Public Service Announcement: DO NOT READ ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT or risk implosion due to internal hysterical laughter. I literally had tears streaming down my face on the bus in London because I was trying to hold my laughter in to such an extent that it toppled out of me the only other way it knew how.
I’m such a big fan of James Acaster. All of it. His repertoire on Netflix, his appearances on Richard Osman’s House of Games, Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You, Would I Lie To You, admittedly probably some I haven’t seen, and especially his Red Nose Day celebrity feature on the Great British Bake Off (“I started to bake, had a break down, Bon appétit”). Best believe I bought a ticket a year in advance for his new show, Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999, which I’m seeing in October.
So, naturally, his book, Classic Scrapes, was high on my list of reads. It’s a selection of stories of him humiliating himself throughout his life, basically. It’s actually an incredibly fascinating insight into his life and decision-making process, which explains a lot about how he presents himself as a comedian. He started telling these stories on his friend Josh Widdicombe’s radio show, which got dubbed as “scrapes”, and his life has been scrape-y enough that there are enough stories for a whole book of them. What a thrill.