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Give Me Ten Seconds
ISBN 0333904494 / 9780333904497 / 0-333-90449-4
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A deliciously funny insider account of British politics and of the BBC from one of our most highly regarded and well-liked broadcasters. John Sergeant is ITN's Political Editor and before that spent 30 years at the BBC coalface, latterly as the Corporation's political correspondent. He is widely respected both by the denizens of the Houses of Parliament and fellow journalists. More importantly, his appearances on shows like Radio 4's News Quiz, Have I Got News for You and Room 101 have proved him to be an inspired comic turn. This memoir will take us from his rather curious childhood, the son of decidedly eccentric parents to his flirtation with show business as part of the sixties satire boom - he starred in revue with Alan Bennett, and from his early years in journalism on the Liverpool Post to his thirty years at the BBC. Memorably handbagged by Margaret Thatcher on the steps of the Paris Embassy as she lost the leadership contest, and the man to whom Ron Davis confessed his midnight perambulations on Clapham Common, Sergeant has been the man on the spot in most of the major news stories of the last twenty years. His mordant wit, keen sense of the absurd and acute powers of analysis pervade the book. He has a wealth of killingly funny anecdotes featuring the dottier members of both Houses of Parliament and his understanding of the labyrinthine workings of Westminister - and of the corridors of Broadcasting House - is second to none. [via]