Give Me Ten Seconds

by John Sergeant | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0330484907 Global Overview for this book
Registered by spike1972 of Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on 7/3/2004
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by spike1972 from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, July 3, 2004
From Amazon.co.uk:

A deliciously funny insider account of British politics and of the BBC from one of our most highly regarded and well-liked broadcasters. John Sergeant is ITN's Political Editor and before that spent 30 years at the BBC coalface, latterly as the Corporation's political correspondent. He is widely respected both by the denizens of the Houses of Parliament and fellow journalists. More importantly, his appearances on shows like Radio 4's News Quiz, Have I Got News for You and Room 101 have proved him to be an inspired comic turn. This memoir will take us from his rather curious childhood, the son of decidedly eccentric parents to his flirtation with show business as part of the sixties satire boom - he starred in revue with Alan Bennett, and from his early years in journalism on the Liverpool Post to his thirty years at the BBC. Memorably handbagged by Margaret Thatcher on the steps of the Paris Embassy as she lost the leadership contest, and the man to whom Ron Davis confessed his midnight perambulations on Clapham Common, Sergeant has been the man on the spot in most of the major news stories of the last twenty years. His mordant wit, keen sense of the absurd and acute powers of analysis pervade the book. He has a wealth of killingly funny anecdotes featuring the dottier members of both Houses of Parliament and his understanding of the labyrinthine workings of Westmister - and of the corridors of Broadcasting House - is second to none

Journal Entry 2 by spike1972 from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, August 1, 2004
Ok, I've had at least one request for this, so it will shortly be going out on a bookring. If you're interested pls PM me, with your BC name, location, and your postal preferrences.

Playing:

mastulela (UK).

Yiremyahu (UK).

MarianFrench (UK).

Journal Entry 3 by spike1972 from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, August 9, 2004
Posted today to mastulela. If anyone else would like to join this ring, please let me know.

Journal Entry 4 by Mastulela from Nuneaton, Warwickshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 10, 2004
arrived today, thank-you. I do enjoy politics and find Sergeant both perceptive and witty. I hope to have this on its way shortly.

Journal Entry 5 by Mastulela from Nuneaton, Warwickshire United Kingdom on Friday, August 13, 2004
I enjoyed this book. It was well-written. John Sergeant comes across as a very straight, somewhat self-deprecating person with a good sense of humour. His university name-dropping chapter was tedious, but put in context, it did offer an insight into the old boys network as well as evoking nostalgic memories of the 60s and 70s. While he has clearly had close contact with senior politicians including at least four prime ministers, he remains diplomatically reticent in his opinions without becoming too bland. I think the main interest of the book is his insights into the workings of the BBC - particularly useful when thinking about the Hutton Report.

Posted to Tiremyahu

Journal Entry 6 by Yiremyahu on Monday, August 16, 2004
Received today. Thanks!

Journal Entry 7 by Yiremyahu on Sunday, September 5, 2004
This was an interesting book to read. His career covered a long time and there were several humerous moments. The story gives an entertaining view of life at the BBC, and the journalist's-eye-view of the events he has covered are different to the versions we normally see on TV. :)

Will be on its way to MarianFrench when I get round to posting it...

Journal Entry 8 by MarianFrench from Buxton, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Book arrived today. Thank you, Marian

Journal Entry 9 by MarianFrench from Buxton, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 29, 2004
This book was interesting, I thought, but not the rip-roaring read that it claims on the front cover. I was interested in the journalists view of politics but I don't think I really got an insiders view, just some funny stories that occurred to him during the time. Thanks Spike, though. for lending it. Marian

Journal Entry 10 by spike1972 from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, October 21, 2004
"John Sergeant" landed back in safely this morning! Thanks Marian for sending it back, and thanks to everyone for helping to complete the Ring ;o)

It'll go back to Mt TBR, but is still available for further travels, while I work my way up Mt tbr ;o)

Journal Entry 11 by spike1972 from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Friday, October 22, 2004
I'm just changing the Status for this to RES, as Beebarf has asked to read it. I'll get it into the post to her in the near future.

This is going out on another mini-ring. Playing so far:

Beebarf (UK).

