peeing through our letter box. Something about bookshops seems to attract weirdness and it helps to alleviate a dull day for the long suffering bookseller. Reading through the collection put together by Jen Campbell makes me realise that a lot more weirdness could have come my way, some of it mind boggling bizarre. Think before you speak might be one way of addressing the problem but then half the fun would go out of life, nowt so weird as folk.... Normally in my Like for Like recommendations I list books in print but it just so happens that two of the best on weird books are out of print – never mind - plenty for sale on Amazon and for book lovers there is plenty to enjoy in these walks on the wilder shores of bibliography.Like for Like Reading:Scouts in Bondage & other Books from an Innocent Age, Michael Bell + various hardback 96 pages Aurum 23rd October 2006 9781845131968Bizarre Books, Russell Ash & Brian Lake + various paperback 196 pages Pavilion 17th September 1998 9780965887649
“We’re going on a bar hunt. We’re going to find a cool one. The babysitter’s booked – We’re not old!” So chant the optimistic parents at the beginning of the book. But the bar hunt doesn’t quite go to plan and the book ends with heavy heads, lost keys and children bouncing around on the sofa at 6am. No more bar-hunts again for these two! A fun parody of the children’s classic title accompanied by Gillian Johnson’s witty illustrations. Like for Like ReadingThe Oxford Book of Parodies, John GrossThe Lost Diaries, Craig Brown
There's an epidemic sweeping the nation Symptoms include: *Acute embarrassment at the mere notion of 'making a fuss' *Extreme awkwardness when faced with any social greeting beyond a brisk handshake *An unhealthy preoccupation with meteorology Doctors have also reported several cases of unnecessary apologising, an obsessive interest in correct queuing etiquette and dramatic sighing in the presence of loud teenagers on public transport. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS. VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS are highly contagious. There is no known cure.
I love this book. Laugh-out-loud funny. I want a salty thumb lolly now! (Harry Hill). As we go about our day-to-day business, we see the same stuff every day. The bath, the fridge, the lamp post, the bicycle, the tree ...so far, so humdrum. But not if you are Dominic Wilcox. Dominic sees things a little differently. For him, inside each of these everyday things are hundreds of surprising ideas waiting to be discovered. The Portable Bottom Seat, the Sick Bag Beard, Wrist Nets for the Butterfingered - Dominic's unexpected inventions, conflations and modifications promise to make your life that little bit easier, or at least more amusing. Normal will never seem quite so normal again.
A surgical-stocking-filler from the author of record-breaking million copy bestseller This Is Going To Hurt Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat . . . but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime. Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.
Life doesn't come with an instruction manual. But if it did, and if that manual was cobbled together in five minutes by a drunken idiot-genius, then it might look something like these crowd-sourced tips and ill-thought-out ideas. Covering everything from how best to turn your cat into a fearsome stegosaurus to pre-empting jellyfish stings, this book presents the wealth of knowledge gleaned from the dusty vaults of twitter's hugely popular @TwopTwips. From the profane to the ridiculous, these laugh-at-loud nuggets of advice, with absurd and informative illustrations, will change your life in a hugely insignificant way. Tips include: BORED of a friend's text messages? Reply with 'unsubscribe' and they'll get the hint; SPICE up a boring salad by replacing the vegetables with bacon and placing between two slices of bread; STOP your dog from pulling on its lead by walking a bit faster; PREPARE your children for office life by acting awkwardly around them in the kitchen; and, AVOID the hassle and expense of hair straighteners by not eating your crusts.
Nowadays, the world is full of people trying to tell us things. So much so that we have taught our brains not to pay much attention. After all, click the mouse, tap the screen, flick the channel and it's on to the next thing. But Dave Gorman thinks it's time to have a closer look, to find out how much nonsense we tacitly accept. Suspicious adverts, baffling newspaper headlines, fake twitter, endless cat videos, insane TV shows where the presenters ask the same questions over and over. Can we even hear ourselves think over the rising din? Or is there just too much information?
My wife is a magician, yesterday she turned our car into a tree. A big white horse walks into a pub. The barman says, 'we have a drink named after you.' The horse says, 'what? Eric?' I said, 'waiter, what's that in my soup?' he said, 'I'd better call the boss, I can't tell one insect from another.' I'm reading a book called 'Sex Before 20'. Personally I don't like audiences. I said, 'it's serious, doctor, I've broken my arm in 20 places'. He said, 'well stop going to those places.' I call my car flattery. It gets me nowhere.
Hapless would-be journalist Laura Lake goes undercover at wedding season. But she hasn't prepared for disappearing brides, secret royal orgies or a jealous office rival. Will Laura get the scoop of the year? Or will she be out on her ear?
For when “the oldies” come over just a bit too Famous Five about their childhoods, a corrective from Richard Wilson who pokes a well-whittled stick at the treasured nostalgic pursuits of yesteryear. Really? He asks, was it so much fun, more like downright dangerous and liable to call down ‘Elf and Safety on your head – and in extreme cases – the Police. What’s wrong with the telly and the computer, the playstation and the iphone, much more fun and far less strenuous. Like for Like ReadingThe Dangerous Book for Boys, Conn IgguldenThe Dad’s Book: For the Dad Who’s Best at Everything
Interminably long hours being pulled from pillar to post, shifts peppered with horror stories and tears of joy this is the memoir of a sharp-witted storyteller which made me laugh, cry and everything in between. A brilliant book that must be read to really understand the daily battles of our doctors in the NHS. Deborah Maclaren, from our Best Autobiographies Ever Blog.