Going to Sea in a Sieve : The Autobiography, Hardback

Going to Sea in a Sieve : The Autobiography Hardback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Comedy writer, journalist, radio DJ and screenwriter Danny Baker charts his 30 years in showbiz. Born in 1957 in Deptford, south London, Danny's first job after dropping out of school at the age of 15 was in One Stop Records, a small record shop in London's West End, frequented by Elton John and Mick Jagger, a store rather like the one in High Fidelity.

His career in print journalism began in 1976 when he co-founded the fanzine Sniffin' Glue leading to an offer from the New Musical Express, where his first job was as a receptionist. Soon after, Baker was contributing regular astute articles, reviews and later interviews to the publication.

Danny then began making 30-minute documentaries at LWT for the cult series 20th Century Box, and appeared in two television commercials: Daz washing powder and Mars bar chocolate. His stellar career on the radio began on BBC GLR in 1989, then moved to BBC Radio 5 where he presented sports shows including the groundbreaking 6-0-6, which still influences the media's approach to criticism of players, managers and referees. He also worked on BBC Radio 1, back to BBC GLR, Talk Radio and later on Virgin Radio. On his return to BBC last May, Danny won 'Sony Radio Personality of the Year' and appeared on Desert Island Discs last July. Six months earlier he had gone public on his cancer and chemotherapy treatment, and thankfully all seems well.

Danny Baker currently presents a weekday show at BBC London 94.9, which features phone-ins and discussions with his on-air team regarding music and entertainment of the 1960s and 1970s, and a Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 5. This book charts Danny's showbiz career, the highs and lows, and everything in between, including the accusation that he killed Bob Marley...


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Radio
  • ISBN: 9780297863403



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While for some Danny Baker is a slightly annoying type who has made a career in UK broadcasting out of being a sort of professional semi-intelligent oik, for me he is a personal favourite, and a welcome and irreverent bastion of intelligent quippery, good musical taste, and most of all how to have complete fun with the British people who tune in to his (now) weekly radio show. Trading in a charming blend of amusing audience contributions with a cheeky repartee backed by a musical bed of cartoonish sound affects and mood music, his show appeals to a certain silly British sensibility equally at home with the likes of Spike Milligan )and all the Goons for that matter,) or a Ronnie Barker if you prefer. If nothing else, he is probably the best interviewer of musicians and singers going in the business on this side of the pond.I was happily surveying street trees in Ealing a few years ago - happy chiefly because of Danny's then daily afternoon show on BBC Radio London coming through my earphones; it was the last day of his Halloween spooky specials - when to my horror, the listeners learnt straight from the horse's mouth that the BBC in their infinite wisdom had effectively sacked the man who single-handedly constituted the best thing about the whole station. Danny defiantly berated and humiliated the bigwigs responsible while delivering a faultless performance at the microphone for the ensuing two hours of his last show with that station. The period covered in this first volume of his memoirs includes his lively and generally happy childhood in working class south London of the 1960s and '70s, as well as his working at one of London's pioneering independent record shops - where the likes of Elton John and Marc Bolan were regulars on first name terms. Then came his entree to the world of music journalism: a DIY punk fanzine leading to a job with the (then relevant) New Musical Express before his first forays into TV broadcasting. I will be on the lookout for his second volume, which covers his further career in television, before finding his best calling (my opinion) in radio and bringing the story up to date.With his simple and immediate writing style he brings to life the atmosphere of life in 1970s England, and in particular the musical soundtrack to that era. Full of great stories and plenty of fun and laughs, this is a very entertaining read for all, and a must for any of his admirers.