Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Memoir mania.... and Zarif

And another one! How many more this week? Sir Roger Moore today. Gloria Hunniford, Richard Madeley, Bill Oddie, Cliff Richard, Sir Bobby Charlton, Ann Leslie... Whew! Who's going to have time enough to read them all? And they all get published. It's extraordinary. The received wisdom is that the 'memoir' genre has all but dried up but obviously the autobiography hasn't. But when is an autobiography not a memoir? When, presumably, there's no abuse. But wait a minute, doesn't Richard Madeley talk about his dad giving him a hiding and Bill Oddie's mum not wanting to recognise him because she was tragically schizophrenic? Surely these kids were abused too?

Ah, but... They're celebrities you see. The past is a different place for them. Everyone wants to know all about Judy's post-natal depression (or do they?) and Cliff's visiting his auntie in Upton Park. Really? Didn't Gloria write another memoir a few years back about Caron Keating? Is there really much more to write about?

I suppose that we should really be looking forward to Kerry Katona's 'warts and all' about her relationship with Jordan. Baited breath. How many copies would any publisher think he would sell before that's binned and turned into toilet paper? And every intelligent publication moans about the state of publishing in this country. Hardly surprising, is it?

Last night, for want of a change of subject, I went to see Zarif perform in Soho. Some people would describe her as the new Amy Winehouse. Hardly an apt description, apart from the fact that she, too, writes her own songs. The lovely thing about Zarif is that - she's lovely! She's also bright and sparky and clean - by that I mean no pointless weed or smack or ketamine. Her set was great and the band were phenomenal. I really wish her the best. Go Zarif!

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