I can't lay claim to being a great biographer. I've written a short update of one about Douglas Adams and - with mixed success - the entirety of a book about the actor Leonard Rossiter.

The latter was perhaps what brought my deficiencies as a biographer to the fore. Rossiter was a secretive feller who hated discussing his private life. A number of people didn't wish to talk about him (though, thankfully many did) and, I had very little interest in digging through a dead man's dirt. As an appreciation of a career, a readable and - I hope - interesting look at the performance industry he left such a mark on it serves its due. A contemporary review was kind enough but did make the point of asking: "what's the point of a polite biographer?" I think maybe it's a valid question.

Still, I wrote the book I could and hopefully it's not entirely without merit.

It allowed me one hell of a career-high though, having a long chat with Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, two of the greatest comic writers to have ever raised a typewriter.