Read no cunning plan by Tony Robinson Online


Sir Tony Robinson is a much-loved actor, presenter and author with a stellar career lasting over fifty years. Now, in his long-awaited autobiography, he reveals how the boy from South Woodford went from child stardom in the first stage production of Oliver!, a pint-sized pickpocket desperately bleaching his incipient moustache, to comedy icon Baldrick, the loyal servant anSir Tony Robinson is a much-loved actor, presenter and author with a stellar career lasting over fifty years. Now, in his long-awaited autobiography, he reveals how the boy from South Woodford went from child stardom in the first stage production of Oliver!, a pint-sized pickpocket desperately bleaching his incipient moustache, to comedy icon Baldrick, the loyal servant and turnip aficionado in Blackadder. It wasn't all plain sailing though. Along the way he was bullied by Steve Marriott, failed to impress Liza Minnelli and was pushed into a stinking London dock by John Wayne. He also entertained us with Maid Marion and Her Merry Men (which he wrote and starred in) and coped manfully when locked naked outside a theatre in Lincoln during the live tour of comedy series Who Dares Wins. He presented Time Team for twenty years, watching countless gardens ruthlessly dug up in the name of archaeology, and risked life and limb filming The Worst Jobs in History. Packed full of incident and insight, No Cunning Plan is a funny, self-deprecating and always entertaining read....

Title : no cunning plan
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 32178088
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

no cunning plan Reviews

  • Simon Binning
    2019-05-27 03:25

    This is one of the most entertaining autobiographies I've read in some time. I suspect like most people, I know Tony Robinson best from Blackadder, Time Team and involvement in the Labour Party, but his story goes back much further, and is full of variety and interest. He was in the cast of the original London production of Oliver, and spent many years acting and directing in some of the new breed of theatres and companies that came out of the 1960s and 1970s.He is also candid about his personal life. His partners (and friends) come across as real people, his relationship with them alternately passionate, funny, sad. His handling of the role that Alzheimer's played in the life of both his parents is honest and unsentimental (and completely believable to someone with whom it unfortunately strikes a chord).The style of the book is just right; light, but full of detail; funny and bittersweet. My only criticism is that the last two or three chapters seem to be a bit rushed; there is less detail, and bigger gaps. This might be because he got bored (?!), but I suspect it's just that he didn't want to go into as much detail about what are effectively current events.Aside from this minor criticism, it is an excellent read; this is an autobiography where there is so much more to the subject than you might first suspect.

  • Sian Powell
    2019-06-05 07:23

    Tony Robinson's autobiography is really interesting. He reveals a different side to his character than the mild mannered person we see on tv. His life and path to fame was very interesting. He started as a child star in the stage show of 'Oliver' which must have been very exciting. Being small for his age and clearly talented he got other parts too. His parents were musical, and although they were not rich or posh, they were not dirt poor either. They had ambitions for their son which in those days meant grammar school, where their free natured son did not fit in and was clearly unhappy. After school, Tony embarked on a career as a jobbing actor and always managed to find some sort of work. I was most interested to see that he has been the director of the Midland Arts Centre in Cannon Hill in the early 70s. I lived not far from there then and was taken as a child to see some of their productions. Tony got some interesting parts and worked with some very well known people, but was frustrated at not getting a big break. Of course, reading the book, you know he does get his break. He only took the small part of Baldrick to meet with the Oxbridge comedy set and after the pilot, it was quite some time before the first series was made. His life changes after this and he goes on to the other successes that we know. Tony clearly has a determined character and includes some very personal things like his drug taking, which I was surprised at. He also has quite a temper but only mentions this a few times, this does seem to go against what we see on tv. He is also a bit of a womaniser but does not go into this - maybe to protect his children? For a short man, he seems to have no trouble finding ladies, although, I can imagine that his charm and wit make up for a lack of height. He is also very passionate about his politics and is heavily involved in equity. He also gets involved in the Labour Party and gives a fair assessment of some of the problems it faces. I would have liked to know more about where his socialism came from, from the book he seems balanced and not too radical. An interesting book which could have had a bit more depth but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

