Paul Merton’s autobiography “Only When I Laugh”

Paul recounts his journey from his working-class Fulham childhood to the present day.

Whether writing about school days, his run-ins with the nuns and other pupils; his disastrous first confession; his meatpacking job; taking acid; leaving home to live in bedsit; his early brushes with the opposite sex - and not forgetting his repeated attempts to break into the world of comedy - Paul's writing is always funny, poignant and revealing.

And when his star finally ascends in the atmospherically drawn 1980s alternative cabaret scene there is a sense of excitement, energy, camaraderie, momentum and dramatic impending success. And then crash... we experience the disorienting and terrifying sustained manic episode that he suffered which landed him in the Maudesley hospital. These, and other tougher moments, are written about candidly and with sensitivity and honesty.

An evocative and fascinating life story full of warmth, humour and a big bucket load of wit.


'Thoughtful, understated memoir' The Guardian - Read the review

'compelling' Chortle

'The book is fascinating' Ray Darcy RTE Radio
'The book is witty and enjoyable' Robert Elms BBC Radio London