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Summary

Featuring exclusive interviews with '90s icons Pat Sharp, Diane Youdale (a.k.a. 'Jet' from Gladiators), Will Macdonald from TFI Friday and Blur's Dave Rowntree. Plus a bonus track with James Acaster.

'This is a book about growing up in the '90s told through the thing that mattered most to me: the television programmes I watched. For my generation, television was the one thing that united everyone. There were kids at my school who liked bands, kids who liked football and one weird kid who liked the French sport of petanque, however, we all loved Gladiators, Neighbours and Pebble Mill with Alan Titchmarsh (possibly not the third of these).'

In his first memoir, Josh Widdicombe tells the story of a strange rural childhood, the kind of childhood he only realised was weird when he left home and started telling people about it. From only having four people in his year at school, to living in a family home where they didn't just not bother to lock the front door, they didn't even have a key.

Using a different television show of the time as its starting point for each chapter, Watching Neighbours Twice a Day... is part-childhood memoir, part-comic history of '90s television and culture. It will discuss everything from the BBC convincing him that Michael Parkinson had been possessed by a ghost, to Josh's belief that Mr. Blobby is one of the great comic characters, to what it's like being the only vegetarian child west of Bristol.

It tells the story of the end of an era, the last time when watching television was a shared experience for the family and the nation, before the internet meant everyone watched different things at different times on different devices, headphones on to make absolutely sure no one else could watch it with them.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Josh Widdicombe (P)2021 Bonnier Books UK

What listeners say about Watching Neighbours Twice a Day...

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Really? We’re still doing this type of stuff

I really like Josh as a performer but this book was just so weak. Remember Gladiators? Fun House? Yes…we do and it’s been done to death, usually on Channel 5, with C-listers regaling us with weak observations. In this book Josh takes the often breathless role of chief observational comic and within 3 chapters I was done. Didn’t we do the “remember Spangles, Raleigh Choppers, white dog poo and finding jazz mags in the park” shtick about 20 years ago? This is just a re-hashed and more modern version but not particularly well delivered or funny. Sorry, but I’d steer we’ll clear and choose something a bit more original.

9 people found this helpful

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  • M3
  • 22-09-21

In the best way, this is what you’d expect

I am more or less the same age as Josh - so am, admittedly, the target audience for this. Likely because of that, I really enjoyed this.

There’s a lovely mix of broad strokes covering TV, along with Josh’s own personal experiences of growing up.

If you were a teenager in the nineties, much of this will feel familiar - but that’s the point. There’s comfort in that, especially as Josh’s writing style is warm and funny. That’s also true of his narration.

The lack of surprises is a positive. This is the book that’s promised and delivered - and, for me, that’s exactly what I wanted.

6 people found this helpful

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Not going to lie to you

I think we can all agree that the audiobook was a lovely bit of business

5 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

I really thought this would be hilarious, but instead it was very boring. I didn't get past chapter 2 because it was so bad.

4 people found this helpful

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Nostalgic Must Listen

I've been a fan of Josh after he released his podcast lockdown parenting hell, he and Rob gave me lots of laughs during lockdown, which I needed...I have 3 kids under 7. This is a must read, I finished it so quickly and the interviews are an added bonus. This book is the ultimate trip down memory lane - I wonder if Amazon sell Gladiator merchandise, I'm tempted to 'try this at home' now I'm all grown up!

4 people found this helpful

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The Sign of a Good Book...

This was a fantastic audio book to start my year. When it is perpetually gloomy and grey, and you're coming down from that Christmas/New Year high, you need something to help pick you back up and make you laugh.
Josh Widdicombe's audio book expertly captures the TV culture of the 90's (whether you grew up in deepest darkest Dartmoor or not) and brings you chapter after chapter, wave upon wave, of hilarious nostalgia.
Whether its your childhood with Funhouse and Knightmare. Or your school days with Badger Girl and Look and Read. Hiding behind the sofa from Ghostwatch. Saturday night TV with Mr.Blobby and Noel Edmunds. Football at the Euro's. As well as more serious episodes of the 90's such as New Labour and the death of Princess Diana. This book is teeming with recollections and insights that anyone who grew up in this era will resonate with...or in my case laugh out loud to in the middle of Aldi and have everyone stare.
As an audio book this, to me, surpasses the physical format (still buy it anyway), as Mr. Widdecombe delivers it with the same warm, dweebish (HIS WORD NOT MINE) wit, that he has come to be known for. Even the acknowledgements are funny! The audio book also comes with extra interviews, including an interview with Josh himself by Acaster about how he went about constructing the book.
This might not be the most profound or literary book you will read or listen to, but it is certainly one of the most memorable. The sign of a good book is that you are sad when you have finished it. To use a movie metaphor...I have seen The Godfather, but I have also seen Uncle Buck. I know which one is the superior film, but I also know which one I will watch the most. I will be listening to this again.
Richard Medway

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tremendous

An amazing book from an amazing stiff neck. A proper nostalgia fix for me and I cannot believe how much I had forgotten from my childhood.

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A warm cuddle of 90s nostalgia goodness

Like most who may read this book, I was a child of the 90s and couldn't get enough of this nostalgia-thon. Chapter after chapter of memories flooding back via Josh and his love of TV. It really does feel at times as though you're sitting with a friend, chatting about some of the most landmark TV moments of your life. I particularly liked the glimpses we got of Josh's Devon based upbringing, and how events married in with TV shows that came and went as he grew up.

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An interesting view of the 90s

Not a bad book, and I enjoyed it much more than Rob Becketts book, but like many comedians over the last 2 year that have just written a book as fast as they can due to covid.

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A great stroll down memory lane

I’m a wee bit older than Josh Widdecombe, but I remember so many of the programmes he describes. The interviews with Jet from Gladiators and Wiiiiiill from THIF are really enjoyable as a little plus for the audio book. It’s a very entertaining listen. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ASHLEY
  • 25-09-21

Loved learning about the shows in the UK

I’m from the US and have never seen most of the shows, but it doesn’t matter - I really enjoyed learning about them! Josh Widdicome is one of my favorite comedians and hosts one of my favorite podcasts, so I knew this book would be excellent, and it exceeded expectations.

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  • DJ Proxi
  • 02-12-21

Just Wonderful

Those that follow Josh in his other ventures won’t be surprised that he has chosen to take us on this particular autobiographical trip down memory lane but he executes this look into the 90’s through the eyes of most of us 30 something’s with lazer accurate humor and dissection.

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  • Ian Brassett
  • 21-11-21

Superb

Brilliant book. Great narration. Fun stories of times fondly remembered. James Acaster was a cool surprise