Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Book Review: Behind the Laughter by Sherrie Hewson

Join Loose Women's Sherrie Hewson on her rollercoaster ride through the laughter, tears, and tantrums of an extraordinary life lived on and off the screen

Sherrie Hewson is one of Britain's best loved television stars. From her dazzling performances in the Carry On films to Russ Abbott's Madhouse, to her favorite character Maureen Holdsworth in Coronation Street to the green hills of Emmerdale, Sherrie's warmth and good humor won her a place in the heart of the nation. And now an adored presenter on Loose Women, which she joined eight years ago, Sherrie has become a friend and confidante to the millions who tune in for her naughty sense of fun, openness, and quick wit. But behind the laughter Sherrie has been hiding a secret heartache. After 30 years of marriage, she is finally divorcing the man who cheated on her and squandered all her money, leaving her bankrupt, on the brink of an alcohol problem, and suicidal. It has taken her nine years to reach this point; but Sherrie is now ready to share her story—and it's one that at times seems more fitting to a soap opera than real life. From living in a brothel to being ditched at the altar, to living in fear of her stalker to nearly murdering her Corrie co-star (by accident, of course!), to the on- and off-screen lovers, friends, and foes, to struggling to conceive her much-loved daughter, Sherrie always manages to see the funny side and tells it like it is with warmth and a cheeky smile. Brimming with brilliantly funny anecdotes and larger-than-life characters, Sherrie's story will delight, entertain, and, above all, make you laugh.

My Review:
I am not a fan of Loose Women-in fact I never watch the show, and that meant I had never heard the stories in the book that Sherrie shared with the viewers. So I was reading everything 'new' so to speak which is why I enjoyed the book more than expected. I only read this because I was interested in the actors and actresses from Coronation Street but I did like it.

Sherrie really was the child from hell-sticking knitting needles down her brother's throat, stealing from shops, charities and other kids, all before the age of 6! What a monster. Mind you, her brother was no angel either. Makes we wonder if I was that badly behaved as a kid and just don't remember it! I like that she was willing to write about it as a lot of celebrities are selective about missing out things that could make them look bad.

The humour is what made this book fun to read and some of her stories are very funny. Being asked to escort Steve McQueen around London and vomiting on him, her legs going weak in front of Richard Chamberlain and collapsing at his feet, getting tongue-tied in front of Robert Redford at an audition and screwing it up...all very funny to read about but so embarrassing for her! It was also funny to hear about all her clumsy moments on the set of films and Coronation Street-a one woman disaster area at times, which I could certainly relate to! I had always thought I recognised her from before Coronation Street but it was only when I read this book that I realised it was from Russ Abbot's Madhouse which we watched every week. As soon as I read it I could remember her with Bella and the gang. Now that makes me feel old!

There was a more serious side to the book as she talked about how young actresses would be treated as sex objects by perverts, with your career suffering if you didn't do what they asked. I find it disgusting that so many women are forced into sex with directors and actors for fear of never getting a part. You can see now how Jimmy Savile got away with his behaviour for so long. I admire that Sherrie had the belief in her ability as an actress to say no, under such pressure. Then there was the abuse she received from Kenneth Williams when she worked on the Carry On films. He sounded like a nightmare to work with. I don't like people who make themselves feel big by bullying others.

Overall it was a good mix of drama and humour and I enjoyed reading it.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png


  1. I've never heard of this actress, and haven't watched any of the shows. But your review makes me think this would be an interesting read. It is often fun to read about someone you don't know much about, because they everything is "new" to you as you read. Great review!

    1. The Madhouse show was on UK Tv over 30 years ago now but it was very popular at the time. I like reading biographies at this time of year as I can read that and still watch the darts and football on TV!