Spectacles by Sue Perkins
| Spectacles is the hilarious, creative and incredibly moving memoir from much loved comedian, writer and presenter Sue Perkins.
Sue is best-known as one half of the comedy duo Mel and Sue, presenters most memorably of Light Lunch and its later counterpart, the imaginatively titled Late Lunch. Now of course they are the co-presenters of BBC blockbuster The Great British Bakeoff, currently in its sixth season. She has worked on a wide range of solo projects over the years, including documentaries on art, popular fiction and history. She has also collaborated with food-critic Giles Coren on the Supersizers series, where the duo power-ate their way through five centuries of lungs, livers and testicles whilst half-cut on sherry. It was while working on this series some years ago that she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour, although she hid news of her diagnosis until now.
In this her first book, Sue details her childhood in Croydon, and her decision to come out to her parents. There’s a hilarious excerpt about how she’d imagined the conversation with her mother would go: Mother: “Oh God, I’m in shock. I’m going into shock. I can’t believe it. I guess my initial worry is that now you’re a lesbian, you’ll have to spend the rest of your life in a fleece.” The reality was far less melodramatic. Perkins asked nervously if she could come home to talk to her about something, to which her mother, matter-of-factly, replied, “Is it about you being gay? Fine, well just whenever you like, no rush.” Humorous episodes are interspersed with darker memories, including the death of her father, her sadness at realising she could never have children due to her tumour, and a mid-life crisis when she reached 40, leading her to counselling, which she highly recommends: “I’ve learned that I’ve become incredibly comfortable in my own skin since then. That’s not age, it’s hard work, it’s being thoughtful and mindful.” Sue is planning a new travel series for the BBC, and hopes to write another book. For now, her fans will enjoy this insight into the life of a very funny and very private personality.
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