Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

Mr Lonely

Book Review from 2007


Mr Lonely was Eric’s first novel, written while he was recovering from his first heart attack and contemplating a career away from the stage.

Following the exploits of a lowly two-bit comedian, Sid Lewis, through his strange and comedic life.

Sid played dingy smoke filled bars, earning next to nothing, his ambition is trying to get the dancing girls to wear much the same. Eventually he meets the girl of his dreams, ties the knot and still continues to chase anything in a skirt.

One night he invents a new character to try out on the rough crowd, and so Mr Lonely is born. The act is seen by someone form the BBC, who offers him the chance to get the act on television. From there on, Sid becomes a star, and continues to chase anything in a skirt.

The style of book is a little strange at first, and half of you would think it was the biography of Eric, with extra spicy bits thrown in. Maybe there is some of Eric in the character; there are certainly signs of his great humour.

An encounter with a certain lady results in Sid’s thick rimmed glasses becoming stuck to the back of her head, in typical Eric style. From then on, despite her advances, his main concern is to get them back. He fails, but they turn up later on in the book and provide yet another funny moment.

Eric does make an appearance as Sid’s friend, which causes the book to switch into first person narrative, causing confusing to the reader. It’s only for one chapter though, and it soon settles back into the normal style again.

Sid has many happenings that closely mimics Eric’s real life, and encounters with various people who Eric met. There is, for example a mention of a certain Desmond O’Conner and a Mr. Ammonds (Eric and Ern’s Producer). There are also characters who through their actions and vocabulary, seem to be well known personalities, but with different names.

Written in the seventies, some of the wording and attitudes shown would not be allowed in today’s ultra PC society, even though they are funny. Sid’s wife, for example, was accosted by a stereotypical Asian door to door salesman. Later, recalling the event to her husband, he replied, “You didn’t buy anything did you? It was probably Spike Milligan anyway.”

Overall, a fun book, with plenty of laughs and a storey you can only think, was Eric trying to tell us anything?

Republished in 2010
This book was republished in 2010 by The Friday Project.

© 2007

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Making Mr Lonely
Joan and Gary talk about the possibility of making Mr Lonely into a film.