Veteran comedy entertainer Bernie Clifton is to publish his memoirs this November.
Crackerjack to Vegas will chart the 87 year-old comedian’s career, including his work with his famous puppet costume, Oswald the Ostrich.
He jokes: “Be honest, how many of you thought I was dead?”
“Finally, we get to read how one of Britain’s most original and cherished comedians went from failed plumber to reducing the late Queen to tears of laughter, and his showbiz journey from Crackerjack regular to Vegas star whilst playing trombone for the England World Cup football band.
“From growing up in wartime St. Helens, Bernie takes us on his hilarious (and sometimes tragic) journey from teenage singer with a local dance band to The Palladium, standing ovations in Las Vegas and the London Marathon on the back of an ostrich.
“With tributes from Johnny Vegas, Su Pollard, Anita Dobson, Joe Pasquale and Jimmy Cricket, Bernie Clifton: Crackerjack to Vegas is a fascinating and deeply personal account of an eight-decade journey of one of Britain’s most cherished entertainers. He doubts he’ll write a sequel.”
The book is available to pre-order now via Bannister Publications.
Growing up in wartime St. Helens (where a bomb missed his head by a few yards), Bernie began his career as a teenage singer with a local dance band. This was the first step on the long and winding road that took him to a Royal Variety Show where he reduced our late Queen to tears of laughter and then, after many years of touring, to a standing ovation in Las Vegas.
Bernie takes us along on his hilarious journey, explaining how he failed as a plumber but made it to Beijing as a trombonist. We read about his exploits piloting his ‘Flying Ostrich’ microlight (without a licence) and keeping fit with the odd London marathon… on the back of an ostrich! We also learn of his penchant for practical jokes which helped him keep sane. Having reached 87, he is still performing but doubts he’ll write a sequel, quoting Barry Cryer on the subject of age: “I don’t think that far ahead, I’m not even buying green bananas!”
First published: Monday 27th November 2023
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