Two Roads will publish Billy Connolly's first autobiography, titled Windswept and Interesting.
Nick Davies, m.d. at John Murray Press, acquired world rights direct from Connolly. Windswept and Interesting will be published in hardback, audiobook, and e-book on 14th October 2021.
The book is the comedian and actor’s first full-length autobiography, “where the national treasure reveals the truth behind his windswept and interesting life", the John Murray Press imprint said. “Joyfully funny and stuffed full of hard-earned wisdom as well as countless digressions on fishing, farting and the joys of dancing naked, it is the unforgettable, life-affirming story of a true comedy legend.
“Born in a tenement flat in Glasgow in 1942, orphaned by the age of four, and a survivor of appalling abuse at the hands of his own family, Billy’s life is a remarkable story of success against all the odds.”
After first being an apprentice welder in the shipyards of the River Clyde, Connolly later became a folk musician. “But it was his ability to spin stories, tell jokes and hold an audience in the palm of his hand that truly set him apart. As a young comedian Billy broke all the rules and was fearless and outspoken,” the publisher said. “But his stand-up was full of warmth, humility and silliness too. His startling, hairy ‘glam-rock’ stage appearance – wearing leotards, scissor suits and banana boots – only added to his appeal.”
It was an appearance on Michael Parkinson’s chat show in 1975 that helped him become a national star. TV shows, documentaries, international fame and award-winning Hollywood movies followed. He continued doing his stand-up routines for over 50 years until a double diagnosis of cancer and Parkinson’s Disease brought his remarkable live performances to an end. Since then, he has continued making TV shows. He has been awarded a CBE.
Connolly’s previous book with Two Roads, Tall Tales and Wee Stories, a collection of his best loved stand-up routines, was published in 2019. His wife Pamela Stephenson's hugely successful biography of her husband, Billy, was published by HarperCollins in 2002, selling 27,382 copies sold in hardback and 808,449 in paperback via Nielsen Bookscan's UK TCM.
The comedian, who is now based in America, said: “It’s the first time I’ve done this. Other people have written about me – or for me – but this time it’s just my own life in my own words. I didn’t know I was windswept and interesting until somebody told me. I had long hair and a beard and was swishing around in electric blue flares. He said 'Look at you – all windswept and interesting.' I just said: 'Exactly.' After that, I simply had to maintain my reputation.”
Davies said: "There are few people who inspire such warmth and affection among audiences worldwide. I can’t think of a better way to follow the phenomenal success of Tall Tales & Wee Stories than with Billy’s long-awaited autobiography. It is a wise, heartfelt, opinionated and hugely funny book. And it has been one of the great pleasures of my career to work on it.’
- Two Roads snaps up Billy Connolly's story collection
- Billy Connolly narrates first autobiography for Two Roads
- Jo Cox's husband Brendan to publish memoir with Two Roads
- TV and radio plans revealed for Billy Connolly's first ever book publicity campaign
- Bloomsbury buys two more from Charman and Sharratt