JoeSoap (UK). <-- currently here.

aubriel (UK).

turquoisefloyd (UK).

Of course if anyone else would like to read it, please just let me know ;o)

Journal Entry 12 by spike1972 from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 8, 2005
Posted today, on its way to Beebarf.

Journal Entry 13 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Monday, February 14, 2005
This was waiting for me on my return to the UK. I only meant to dip into it, but ended up finishing it over the weekend!

It's a light and entertaining read, but I felt that I never really got to know the man behind the microphone. He never really seems to voice an opinion one way or the other, although I guess that's not surprising as he's still working as a political editor.

He does seem to have a knack of being in the right place at the right time, but as with most things, I doubt his career has been as easy as he makes it seem.

As for politics - the BBC makes Parliament look like a nursery school!

Thanks muchly Spike - let me know if it is coming straight back to you or to someone else first.

Journal Entry 14 by beeofgoodcheer at on Thursday, March 31, 2005

Released 16 yrs ago (3/31/2005 UTC) at

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Mailed 31/03

Journal Entry 15 by JoeSoap from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, April 10, 2005
Wow! I received the book last week and had meant to journal it on the day it arrived... then I started reading it and just didn't want to put it down. I'm about two-thirds of the way through it already and will hopefully be able to send it on its way in the next week or so.

Brilliant read so far :)

Journal Entry 16 by JoeSoap from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, May 12, 2005
I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never really considered John Sergeant to be an interesting chap… but it certainly seems that I should have.

What a cracking read. A well-written, captivating and humorous account of Sergeant’s life with just the right mix of personal and professional experiences, most of which are written in such a way that you really feel his happiness at reminiscing.

I’m looking forward to sending this gem on to the next reader.

Journal Entry 17 by JoeSoap from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 24, 2005
It's winging its way to you now Aubriel. Hope you enjoy it.

Journal Entry 18 by aubriel from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 26, 2005
Arrived this morning with most auspicious timing as I picked up the last book off my TBR pile yesterday and would have actually had to have bought another book soon otherwise :-o LOL

Many thanks

Journal Entry 19 by aubriel from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, June 24, 2005
I really enjoyed reading this one. Admittedly, 'Give me ten seconds' is my first ever autobiography (not read any biographies either btw). Also, I think it helped that I took it on holiday with me and it was read on lazy sunny mornings with a nice cup of tea.


Journal Entry 20 by abitstormyout from Ely, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Received today from fellow bookcrosser aubriel!! Thanks for sending it along and thanks to Spike1972 who started this bookring. I've already read 4 pages just after opening the parcel!!!

Journal Entry 21 by abitstormyout from Ely, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Hurrah! I finally finished this last night. My apologies for having it for over two years!!!

I found John Sergeant an amiable and entertaining companion through his life but I still felt something was lacking, that there were gaps and bits were rushed and weren't as detailed as I might've liked. The last few years felt a bit sparse, he didn't make much mention of Blair coming to power, for example. But still, I'm glad I read it at last! Incidentally, I saw John Sergeant do his live "Evening With" show at the Radlett Centre in Hertfordshire last year and he's even more entertaining in person; he has such great comic timing, probably why he attempted to break into comedy in the first place.

I want to read John Simpson's books soon but I need to track down the first one as I've managed to grab numbers 2 and 3 on my travels!

Will send back to Spike as soon as I can get to the Post Office.

Journal Entry 22 by spike1972 from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, September 29, 2007
Mr Sergeant arrived home safely this morning.

Thanks to all who sailed in him.

Or something...

Journal Entry 23 by spike1972 from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, August 4, 2008
I think this will be my next read.

Journal Entry 24 by spike1972 from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, August 17, 2008
I quite enjoyed this book as some of John Sergean's charm and wit was in evidence, although, I suppose unsurprisingly, it was very 'political' in places, and that's not really a topic that interests me.

It was interesting to see how he handled the many personalities that he came up against during his career, though.

Journal Entry 25 by spike1972 at Cardiff Bay in Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, August 30, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (8/30/2008 UTC) at Cardiff Bay in Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom

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I'll release this today on the Cardiff Release Walk (possibly in front of the Welsh Assembly building).

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