Lionel Bart was a writer and composer of British pop music and musicals, best known for creating the book, music and lyrics for Oliver!.
The authors gained exclusive access to Bart's personal archives – his unfinished autobiography, his letters and scrapbooks. It also reveals how his heavy drinking led to diabetes and how he died in 1999 from liver cancer.
They detail how he signed away the rights to Oliver! to finance his new musical Twang – based on Robin Hood – which flopped badly in the theatre.
They have interviewed his personal secretaries, friends, family, counsellors and many of the performers, musicians and producers who worked with him.
Interviewees include Rocky Horror's Richard O'Brien and actors Dudley Sutton and Nigel Planer.