  • Chris Steeden
    2019-06-04 06:44

    Tony Robinson as Baldrick in Blackadder was superb. I have not watched Time Team but will now (I have just watched the first one and Robinson looks like Comrade Bala - I am now hooked and am up to Series 5 - only 20 years behind now (edited 04-Oct-2017). I have a few documentary DVDs that he has done and they are all very good. I enjoyed reading this and was looking forward to getting back to reading it whenever I could.It is not a rip-roaring laugh of a biography though there are some funny moments and there is a lot of interesting information. One of those interesting bits is how Ben Elton researched for the Georgian period in Blackadder III and also some of the stars Robinson met when he was a child actor. Sad stories of his mother and father which many, including me, can relate too. There is probably not enough space to go over all the filming he has done. He acknowledges that he has made mistakes in the past and a few of these are out there.He does, though, have quite an ego so no real self-deprecating humour and I presume he has had to be this way to get on in the industry he is in but it does come over as a little cocky and self-important. The book still does not give a good reason to why he accepted a knighthood and was so excited by it when he is a Socialist Republican. Very odd but there you go.

  • Dawn
    2019-05-27 03:37

    An interesting experiment because this was the first unabridged audiobook I've listened to. I am not sure I would have read the print version - there's a fair few sections where I didn't really pay attention and might have found a bit dull if I was actually reading it. That said, I did really enjoy the book and Tony Robinson, as ever, is a superb narrator. Does make you realise that a successful acting career is often down to luck than talent. Robinson had slogged away for years before hitting the big time with Blackadder, continually being dropped from productions because he didn't have the right "look" or being disappointed that the project that was to be his "big break" fell through.One thing is clear -he is absolutely devoted to his children and was equally devoted to his parents (he makes references to his family in pretty much every chapter).

  • Bill
    2019-06-10 03:44

    Most people will know Tony Robinson as the wonderful Baldrick in the Blackadder TV series, in recent years I have been just as enamored with his series of historical walks and work with the TV series Time Team. So when I was at the library last week looking for something new, this poked its head out at me.As an autobiography, this is in depth. It is mostly quite dry reading, and if you are looking for something that is fall over laughing humorous you are in the wrong place. It has smatterings no doubt, but what this provides is a detailed run down of his life in show business, with practically every stage show he has participated in or directed or written or all three. If you aren't interested in shows that you've never heard of and are unlikely to ever see, then this may not be for you. However, if you are interested in Tony's life and loves, and how the decisions he made changed his life stream throughout, then this is a good read. It does get repetitive in places, but if you can wade through these it is rewardingly informative.

  • Thomas Brand
    2019-06-04 03:22

    This isn't one of the best autobiographies I've read, but is saved and given its 4th star by the charm of the author. I say that, as while Tony Robinson gives a thorough retelling of a fascinating life and career, including things I honestly never know about him, he never really digs into his own phycology. As a comparison, in approximately the same length book John Cleese only gets about thirty or so years, while Robinson manages over seventy. This doesn't mean this isn't worth the read, especially if you're a fan of his work (and who isn't a fan of at least something this man has worked of). What we have is a list of his career, the high and low lights, and his predominant thoughts about them at the time. I would have liked a little more insight into his thoughts and his life than we are given. A little more personal insight into the man, rather than just the career. But it's definitely a must read for any fan of Tony Robinson.

  • Alicia Pearson
    2019-05-29 07:20

    An Excellent book.

  • Colin Cheesman
    2019-06-16 09:16

    The iconic Baldrick puts pen to paper to draft a history of his life. It cracks along at a right old pace charting the career of the erstwhile actor, his loves, triumphs and losses. It is funny but has plenty of pathos and moments of reflection and sadness. Of course Tony is essentially a comic actor and writer with a genius for communicating to the common man or woman whoever they might be. There is one thing you need to be aware of - a certain nob obsession. Actors have few qualms and comic actors even less so there are a few tales to tell in that department - nothing smutty mind! There is also quite a lot of Labour politics too which I didn't mind at all.I enjoyed it but felt that like many biographies nowadays we learn little about what it was like to be Tony Robinson, how he felt and related to the people and environments around him.

