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Authors: Stephen Fry

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More Fool Me

BOOK: More Fool Me
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Stephen Fry

 

MORE FOOL ME

 

Contents

 

List of Illustrations

 

Chapter One

 

Catch-up

 

Very Naughty, but … in the Right Spirit

 

Moral or Medical?

 

The Early Days

 

Notes from a Showbusiness Career

 

Living the Life

 

Dear Diary

 

Postarse

 

Illustrations

 

Follow Penguin

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Stephen Fry is a leading light in film, theatre, radio and television the world over, receiving accolades in spades and plaudits by the shovel. As a writer, producer, director, actor and presenter he has featured in works as varied and adored as the movie
Wilde
, the TV series
Blackadder
and
Jeeves and Wooster
, the sketch show
A Bit of Fry and Laurie
, the panel game
QI
, the radio series
Fry’s English Delight,
Shakespeare’s Globe’s celebrated 2012 production of
Twelfth Night
(as Malvolio) and documentaries on countless subjects very close to his heart.

He is also the bestselling author of four novels –
The Stars’ Tennis Balls, Making History, The Hippopotamus
(the writing of which is described herein) and
The Liar
– as well as two volumes of autobiography –
Moab is My Washpot
and
The Fry Chronicles,
publishing in five unique editions, which combined to sell over a million copies.

In his early thirties, Stephen Fry – writer, comedian, star of stage and screen – had, as they say, ‘made it’. Much loved in
A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Blackadder
and
feeves and Wooster,
author of a critically acclaimed and bestselling first novel,
The Liar,
with a glamorous and glittering cast of friends, he had more work than was perhaps good for him.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, as the 80s drew to a close, he discovered a most enjoyable way to burn the candle at both ends, and took to excess like a duck to breadcrumbs. Writing and recording by day, haunting a never-ending series of celebrity parties, drinking dens and poker games by night, in a ludicrous and impressive act of bravado, he fooled all those except the very closest to him, some of whom were most enjoyably engaged in the same dance.

He was, to all intents and purposes, a high-functioning addict. Blazing brightly and partying wildly as the 80s turned to the 90s – AIDS became an epidemic and politics turned really nasty – he was so busy, so distracted by the high life, that he could hardly see the inevitable, headlong tumble that must surely follow …

Containing raw, electric extracts from his diaries of the time,
More Fool Me
is a brilliant, eloquent account by a man driven to create and to entertain – revealing a side to him he has long kept hidden.

Praise for Stephen Fry’s memoirs:

 

‘Dazzling, breathtaking, exquisite, virtuoso writing. A remarkable book: funny, witty and astonishingly revealing about the complex soul within’

Mail on Sunday

‘Deliciously gossipy and very funny’

The Times

‘One of the most poignant, funny, intelligent, frank and horribly addictive books you’re likely to read all year’

Sunday Telegraph

‘Extraordinary, affectionate, engaging, cunningly planned and so crammed with incidental delights’

Simon Callow,
Guardian

‘One of the most extraordinary and affecting biographies I have read. I can’t wait for more’

Daily Mail

‘Oh dear, I am an arse. I expect there’ll be what I believe is called an "intervention" soon. I keep picturing it. All my friends bearing down on me, and me denying everything until my pockets are emptied. Oh, the shame.’

Also by Stephen Fry

 

FICTION

 

The Liar

The Hippopotamus

Making History

The Stars’ Tennis Balls

 

NON-FICTION

 

Paperweight

Moab is My Washpot

Rescuing the Spectacled Bear

The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within

Stephen Fry in America

The Fry Chronicles

 

with Hugh Laurie

 

A Bit of Fry and Laurie

A Bit More Fry and Laurie

Three Bits of Fry and Laurie

Fry and Laurie Bit No. 4

Dedicated to Jo, my Personal AsSister and subject of ‘simply the best decision I ever made in my entire life’. In grateful thanks and with profuse apologies for all the extra work that this will bring …

The fool doth think he is wise, yet it is the wise man that knows himself to be the fool

As You Like It
, Act 5, Scene 1

The past won’t sit still for a moment

Jonathan Meades, 2014

Illustrations

 

Chelsea. Oh dear.

Chelsea – seems a waste of time to take trouble over tying a bow tie but neglecting to shave properly.

Kim Harris, Chelsea.

Kim in Draycott Place, taken by self
(I solved that Rubik’s Cube too but months after my father cracked it).

Kim Harris in our Chelsea flat.

My beloved parents …

My personal AsSister doing what she does better than anyone.

In 1986, I spotted a house for sale in classic west Norfolk brick. Reader, I bought it.

From P.G Wodehouse.

From P.G Wodehouse.

Chelsea: Pipes are hard work. P.G Wodehouse signed photograph evident. As is Rubik’s Calendar, which is just showing off.

Chelsea flat, at work on something. You can just see the signed photograph of P.G Wodehouse on the left.

(All author’s collection)

Rowan’s inexplicable ability to find something more interesting than me.

Attempting a carol. Christmas Day, Norfolk, 1987.

(From the collection of Jo Laurie)

 

Chelsea – damn, I wish I still had that pullover.

(Author’s collection)

 

All the details are on the clapperboard.

(Author’s collection)

 

Quiet, dignified downtime. Eilean Aigas, Inverness-shire, 1995.

Everyone always anxious to sit next to me on the
Jeeves and Wooster
set.

(Author’s collection)

 

Hugh, perfectionist as he is, always stays within his character: a drivelling poltroon from dawn to dusk while
Jeeves and Wooster
was being filmed …

(From the collection of Jo Laurie)

 

Official publicity still for
Jeeves and Wooster
. I remember it as if it were twenty-five years ago.
(BBC photo library)

 

Filming
Jeeves and Wooster
at Farnham, 1989. Sister Jo visiting the set.

Giving Charlie Laurie his daily vodka and yoghurt smoothie. Christmas, 1988.

It’s that butch look. Christmas, 1988.

Newborn Charlie Laurie, adoring godparent, 1988.

My butch look, 1987.

My butch look, 1987.

(All from the collection on Jo Laurie)

 

Hysteria
publicity show, 1991.
(ITV/Rex Features)

 

Backstage at
Hysteria
benefit show. Sadler’s Wells, 1989.
(From the collection of Jo Laurie)

Reading at, I think, a
Hysteria
show.
(Author’s collection)

 

(
See over
) I know what you’re thinking, and you’re to stop it, January 1991.
(Getty Images)

 

Self, Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane, Griff Rhys Jones, Mel Smith, Rowan Atkinson.
(Getty Images)

 

An idiot and an imbecile.

Ready to lay down their lives for my country.

A blithering idiot and a gibbering imbecile.

(All BBC Photo Library)

 

Radio Times 1988 Christmas edition:
Saturday-Night Fry
feature.
(Immediate Media)

 

Hugh, Jo and I.
(From the collection of Jo Laurie)

 

With sister, Jo.
(Getty Images)

 

A signing at a Dillons bookshop. London, 1991.
(ITV/Rex Features)

Hugh’s warmest, most approving look, 1991.
(ITV/Rex Features)

 

A profile of a liar for the publication of
The Liar,
1991, with sister Jo.
(Tatler Condé Nast)

 

Tourrettes-sur-Loup – my best audience.
(From the collection of Jo Laurie)

Tourrettes-sur-Loup – picking on someone my own size.
(From the collection of Jo Laurie)

 

Hugh and I revealing our weekend recreational identities.
(BBC Photo Library)

 

Mandela Birthday Concert, Wembley Stadium, 1988. About to perform in front of 80,000 people. Not in the least nervous. Oh no.
(Getty Images)

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