From Shooting Stars to Little Britain to his recent role as the comically bumbling sidekick Nardole on Doctor Who, Matt Lucas is one of the most loved comedians in the country. In his new autobiography (100% written by him), the actor opens up about his life behind the comedy in a funny but also very frank way.
As can be deduced from the title, Little Me is broken into alphabetised chapters. This is a novel approach to the usual form of the biography which helps to keep things fresh. In particular, the structure allows Lucas to flit around his life at random – as if he’s using a TARDIS, you might say - which actually makes it a more engaging narrative as we gradually unfold the whole story.
Lucas has led a fascinating life, full of laughter, loss, triumphs and setbacks, and is remarkably open about (nearly) all of it. From his total hair loss at the age of six through his troubled teens to his experience with fame. Understandably, his relationship with long-term partner Kevin McGee, who sadly passed away in 2009, is kept private, but even so Lucas is remarkably candid about his continuing feelings of grief.
As such, the book doesn’t go into great detail about Lucas’ acting projects, so anyone hoping for, say, a full behind-the-scenes rundown of Doctor Who season ten will be disappointed. There is a fair bit written about Lucas’ friendship with David Walliams, and how the pair came up with several of their most famous characters, but that’s just a consequence of the actor focussing on his own personal history.
The real strength of the book is Lucas’ warm, personable writing style which makes it feel like you are holding a conversation with him rather than reading his book. Lucas makes for a charming, honest narrator who is self-deprecating about his flaws and humble about his successes. Even when he (quite bravely) recounts a moment in his life he is not proud of, you’ll find it hard not to like the man.
Even if you are not a particular fan of the star’s rubber-faced on-screen antics, Little Me is an entertaining, engrossing read that will have you laughing out loud on one page and profoundly moved the next (actually, sometimes on the same page). A riveting dive – off the top board while David Walliams isn’t looking – into the mind of Matt Lucas.
LITTLE ME: THE A TO Z OF MATT LUCAS / AUTHOR: MATT LUCAS / PUBLISHER: CANONGATE BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: 3RD OCTOBER