Memoirs of a Fruitcake – Chris Evans

Chris Evans brings us book two, a follow up to his first autobiography, It’s Not What You Think. When I read that book I was impressed by the writing and the honesty with which Evans brought to the page. His second book does exactly that again and more and carries off where he stopped having just bought a radio station as you do.

What then follows is the sheer climb to the top and the rather slippery slope back down to the bottom and in some cases perhaps beyond that.  His purchase of Virgin Radio made him a media mogul to be reckoned with and that is exactly what people did, as he sold the company and then was promptly sacked from the job he loved doing – broadcasting and broadcasting on a Breakfast show. He had made his money but now he was losing it.

Along with the money, Evans was also losing the insight into who he really was. Some could say he was losing his self respect – he thought he had found it in drink. A great part of this book is given over to his drinking binges, the people he hooked up with along the way and those that also dropped him when the going got too tough. His mania, for this is the best word I can think of to describe his behaviour, manifested itself in different ways. But Evans tells us the truth about those times and the truth hurt, as his behaviour hurt a very number of people. You do find out about his personal relationships and the ones that were very public (think Geri Halliwell) and probably the media thought they were dictating the course of the relationship, but Evans reveals the truth in such a way that he does not appear to be dishing the dirt but just telling his side of the story.

With this self destruction he suddenly found a chink of light and hope in the shape of Billie Piper. A whole third of the book is devoted to their relationship from beginning to end but also what they did for each other and how they helped rebuild lives out of the mania they were both at that time living in. I will leave you to read the book to find out the details – it might just surprise you!

Evans talks about his relationships where the money side of his life is in the background but he also talks about the money when the relationships are in the background. He made some bad decisions in both, and some interesting purchases and a lot has slipped through his fingers. A lot!

Evans then brings us up the present day and probably his best kept secret, that of taking over from the king of breakfast radio Terry Wogan. A year later than was originally planned but nonetheless he seems to have found his breakfast family happily on the radio and has started to refocus on the important things in life, including his wife, Tash and their son Noah, as well as daughter, Jade where many bridges have had to be built to rectify the bomb blasts that were created by him in the past.  Throughout the book are little pearls of wisdom that in hindsight are marvellous things but at the time would have been valuable pieces of advice if he had heeded them.

This book does not fill you in on much or very little of the back story before Evans bought Virgin Radio. If you want that, then you need to read the first book. What it does give you is a complete insight into a man who has been top of his game and bottom. Quite simply with nothing in between. It is written with strength and emotion and actually I found some of the decisions Evans made very painful to read about, it must have been just as painful for the author if not a cathartic process for him .  It is littered with ‘celeb’ stories but this is not dishing the dirt but merely stating the facts. An excellent read if you are a fan of autobiographies but especially if you have an interest in Chris Evans whether it is positive or negative.

What can he do next in his life that will warrant a third instalment? We will just have to wait and see.