Frank and revealing, this fully authorised biography by Tommy's friend and colleague, acclaimed TV producer, John Fisher, is the first ever intimate portrait of Britain's best-loved, but little-known, entertainer.
More than just a comedian, Tommy Cooper was a born entertainer. Working in a golden age of British comedy, Cooper stood – literally – head and shoulders above the crowd, and had a magical talent for humour that defied description. When Cooper enlisted in the army in 1939, and began to perfect his comic timing on his army colleagues in the Egyptian desert, the man with the fez was born. Cooper was at the heart of the thriving British variety scene, adored by his legions of fans and much revered by his fellow professionals. The gentle giant of entertainment accompanied his bewildered, botched magic act with a sublime sense of bravado and a face that was made for comedy. He was one of the first funny men to have the entire nation in stitches.
But there was a man behind the laughter that few people saw. John Fisher was Cooper's friend and colleague and witnessed first-hand the child that lingered within the adult and moments of self-doubt and inadequacy that contrasted with the genial exterior. Until his tragic death, which occurred in the middle of his act on live television in 1984, Tommy Cooper lived in constant fear of the day he would be found out by his audience. He could never believe the accolades that came so thick and fast from every direction, and died to the sounds of laughter that he never really believed.
Supplementing his own intimate knowledge with material accessed for the first time from the archives of Tommy's agent and manager, Miff Ferrie, and with the full co-operation of the Cooper family, John Fisher brings alive the man behind the comedic mask in this definitive biography of a comedy legend.