Barry Cryer Comedy Scrapbook - Reviews & Testimonials
The Call Boy, Winter 2015, Volume 52, No 4
'Philip Porter, in chief a motoring and allied transport expert but also a Sherlock Holmes devotee, hit upon the idea of the 'scrapbook' in 2005, with Stirling Moss, Graham Hill and Murray Walker among the starring subjects. The product is biographical and chronological, the content is a melange of ephemera of the subject's past - photographs, diary items, letters, news cuttings and the like, and of the reminiscences of usually famed colleagues and friends.
'Philip Porter, a confessed addict of British comedy, decided to expand the arena; thus Barry Cryer is celebrated in this lavishly expansive - no less than 400 illustrations - publication, adorned with the wisecracks and fond memories of the extensive gallery of British entertainers of the last generations. First published in 2009, it is hugely riveting. Where some books are unputdownable, this one is eminently pickuppable; I have found myself constantly returning to it just to open at random and enjoy a quip here - many of them Barry Cryer's own wit and chaff, inevitably - and a poignant memento there.
'Barry Cryer has been round the comedic track as often as anyone, usually at well-timed and telling pace. If Philip Porter was looking for a Formula One Champion, Stirling Moss style, of British entertainment with whom to produce one of his fine scrapbooks, he alighted on the right person.'
The Telegraph, November 2009
'A life story told in snippets. There are photographs galore, bits of script, quotes from friends and colleagues, photocopied hurried notes and even greetings telegrams to celebrate the comedy script writer and performer who has established himself as a national treasure. Barry Cryer is surely Honorary Curator of the Nation’s Gags and friend of everyone in the biz. He has worked with them all, reminisces (always generously) about them all, and they repay the compliment. Graeme Garden even provides a clue to the origins of Mornington Crescent.'