Hugh Massingberd

Bounty Bar Bates

Otherwise Engaged: The Life of Alan Bates

By

Hutchinson 308pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Serialisation, which tends to be equally crass and sensational whether in broadsheet or tabloid form, often seems something of a mixed blessing. Certainly the treatment given to this book – which appeared to aim at provoking the crude reaction, ‘Blimey! Batesy was a bender’, and to be stuffed with ‘exploded quotes’ along the lines of (I paraphrase) ‘The trouble with Alan, darling, is that he didn’t know whether he was Arthur or Martha!’ – made me mutter, ‘Surely Sir Alan, one of our most deservedly popular performers, deserved better than this?’

Follow Literary Review on Twitter