Bonkers: My Life in Laughs
Author: Jennifer Saunders
Dear reader . . .
I have been told that publishers these days like a particular type of memoir. They like a little bit of misery. They like a 'mis mem'. Well, I'm afraid I have had very little 'mis' in my life, and nowadays I have even less 'mem'. So we can knock that one on the head. In fact my brain is a bit soupy overall re the past.
Was I really called 'Podge' as a child? Answer: yes.
Was I really surly, apathetic and introverted at school? Apparently not.
My mother has kept all my school reports. I imagined these would be a rich source of hilarity and irony, but they turn out to be decidely average. she has also stashed a good selection of my diaries: the Pony Club diary, the Honey diary, a diary with a small elf on the cover that was a present from my friend Karen.
All these diaries are written in remarkable detail for the first couple of weeks of January. Then nothing. So a lot of the incidents that I will write about in this book may all have occurred in January. I have scant info re summers and autumns . . .
So, dear reader, I will tell you all I remember, and embellish all that I don't. For my publisher's sake I shall name-drop regularly and mention royalty as much as possible. Press on.
'Our first act was the Menopause Sisters. To call it an act is probably going a bit far. It was me and Dawn and a guitar. We had no idea what the menopause was, but thought it was probably something to do with periods. We dressed up as punks and had a song about a hamster that got trodden on.
The Menopause Sisters became the Menopazzi Sisters, an old Italian circus act. The sofas in the flat would be pushed against the wall, and whoever was there would have to sit through me and Dawn in black leotards and red swimming hats miming circus tricks, or doing forward rolls followed by endless bowing. We would exit into the hall applauding ourselves while the audience continued to watch television . . .'
'Fabulous? Yes. Funny? Absolutely.' Mail on Sunday
'Beautifully written and frequently hilarious.' The Guardian
'Her account of battling breast cancer is as honest as it is uplifting.' Daily Mail
'Delightfully funny… she writes with moving honesty.' Hello!
'Hilarious and brilliant.' Kirsty Young, BBC Radio 4