Spilling the Beans, Paperback
3 out of 5 (7 ratings)


Clarissa was born into wealth and privilege, as a child, shooting and hunting were the norm and pigeons were flown in from Cairo for supper.

Her mother was an Australian heiress, her father was a brilliant surgeon to the Royal family.

But he was also a tyrannical and violent drunk who used to beat her and force her to eat carrots with slugs still clinging to them.

Clarissa was determined and clever, though, and her ambition led her to a career in the law.

At the age of 21, she was the youngest ever woman to be called to the Bar.

Disaster struck when her adored mother died suddenly.

It was to lead to a mind-numbing decade of wild over-indulgence.

Rich from her inheritance, in the end Clarissa partied away her entire fortune.

It was a long, hard road to recovery along which Clarissa finally faced her demons and turned to the one thing that had always brought her joy - cooking.

Now at last she has found success, sobriety and peace.

With the stark honesty and the brilliant wit we love her for, Clarissa recounts the tale of a life lived to extremes.

A vivid and funny story, it is as moving as it is a cracking good read.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336 pages, 2 x 8pp colour pictures
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9780340933893



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Showing 1 - 5 of 7 reviews.

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Review by

Enjoyed this journey through someones life as I don't think I would have the strength to live such a life! It is interesting to read of such a life and how the happy smiley person we see on our television screens has a truly sunshine nature. A good read without the alcoholism overpowering the recipe of a good biography.

Review by

Acquired via BookCrossing 04 Jul 2009 - from the Unconvention books tableAutobiography of the woman best known for the Two Fat Ladies TV series. A larger than life character, she seems to be very honest and unsparing with herself, particularly with regard to her dysfunctional family and struggles with alcoholism. This made for an interesting but uncomfortable read. Of particular interest to me was her friendship with friend of BookCrossing (and me!) Christine Coleman. Christine and her family are mentioned throughout the book, and Christine has been a very good friend to Clarissa over the years. It's good to have friendship acknowledged as so important and, indeed, life-saving.

Review by

I usually enjoy Biography's , in fact she has had an extremely interesting life but I got bored half way through. I'm not really sure why, she didn't come across as a very likeable person, she is definitely a snob but that shouldn't have put me off the story, I just didn't really like it.

Review by

What a memoir should be. Funny, touching, and very honest. An interesting life not always well lived, but Wright has done a wonderful job telling her story.

Review by
Spilling the Beans by Clarissa Dickson Wright, one of the Two Fat Ladies from the British cooking show, is written in the time-honoured tradition of the overblown celebrity autobiography. Outspoken, opinionated, exaggerated, name-dropping, gossipy, and highly entertaining. I don't agree with some of her opinions, some of her anecdotes and "facts" are questionable, but she is definitely an interesting person, who has led a life very far removed from my own experience. Much of the book deals with serious issues of abuse and addiction, but I never felt that I had to put it down because it got too depressing. The behind the scenes look at the production of the "Two Fat Ladies" show is fascinating, as is the glimpse at a privileged lifestyle that was not all that it seemed. It is not great literature, but it is everything one looks for in a celebrity memoir.

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