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About the Author

An Australian born in New Zealand, Pamela Stephenson is famous for her starring role in'Not the Nine O'Clock News' and other TV and film work. She and Billy married in 1989 and currently live and work in Los Angeles, where she now practises as a clinical psychologist.


In the United States, comedian/actor Billy Connolly is best known for playing the teacher in the sitcom Head of the Class. In the U.K., however, he's a superstar, and this book was a huge best seller there. While it could use a subtitle and some tweaking for the U.S. market, it remains a candid (more matter-of-fact than melodramatic), sympathetic, and insightful biography. Credit "the unlikelihood of his extraordinary life," as well as the author: Stephenson, a performer turned psychologist, is Connolly's (second) wife. Growing up in Glasgow, Billy suffered poverty, abandonment, and abuse. His worldview expanded in the shipyards and the army. As a banjo player on the folk scene, Billy discovered his gift for verbal and physical comedy and gained fame especially as a song parodist. Stephenson was the first to challenge him about his drinking which "turned him into a mean, violent, out-of-control nutter with psychotic rage" but he not only cleaned up, he and his new wife took custody of his two children from his first marriage. Billy, writes the author, doesn't appreciate "beige people," and, as a man who got his nipples pierced after he turned 50, he certainly isn't one himself. For most performing arts collections. Norman Oder, "Library Journal" Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Billy Connolly is quite simply the most successful popular British stand-up comedian of modern times" The Guardian

The most celebrated comedian in the U.K., Billy Connolly makes headlines and sells out arenas like a rock star. But he's barely cracked the recognition barrier here in the U.S.: the closest he's come to American fame is a one-year stint as the teacher in the 1980s sitcom Head of the Class. This book, written by the comedian's wife, tells the story of Connolly's life, beginning with an Angela's Ashes-esque childhood. Raised in Glasgow's slums, Connolly was abandoned by his mother, abused by his aunt and later by his father. His future fame as an outrageous, hard-drinking, banjo-playing, absurdly dressed hippie-comedian is constantly measured and contrasted against the poor sense of self that the author roots in his childhood. Former comedian Stephenson (she was a Saturday Night Live cast member in the mid-'80s) is now a psychologist and Connolly's most ardent fan. She fills the text with glowing anecdotes and humorous quotes, not to mention a large dollop of name-drops. The only real problem with this audiobook is Stephenson's gentle tone. Her soft voice tells Connolly's highly dramatic story in the quiet way that a mother may read a bedtime story, which is odd considering the wild and crazy behavior she describes. Based on the Overlook hardcover (Forecasts, July 1, 2002). (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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