  • Matt
    2019-05-26 09:25

    A pleasant surprise. I mostly think of time team and discworld when I think of Tony Robinson, but he has been a constant presence in TV for the past 30 or so years. Tony tells an interesting and for the most part, entertaining tale which really does pick up for the last third of the book, so much so that I didn't want to put it down.I was less interested in the Labour Party activities, but fortunately the anecdotes selected are amusing, and it doesn't spoil the book too much.It is interesting to hear someone articulate why it is they feel so betrayed by Blair though. An interesting point of view, if not one I personally subscribe to.

  • Kevin Murfitt
    2019-06-08 07:25

    I have often wondered what 'Baldrick' had done to deserve being knighted! And I had my own opinions about Mr Robinson, formulated from his numerous appearances on TV. But it turns out that Mr Robinson has been extremely busy, even in childhood in fulfilling his desire to be on the stage. A genuine hard working actor, writer, TV presenter and for him, a loving son, father, husband and lover... His passion for 'fairness' shines through in this book, which has driven his political activities and for this passion, he has been Knighted. A very readable narrative of his life so far.

  • Heather Headon
    2019-06-22 09:16

    I've got to be honest, I didn't get very much out of this book. I didn't really like the way that Tony Robinson wrote, but his life story is really interesting. I initially wanted to read this as I grew up watching Blackadder and Time Team, as well as Maid Marian and her Merry Men, so he had been a part of my life/TV watching from a young age.I think that it was for that reason that I felt that the first part of the book was quite slow moving; I was only really interested in the sections which were relevant to me. Perhaps that is unfair on Tony Robinson...

  • CuteBadger
    2019-06-05 08:16

    I'm not a particular fan of Tony Robinson but he's been around on TV for so many years that my interest was piqued enough to pick up his autobiography. It's an easy read, perhaps too easy, as everything seems to be presented in a superficial way - even divorces, serious illness, and death are described in a way which doesn't come close to conveying the actual emotion of each event. I found him quite irritating and don't think I'd like to spend much time with him. An interesting autobiography, but not one I could really say I liked.

  • Jon Chaisson
    2019-06-24 08:20

    A fun read from the man we all know either as Black Adder's dim sidekick Baldrick, or as the cheeky host of the long running series Time Team. There's a lot more to him than just those two roles, of course: a loving son and father, a voracious reader, and a fiercely dedicated actor's union rep. Lots of great stories to go around here.

  • Ray Daley
    2019-05-27 11:28

    If you read this book hoping to learn more about Blackadder, don't bother. Tony manages to gloss the entire thing in under a chapter. In fact he covers the Millenium special in more detail than the entire Blackadder saga. There's a bit about Time Team but not much, considering how long it ran for.There's next to nothing about Maid Marion which is very sad.

  • Claire
    2019-06-21 11:34

    Listened to as an audio-book; a very honest depiction, well written and read. So a good book, only my high esteem for him was destroyed by his honest portrayal of his life. I guess it's true what they say you never want to meet your heroes.

  • Alex Bright
    2019-06-19 03:30

    This was more than an autobiograpy. It was a journey through the history of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, from the point of view of an intelligent, socially-minded individual. Robinson's humour and voice shine through, providing an easy and engaging read.

  • Aj
    2019-05-29 04:31

    This book made me so, so, so happy. I loved reading about Robinson's youth and various projects, many of which I haven't known about or had access to in the U.S. He is a very interesting and multi-faceted man. A must-read for BritCom afficianados.

  • Lewis Hyam
    2019-06-20 07:32

    Both great background to the TV I've seen over the years including Blackadder and Timeteam. Plus an insight into Tony's life and broader experience- with some very funny stories and moments of sadness. Thank you - we'll worth reading!!

  • Peter
    2019-06-05 05:20

    “The paradox is that when you can get into right versus wrong bickering in personal relationships -- even if you believe you have won -- you have lost.”

