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Publisher's Summary

Read by Michael Whitehall, featuring Jack Whitehall and Hilary Whitehall.

Standing in front of a full-length mirror in my dressing room at ITV studios, waiting to go on to the set of Backchat, I had a brief conversation with my reflection.

'Michael, what the f*** do you think you're doing?'

Theatrical agent Michael Whitehall spent a career pushing others into the spotlight. He had been involved behind the scenes with the careers of many prominent actors, including Colin Firth, Richard Griffiths, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Courtenay, Ian Ogilvy, Judi Dench, Edward Fox, Michael Fassbender, Angela Thorne and Nigel Havers.

But then, much to his surprise, his son Jack becomes a successful comedian and actor and decides that his new comedy partner should be his father. Whitehall Snr. finds himself reluctantly appearing on stage and then television, cast as the archetypal grumpy old man and thrust, in his early 70s, into a whole new career in front of the camera. Minor fame comes at a sedate pace: one of the highlights being a record £300,000 win for charity with Jack on Channel 4's The Million Pound Drop.

In this enchanting memoir, Whitehall looks back on his life, from growing up in suburban London in the 1940s and '50s with his saintly father and social climbing mother, who coined the phrase 'à la carte' to describe people who were posher than she was and whose company she craved, to falling into a career as a successful theatrical agent and producer. As he says, 'Actors can be egotistical, greedy and vain, but they're not half as bad as agents and producers'.

Charming, gossipy and above all very funny, Backing into the Spotlight is no ordinary show business memoir.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

©2017 Michael Whitehall (P)2017 Little, Brown Book Group

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best audiobook out there

Michael Whitehall has the perfect voice for this medium. he should do the narration to every story out there. I would seriously pay to hear him read anything. not to mention the fact that the story is quite interesting and well told. love it.

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So enjoyable!

I recently started watching Travels with My Father and while Jack is hilarious (and a stud), the real star of the show is Michael. His deadpan, "no. f***g. WAY" atitude makes me so happy. This book is a joy to listen to and had me smiling and laughing out loud. I agree with others that MW could have a third act career as an audio book narrator, despite his son saying that his narration could "break a terrorist". I wish his first book Shark Infested Waters was also avaliable!

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Charming and Witty

Michael Whitehall is the perfect narrator to bring to life his humor and perspective in this book. A genuine look into the people and experiences that shaped the author, peppered with his trademark wit.

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Such fun listen

I loved the stories of Mr. Whitehall’s life and it was wonderful to hear it in his voice. Loved the cameos from Mrs. Whitehall and Jack.

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omg

I loved it omg, so good. Def was a good read.
We’re some of the stories in his first book? Yeah, sure but who cares. Such a life filled with happiness and exploration. Makes you appreciate the journey which is life.

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Charming, funny, enjoyable a bit unrelateable

Great and engaging performance with a peek at Whitehall’s charmed life. Definitely entertaining but I worry that it is a bit unrelateable for some.

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Lots of Fun

its 6:53 in the morning and I've just finished listening to this book despite my intention to get back to sleep sometime before I had to get up and out for work. I resent this slightly. It's Michael Whitehall's fault for being so winning. He's got great charisma and is a gifted narrator. The book wanders a little, here and there, but who cares. Lots of references and names dropped may be lost on an American audience but you get the point, even if you've never heard of Sir Rupert Skirting-Board or Penelope Chipping Cleghorn or whatever. I came for the personality and the voice and stayed for that and enjoyed it all. I'm glad Michael stuck his head over the parapet and became an entertainer.

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  • Cavfan
  • 12-02-17

couldnt switch off!

i loved this ! I have enjoyed Michael's appearances on TV with Jack and find his irascible style very endearing! Hes clearly had an interesting life and it comes across in this book. He tells the story very well- his delivery is what I expected it to be and that makes me laugh anyway! I was sad when it finished as it has made what would otherwise be boring car journeys up the A1 really very enjoyable!

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  • James
  • 11-26-17

Utterly charming and bitingly funny

Listened to it in one and it didn't disappoint. Fascinating and funny anecdotes, delivered in wonderful deadpan.

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  • Lesley Griffiths
  • 12-22-19

well worth listening to. good in sight to the man

brilliant and funny. relaxing calming and a good giggle. he should write more about his family and life

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  • Kate
  • 12-27-17

Hilarious and charming

I think Michael plays a brilliant part when seen on TV with his son Jack. He comes across as the grumpy, yet funny, old man due to his views and reactions to most things. This audiobook (and their joint one ‘Him and Me’) does of course show this same theme but also a softer side to Michael. He clearly adores on his family. Plenty of funny stories here!

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  • D J TAYLOR
  • 05-07-22

Daddy

Read implacable by Mr Whitehall, in his calming manner.
So many name drops I lost count.
fantastic listen.

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  • karen
  • 03-06-22

Loved it

This is the second book I have listened to by the Whitehall men this year. I really enjoyed it, well written, well read, interesting and amusing.
Easy to listen to and easy to recommend.

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  • Gollygee68
  • 02-02-22

Enjoyable listen 😃

An enjoyable listen with giggles along the way. If you like the Whitehalls this is a most interesting listen

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  • Deb
  • 12-11-21

Excellent book

Loved this book. I really admire Michael Whitehall and think he is very witty and amusing. The book is very good. Highly recommended.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-07-21

A good listen

as always an interesting and entertaining story as always by the Whitehall family. I hope they keep the storys coming

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  • matthew
  • 10-19-21

Wonderful audio book

I have really enjoyed listening to this book it is very interesting and has made me laugh out loud many times. Anything to do with the Whitehalls I enjoy and the way Michael reads this really draws me into the book and makes me feel like I could have been there while he describes each part of his life. Thanks for the book I'm glad you have done this and look forward to many more Whitehall adventures.