BONKERS - MY LIFE IN LAUGHS by Jennifer Saunders

A quick google search reveals 'bonkers' means mad, crazy, mentally unbalanced, drunk, bananas, wild - you get the drift. Which this book isn't. Very misleading title. Jennifer Saunders doesn't come across as 'bonkers' at all, not a jot, but someone blessed with a finely tuned sense of humour who just happened to find her equally funny soul sister Dawn French, and the rest is history. Two totally different women, who had this really quite extraordinary ability to create some of the funniest television ever. She is actually quite ordinary and normal really, which is what makes this memoir so accessible and enjoyable.

I have always wondered if Jennifer is the quieter of the two, the more introverted, and reading this memoir does confirm this. It is almost as if she fell into the comedy life, and even though she doesn't try to fight it, she does not come across as wanting to have her name in lights. It just all seems to have sort of happened. She writes of her very ordinary childhood, her mediocre school years, going to teachers' college because there was nothing else. It was her ongoing friendship with Dawn French, and the two of them simply being in the right place at the right time.

Through her days doing live comedy with Dawn, the beginning and hilarious success of French and Sanders, the creation of Absolutely Fabulous when she really was thrust into the public limelight, the days of being a movie star with Shrek, moving into script writing - she regales us with it all . Plus of course her personal life - marriage, children, and what was a surprise, her breast cancer. Her writing hardly reaches great literary heights, there aren't huge amounts of self analysis going on except perhaps for her stint in India with Goldie Hawn. Everything is kept light and easy, and if nothing else, Jennifer gives us more of an insight into the world of how TV comedy is made. Entertaining and fun. Definitely not 'bonkers'. 

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