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Chris Moyles is one of the very few people that can make me smile very first thing in the morning. As I'm on my way to work, bleary eyed and with the taste of toothpaste still strong in my mouth, his madcap humour and banter with his close-knit team always manages to raise a smile.
So when I found out he'd written his autobiography I was naturally very keen to read it, and requested a copy for my birthday to avoid my mum complaining that I never want anything because I've already bought it myself.
---THE BOOK ---
Settling down to read it, the first thing that struck me was how many pages were wasted by unnecessarily large chapter headings. I can see why they were done that way - they echo Chris' loud, larger-than-life persona - but they began to really grate after a while. Brilliant way of filling up the book though!
Following a short foreword by self-confessed fellow loudmouth Simon Cowell, Moyles dives stright into telling us how to write your own book, making it sound ridiculously easy. He then spends the rest of the book explaining how it may sound easy becoming a world famous DJ but is actually flipping hard work!
One of the most refreshing things about this autobiography is that Chris doesn't spend most of it waxing lyrical about his family and the early years of his life, believing it not to be of interst to the reader. He mainly focuses on his discovery of radio, and how he dreamed of some day becoming a DJ on Radio 1.
What follws is a light-hearted look at his early radio career through the mental hospitals, Topshop and local stations, jobs that took him as far as Luembourg and his big break on Capital Radio, all written just as he talks - jokey, loud, occasionally close to the bone and littered with swearing. Profanities aside though, it is this irreverent style of writing that keeps you reading on.
He discusses his team at Radio 1, the history they have and the rapport they share. Just as if they were family members, the way he describes them shows how deeply he values them, and short anecdotes make you realise that behind all the jokes and mickey-taking they are firm friends.
There is a section on his favourite guests, along with several pictures of him with them, and a chapter devoted to his appearance on Celebrity X Factor, along with candid assessments of his fellow contestants. A chapter devoted to his mother shows both how he loves her and how she loves to meet celebrities, which amuses Chris no end as she now has more celebrity friends than him!
It's clear that he is very much in love with girlfriend Sophie, as her name crops up several times through the book, but also that their relationship is very private as these mentions are brief.
A glowing backword from Davina McCall and a list of all the people he wanted to namecheck complete the book.
---THE VERDICT ---
This book was as easy to read as Moyles is to listen to. It is funny, witty, doesn't delve too deeply into early years and illustrates how a boy from Leeds realised his dream of being one of the country's best DJs. A few pages of pictures provide added interest.
I found I read the book very quickly, although I'm not sure whther it was because I became engrossed in it - it was easy to put down and pick up later without having to remember what had happened with too much difficulty - or becuase a great many of the pages were gratuitously large chapter headings.
All told it was a very enjoyable read - I'd probably not read it again but then I've never read an autobiography more than once. The main annoyance was Moyles always banging on about how he's a fantastic DJ - yes, he IS a fantastic DJ but his ego sometimes gets a little out of control. There are some grammatical niggles but these are in keeping with the style of the book and, although I personally don't mind the swearing, is it really needed?