Parcel Arrived Safely: Tied With String, full of fun and laughter - is the autobiography of one of Britain's greatest anecdotalists and biggest stars.
By turns hilarious, revelatory and desperately sad, here is the autobiography of the man whose successes such as Hello Dolly!, Some Mothers Do `Ave 'Em and The Phantom of the Opera have made him a national institution. The story of the true identity of his father, which is behind this book's title, leads into an evocative depiction of his tender childhood years. Whilst all the men were away at war, he was surrounded by loving women. For him this was an idyllic wartime childhood, but the return of the men in peacetime signalled darker times to come. Crawford's infectious enjoyment of stage work illumines his account of his early struggles to make a name for himself in the business, and his early failures with girls are lifted by his abiding sense of the absurd. Both in his private life and his work he begins a lifetime's habit of pratfalls that he would later turn to good use in the character of Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do `Ave 'Em. His talent for mimicry makes the great personalities in his life come alive on the page; people he has worked with, including Benjamin Britten who taught him to sing, John Lennon - with whom he shared a villa - and Oliver Reed, Michael Winner, Barbra Steisand, Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
Crawford began his professional career as a boy soprano in Benjamin Britten's Let's Make An Opera
. He became the popular star of Not So Much a Programme
, More a Way of Life
and starred in The Knack
. He juggled film and stage careers, appearances including Hello Dolly!
, the long-running comedy No Sex Please - We're British
and the 70s TV comedy Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
- which is still running around the world. He starred in, among many other things, the John Barry hit musical Billy
, the 1981 hit Broadway musical Barnum
and the widely acclaimed Phantom
, More recently, he appeared in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White
in London's West End. His solo recording career began in 1992 and his three albums have all been huge runaway successes earning him gold and platinum discs. He has been awarded many honours including the OBE.
Compelling,Entertaining... Crawford whips up the merriment from the wings,Refreshingly candid