Sir Tony Robinson is a much-loved actor, presenter and author with a stellar career lasting over 50 years. Now, in his long-awaited autobiography, he reveals how the boy from South Woodford went from child stardom in the first stage production of Oliver!, a pint-size pickpocket desperately bleaching his incipient moustache, to comedy icon Baldrick, the loyal servant and turnip aficionado in Blackadder.
It wasn't all plain sailing, though. Along the way he was bullied by Steve Marriott, failed to impress Liza Minnelli and was pushed into a stinking London dock by John Wayne. He also entertained us with Maid Marion and Her Merry Men (which he wrote and starred in) and coped manfully when locked naked outside a theatre in Lincoln during the live tour of comedy series Who Dares Wins. He presented Time Team for 20 years, watching countless gardens ruthlessly dug up in the name of archaeology, and risked life and limb filming The Worst Jobs in History.
Packed full of incident and insight, No Cunning Plan is a funny, self-deprecating and always entertaining listen.
©2016 Sir Tony Robinson (P)2016 Macmillan Digital Audio
In the fewest words possible, some things I just didn't want to know.
I was introduced to Tony through his stories about Fat Tulip and Maid Marion. I've seen one or two of his documentaries and of course Time Team, but my appreciation for his narrative powers is always my first expectation from him.
Unfortunately, for all his wonderful experiences, he was also up front about the faults: drugs and cheating on wife and/or girlfriend. Is it too much to ask for a celebrity/idol who is clean and faithful????
I'm afraid I won't be able to forget this and now my expectations will be tarnished: any time I see him come on tv I think what once might have been bated breath I might now sigh in recollection of a lost innocence.
For the autobiography itself, well written although a little all over the place time-wise. Couldn't keep straight what period he was talking about.
Trouble is, Tony has built such a large body of really funny, insightful and interesting work, it is hard not to drag a grab-bag of exceptional expectations to his autobiography. But once I realised that Sir Tone was going to treat his life more or less seriously (a very tricky proposition) I quickly became absorbed with the book. Tony is generous and exceptionally balanced in his treatment of the people who have shared his life. Nonetheless, his story of his life is fascinating. The story-telling is excellent, interesting and wonderfully narrated. Tony has done a great job of writing about his life in a manner that doesn't appear too self-absorbed - an nearly impossible feat, I would have thought, with an autobiography. He does sell himself hard in a few chapters, and you can hear the salesman's patter coming to the fore. Nonetheless, there is a sense of openness and honesty that pulls, holds and ties everything together. And lets face it, Tony's life is one lived on the path less travelled. And such a life deserves some celebration. I highly recommend this book and especially the audiobook, because Tony's narration is a real strength and bonus and adds an extra dimension to the written word.
Travel to and from work and enjoy listening to stories as opposed to the radio all the time. I have a lot of music but prefer a story line
Tony Robinson is earnest in his attempts st sharing the good with the bad sides of his coin when writing about himself. His performance conjures up his familiar storytelling from the television and so is friendly and familiar. Tony is intelligent, witty and well spoken. He shares with us poignant moments in his life and I appreciate this as it is recalled with grace. Thank you Tony
This book was written to be heard in Tony's voice, both his own and imitations. An insight into a life many wouldn't know more than a few thungs about, told honestly without holding anything back. A must listen.
Tony Robinson's story is a fascinating one, well written and engaging. He is both descriptive and reflective, painting delightfully honest pictures of key incidents and characters in his eventful life. I learned a lot, not just about his career, his socialism and his growth as a person, but also about politics, British theatre in the 1960s, archeology and why you need to take activated charcoal if you are in a small submarine. His reading is very natural and easy to listen to. An excellent book.
"Fairly honest and quite funny"
I feel I know Tony quite well now. His openness in sharing his success, let downs and blunders are so human, refreshing and entertaining. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Tony Robinson engages the listener from the first page. funny, sad just brilliant from start to finish. Never realised how much he had done.
"Fantastic very enjoyable"
Always been a fan of Tony Robinson after meeting him briefly at a party in islington many moons ago . Thoroughly enjoyed the book and learning about the time team who i had become a fan of all since its inception.
A great few hours in the company of an interesting man. Tony's long career takes in the original production of Oliver! and ends at the bottom of the sea with James Cameron. Off stage (and screen) he talks politics, has lots of wives and gets stoned a lot. The stories are told well and with plenty of self-awareness. As ever, Tony gives a great performance yet that maybe the book's biggest failing - he's essentially just an ordinary bloke taking the jobs that come along and this is, really, just another job. You're left wanting more insight into Blackadder, Maid Marion, the Greek Tales, etc and the ending comes quite suddenly. It's long but could have been longer.
More to this story than history.a very welcome book and one I will read again.
Thoroughly enjoyed this read about the amazing Tony Robinson. Light and funny, yet deeply honest.
"Interesting and engaging but missing something."
It's great that Tony read this and that certainly adds a lot to the enjoyment of the story. His life is in a shiwbiz way fascinating and was surprised at the depth of his experience which I simply wasn't aware of.
Lots of interesting stories.
But just too many shiwbiz lovie moments for me and whilst In his personal life he was open to mistakes he rarely took responsibility in his professional one.
a great listen and very informative about Tony's life and tribulations..would recommend this to anyone who loves time team...
"A really interesting life"
Well read and paced
Plenty of interesting things in his life. Learned a lot about the man behind the cunning plan!
"No plan, but a good read"
Yes. This was my first foray into Audible books, and I know that I am still getting used to what I can or cannot do while listening - some bits did pass me by as I got side-tracked. But on top of that, it was a very enjoyable listen, and I think, with a lengthy pause, it would go down well a second time - perhaps on a very long holiday drive, when my wife (who is a Time Team fan) would also get chance to listen.
Can't comment on this - I don't think I've ever read a "celebrity" autobiography before.
Baldric, of course. And it was good to hear in the autobiography what gave him the inspiration for the deadpan approach to playing this role. Also Robinson's description of how the final scene of Blackadder Goes Forth was achieved is excellent (as is the scene itself!)
Many parts of the book made me laugh out loud. But yes, there is a fair amount of pathos and sadness in the actor's life story: the ending of his two first relationships, and the deaths of his parents. These are, of course, things which many people go through, but it was quite poignant in places.
I can't imagine anyone other than Tony Robinson reading this book. It would have been nice to have had a little more about his Blackadder and Time Team days, but the emphasis on his early career was fascinating - he really was somebody who ended up accidentally in the right place at the right time, and so made it big. I'd certainly recommend the book to others.
Report Inappropriate Content