We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
My Name is Daphne Fairfax Audiobook

My Name is Daphne Fairfax: A Memoir

Regular Price:£18.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

My name is Arthur Smith, unless there's anybody here from the Streatham tax office. In which case, I'm Daphne Fairfax.' This is a line Arthur has used at a thousand different stand-up gigs.

In fact, he is neither Daphne or Arthur. Family and old friends know him as Brian.

Arthur Smith is best known as a comedian, a broadcaster and an opening bat for Grumpy Old Men. But he has also been a West End playwright (his plays include An Evening with Gary Lineker), an English teacher, a failed rock star, a busker, a road sweeper and a bombsite boy in post-war Bermondsey.

Smith was one of the 'alternative comedians' who shook up light entertainment in the eighties and remains a legend at the Edinburgh Festival fringe where he has been fêted and arrested. His rumbustuous drinking years ended in Intensive Care where he narrowly survived an attack of acute pancreatitis. He gave up drink and got diabetes but continues to perform, write and act in peculiar ways and delight his fans.

This memoir encompasses a range of extraordinary, funny and often moving experiences by a unique and individual commentator on the peculiarities of modern society.

©2009 Arthur Smith; (P)2009 Random House Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"The memoir of alternative comedian Arthur Smith takes him through the Bermondsey bombsites of his childhood and a career fuelled by drink, until he hits depressed middle age and near-fatal collapse. It's witty, self-aware and poignant: 'Emotional baggage never gets lost in transit.'" (The Observer)

"This is just about the best book... about �alternative� comedy � an intimate memoir that doubles as a vivid portrait of an age. The man that emerges isn�t all that different from Smith�s persona, affable and self deprecating. Yet the finest aspect of this heartfelt memoir isn�t his acute self-portrait, but the pictures of those around him � from friends and family to fellow comics. His talent has always been far too wayward for TV, but here he has done something much more remarkable."(The Independent)

"This memoir reflects on a life lived to its fullest. Scandalous, funny and occasionally tender."(Birmingham Mail)

"The book succeeds in the principal prerequisite of a showbiz biog in dishing some dirt � in this case � atop a Merton borough council bin wagon � and dropping lots of names..."(The Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (23 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.0 (9 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.3 (9 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Robert Skipton, United Kingdom 22/10/2009
    Robert Skipton, United Kingdom 22/10/2009 Member Since 2011

    zzzzz

    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    "An Unexpected Delight"

    As an inveterate Edinburgh Festival goer since the mid-1980's, Arthur Smith's (or Daphne Fairfax's) paths and my own have crossed many times. I've always thought that he was "OK" but not much more.

    This erudite, charming and generally well read audio biog then, was a surprise. The major events in his life are already quite well known, but what makes this story stand out and be worth hearing, apart from being very well written, is the self deprecating but sincere tone he manages to set. His affectionate, yet honest portraits of the less well known people in his life (there is, as one would hope, plenty of name dropping too!) reveal a thoughtful man with a big heart and a clear understanding of his own failings.

    I shall listen to this audiobook again, I know - and in that listening will discover delights missed at first hearing. I hope that he does an unabridged reading - not what I expected to write about a showbiz biog!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Reluctant Hermit Scotland 12/09/2013
    The Reluctant Hermit Scotland 12/09/2013 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "what an interesting man!"
    Any additional comments?

    I always liked Arthur Smith but have only known him through his radio work, mainly Loose Ends. I didn't realise he wrote plays and had done so much stand up comedy. I thought his autobiography was very interesting, well written and well read. Thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it. A clever, drunken!! but thoroughly nice man. A joy to listen to his life so far.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Narny Lincoln, United Kingdom 08/04/2013
    Narny Lincoln, United Kingdom 08/04/2013 Member Since 2016

    Comedy and history (or a combination of both) are my listening choices. Oh, and Bill Bryson.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "A funny old life for a funny old man"

    After being a little disappointed at my last listen to an autobiography I started to listen to this one with a little trepidation. However my fears were unfounded and I very much enjoyed listening to the gravelly voiced comedian tell me about his life. Like with other autobiographies by comedians, it’s not all funny and anecdotal and Mr Smith has not had all that easy in his quest for recognition (Steve Martin is another great example). But that said I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan or interested in the rise of alternative comedy.



    Nice one Arthur!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alexander 03/02/2014
    alexander 03/02/2014 Member Since 2016

    Fan of biographies, starting to get to the obscure ones now.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sad excuse for a biography."
    Any additional comments?

    I hate saying this about someones story of there life but this guys book is just very Dull.I have been aware of arthur for many years and never been impressed with his comedy, I love stand up and this guy has been on my radar as someone to try and see more of as i assume its me thats not quite getting the "godfather" of comedy.I spotted his book and thought what a great way to find out more. Laugh? i never. I dont have an agenda and maybe it is just me but it was seriously lacking in interesting content.The only point of interest was the story of Arthur and his dad travelling to Colditz where his dad was a pow. This could have been a bigger part of the book, but as it stands it was moving and humorous as his dad corrected the german tour guide on points of fact. bearing in mind he had been a past resident. I may try this one again in a few weeks in case it as "layers"! Ill update accordingly

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.