Just Ignore Him: A BBC Two Between the Covers book club pick

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Just Ignore Him: A BBC Two Between the Covers book club pick

Just Ignore Him: A BBC Two Between the Covers book club pick

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never in my wildest dreams I could've imagined the stuff Alan had to go through when he was growing up. Further, his discussion of the loss of his mother was a compelling and honest account of childhood grief. With the proof collected the authorities believed him, but prosecuting his now elderly father was deemed not winnable. he's a friendly face on tv and in the britcom world, yet it belies a very haunting, saddening past that was at times extremely difficult to read about.

He has played the title role in the BBC mystery drama series Jonathan Creek since 1997, and has been the only permanent panellist on the BBC panel show QI since 2003. The manic mop of curls – familiar from all those years in Jonathan Creek, as well as appearances in other "soft murder" dramas, the quiz show QI and a variety of panel shows – is mostly grey now but he looks younger than his decade, in a blue and white striped T-shirt. At its core, which permeates almost every page, is the greatest betrayal – after his mother died of leukaemia, when she was 38 and he was six-and-a-half, his father sexually abused him from the age of eight to 13.

In five decades of interviewing, I have rarely come across an interviewee who does not go through at least the motions of discussing the film or book or art show they are involved in which is the reason the interview has been granted. Alcohol's an interesting one because it's everywhere you go and if you are having a period when you're not drinking, you'll get offered a drink every day. Neither my editor nor I would have agreed to the interview if Davies’ terms had been put to us, in advance. Both work and therapy have helped and Davies remains grateful to his friend Jo Brand for suggesting a therapist when he was in his late twenties (this led to eight-year therapy that seems to have had an emphasis on cognitive behaviour). It was Katie who wanted to recreate her own childhood, to some extent, and have a large family, "but I had nothing that I wanted to recreate.

It is mostly good and sometimes superb - a few times I wished this would have been told more linear but that's a small criticism. I think my only complaint would be that the text does jump around from the past to the more recent past/present a lot, sometimes in a matter of paragraphs, and that could make it hard to follow. Just Ignore Him is not only an autobiography, it is a testament to a survivor's resilience and courage. In 2001, Davies played Robert Gossage in Bob and Rose, a comedy drama about a gay man falling for a woman. The World According To Garp, The Hotel New Hampshire and The Cider House Rules are all memorable, but my favourite is A Prayer For Owen Meany in which Owen is a small boy who never really grows but is assertive, intelligent and very funny.

And I also contribute my thought, that when someone does have the courage to tell their story I hope they are fortunate enough to have someone who really listens and believes them and acknowledges the trust placed in them. In 1994 and 1995, Davies hosted Alan's Big One for three series on Radio 1 before appearing in Channel 4's spoof travel show One for the Road (made by Channel X in 1994/5). But the only way to have kept the genie in the bottle is not to have released it in a book in the first place.

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