It must seem strange to you that I've called a book Alanatomy. Anyone who has taken the time to see my stand-up performances or watched my chat show, Chattyman, knows that my body has hardly been kind to me—in fact there've been times when we've actually stopped talking to each other.... Balding, myopic, often flaky with psoriasis, back fat that hangs suspended like a cape, a voice that could strip varnish, an increasingly dodgy hip and even dodgier teeth. Why would you draw attention to it? you must ask. Couldn't you just call the book something else? Do you think the Great British Public is ready to pore over your body? Well, as I turn 40 and take stock of my showbiz life over the last 10 years or so, I have learnt to embrace my flaws and face my shortcomings. In fact, strange as it might seem, the things I hate about myself have become my trademark and I am slowly, begrudgingly learning to, if not love them, to at least live with them. I am ready now to take a long hard look at myself and that's what Alanatomy is. It's the story of my rise to fame: the joys, the traumas, the parties, the disappointments. Hopefully you will find it witty, fun, heartwarming, but more importantly honest, and that it will keep you entertained every time you pick it up. Alanatomy is the chance for you to get beneath my skin and see the real me because, and to continue the anatomical theme if I may, this showbiz existence can sometimes feel like an autopsy—picked at, probed and scrutinized with every inch of your body held up for analysis, but unlike an actual autopsy, you are very much alive. So I give you Alanatomy: The Inside Story. I am laying myself out on the slab for your entertainment; naked, stripped bare. Grab your scalpel, peel back the skin and go deep, have a good old probe around at my life so far. Yes, you are going to find guts, a fair bit of cheek, maybe even a little bit of gristle, but hopefully, you'll find a whole lot of heart.
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