  • Tim
    2019-06-15 05:23

    Someone else said this was the first autobiography that had made them think less of the person after. Not me, this book is hilarious but also brutally honest - as good biographies are.

  • Anne Forbes
    2019-06-22 08:23

    Good biography, but wouldnt read again.

  • Mat Webb
    2019-06-05 03:25

    Really disappointing! First time I've read an autobiography and thought less of the person after reading. Such a shame, he's quite full of himself, and I'm not really sure why.

  • David Galvani
    2019-05-26 05:34

    Interesting account of the actor's life, hammers his political allegiance home - pro-Blairite. Left wanting more of the Blackadder years, which is after all why we love Sir Tone.

  • Jennifer
    2019-06-01 03:21

    I was disappointed with this book. It's all that Chris Packham's fault. He's blown the whole autobiography/memoir thing out of the water this year and this is 'merely' a fairly conventional autobiography. I'd heard about it listening to him talk about it on the radio and expected great rather than good things. But I enjoyed it and found it as compelling as a decent crime novel.There is quite a lot of it and perhaps it would have been better in multiple volumes although it is hard to know where the breaks would be. Part of the problem is that Tony Robinson started the career part of his life really not so very long after his life had begun at all. The book is quite hard to follow in terms of a time line, but he does his best.... I think it is the nature of the acting/performing professions. What we see and hear about an actor's life is not necessarily how it is for the actor, who has umpteen irons in the fire at any one time but can be utterly consumed by what he is doing at the time.Tony doesn't always present himself as terribly likeable, perhaps in contrast to the impression we get from his work and other activities, and I was really quite surprised at how poor his impulse control has been at times. There is the usual sort of name dropping and critique of others' temperaments. There was praise for many talents but it somehow didn't come across as wave after wave of gush. I was impressed with the way he held my interest in the internal politics of the actors' union Equity and of the Labour Party. I would have liked more than a line or two on his experiences filming for Comic Relief in Africa. There were one or two people who could and perhaps should have been left out. I was also surprised that there was no mention of the work for which I perhaps know him second best to his fabulous Baldrick in Blackadder his Walking Through History... but he was interesting about programmes I'd never watched.

  • David Manns
    2019-05-26 10:30

    One of the most recognisable faces on British TV, Tony Robinson's autobiography is a thoroughly enjoyable read. The subtitle to the book is "My Story" and it's just that. Don't expect deep psychological soul searching. Do expect the tale of a much loved actor and presenter telling the story of his life with wit, candour and a nice line in self-deprecation.Robinson takes us through his life, from a child actor in the first stage production of Oliver, through drama school, struggling through the seventies in bit parts and regional theatre, to his big break as Baldrick in Blackadder, Who Dares Wins and the long running Time Team series. He is never less than honest, both about his shortcomings as an actor, husband and political activist.But he is passionate about what he believes in, whether that be the Labour Party, archaeology or the theatre. He never comes across as a "luvvie", but rather as a man who recognises his own limits, but plays to his strengths. An accomplished comic actor, a children's author, a documentary maker, Robinson has had an interesting life. So, nothing ground breaking or earth shattering, but a good, enjoyable book about a man who may not have had a cunning plan, but who nevertheless managed to carve himself a place in the nation's affections.

  • Vishal Shah
    2019-06-18 11:35

    I've grown up watching Sir Tony Robinson from playing the Sheriff of Nottingham Maid Marian and merry men to Baldrick and comrade Bala Blackadder and last of all his long time presenting Time Team that he has been presenting for a good couple of years. As i was in my local library looking for another book to read i saw this on the shelf, after reading a couple of pages I got drawn into it. The books shows his life as a stage performer, actor, father, presenter, activist and author. An interesting read.

  • Sue Wheildon
    2019-05-30 10:22

    A good read. It was very brave of Tony to reveal some very private details about himself.

  • Caroline
    2019-06-05 05:31

    An excellent read, well written and enjoyable. I never realised or probably even thought about how much of an actor Tony was before he became Baldrick. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-06-05 08:34


  • Caroline
    2019-06-22 05:32

    great read; a varied and interesting life.