At My Mother's Knee... and Other Low Joints

Front Cover
Bantam Paperbacks, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 463 pages
16 Reviews
In his own uniquely acid tongue, Paul O'Grady traces the hilarious tales of life in Irish Catholic Birkenhead that took him from a virtuous altar-boy ("my first drag") to Britain's best loved entertainer. It's a life that includes, varyingly, stints in an abbatoir, as a social worker, in a high-class Mayfair brothel, and traipsing down to London to chase his dreams. By 23, Paul O'Grady had been a father, husband, drag queen, gay lover, divorcee, and degenerate. He did it all with a smile on his face, making a mental note to register the whip-smart one-liners that would later inform his star-studded path from the fringes of comedy to the heart of the British establishment, first as his own brilliant comic creation Lily Savage, then, triumphantly, as himself. Paul's remarkable childhood and early life is littered with a dizzying cast-list of rogues, rascals, lovers, fighters, saints, and sinners. Oh, and one iconic bus conductress. Told with pathos, love, empathy, and naturally, biting humor, the story of Paul O'Grady is that of everyman, everywoman, and inevitably, every drag act ever. He has been rich and poor, posh and common, straight and gay. He has mixed with stars and whores and all that's in between, slyly spotting the similarity between them all. His amazing and riveting life story reminds us that there is, when all is said and done, a bit of savage in all of us.

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Review: At My Mother's Knee...: and other low joints

User Review  - Princess Hannah - Goodreads

I loved this book - it provided a fascinating insight into Paul O'Gradys early life and family history. There were times when I laughed out loud, times when I felt sad and not a moment when I was ever ... Read full review

Review: At My Mother's Knee...: and other low joints

User Review  - Lynrose - Goodreads

I absolutely loved it! I can't believe that by the end of the book he's only just reached the age of 18 and not yet got into show business. It's completely absorbing, hilarious and vividly written. I can't wait for the next installment of his life! Read full review

About the author (2009)

Paul O'Grady first came to fame in the guise of Lily Savage, and was nominated for a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1991. Lily later became a regular on This Morning, took over the bed on The Big Breakfast and presented Blankety Blank, but has now retired. Paul, of course, currently presents The New Paul O'Grady Show on Channel 4.

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