British Comedians and their Memoirs: Miranda Hart and David Mitchell

Celebrity memoirs are all the rage, so it’s no surprise that some of our favourite British comedians have released their own in the past few years. A huge fan of British panel shows, there are a few that caught my eye. For each one, I had mammoth expectations. I was then gifted Miranda Hart’s memoir, Is It Just Me? and David Mitchell’s Back Story.

To be honest? Miranda Hart probably isn’t my favourite comedian. That did probably influence my opinion on Is It Just Me?. I didn’t think I was going to like it, and I didn’t.

I don’t want to talk about it that much, because I didn’t like it. There’s just not much point in going on about it, especially because the reason I didn’t like it was the humour. And I know! I know that so many people love her humour.

If you’re already a fan of Miranda and her work, you’re probably going to love this book. There are a great anecdotes and her humour does come out really nicely. I particularly enjoyed the chapter in which she talks about the reality behind the clothes on photoshoots: they never fit and making it look like they do is an experience in itself.

Moving on! I love David Mitchell. Love him. Really, he never fails to make me laugh. And so I was surprised when Back Story disappointed me a little.

It was nice to find out a little more about him. Currently a university student myself, I found reading about his days at Cambridge particularly interesting. My favourite chapter though? By far, it was one of the later chapters that talks about meeting his wife, Victoria Cohen. It’s sweet and romantic and personal. It’s the kind of story that people dream of reading when they pick up a memoir from their favourite celeb.

I think I just found the humour a little disappointing. Sure, there were funny anecdotes here and there, but while reading them all I could think was: Wasn’t this funnier when he told this story on Would I Lie To You? Maybe it was hearing the story for the second time, maybe it was the fact I was reading instead of hearing it… It just didn’t have the same oomph. It didn’t make me laugh as hard as it did before.

So yeah, I did actually really enjoy it. It had the personality and intimacy that you really want in a celebrity memoir. The lower rating is simply because I had such high hopes, and it didn’t quite match up.

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I do get the feeling that I would have enjoyed both of these books a lot more had I listened to the audiobooks and am tempted to actually do so, especially in the case of Back Story. Anyway, I wasn’t terribly excited by these two choices, but there is still hope!

There are loads more memoirs by British comedians out there that I’m looking forward to reading. Not to mention, both David Mitchell and Miranda Hart have since released two other books: Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse and Peggy and Me respectively. The former is already sitting on my shelf and I can honestly say that I am very excited to read it.

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