Balls and Glitter is Craig’s remarkable life story, beginning with the tale of his escape from his small-town home in Ballarat, Australia, aged just fifteen, to embark on a career as a song-anddance man (and drag queen), and revealing the intimate secrets of his straight marriage and gay relationships, as well as the treachery and heartbreak that accompanied them. Hear all the details of Craig’s fascinating career as a performer, choreographer, director and – most recently – as a TV star on Strictly, Fame Academy and Celebrity MasterChef. All Balls and Glitter is unmissable, packed with breathtaking backstage gossip and showbiz secrets from one of the most captivating men on television.

I’m not much of an autobiography reader. Those that I do read are usually authored by British comedians. It seems out of place then to be reading an autobiography of a dancer. Particularly one who’s most famous for being a picky judge on a TV based dance contest. You see, my partner is a huge fan of strictly come dancing and decided to indulge herself with reading of this text, once she had finished she left it lying around the house. Upon discovering the book, I read the first page with the aim of causing mischief; throwing out sarcastic comments. This isn’t something that I would normally do, but on this occasion decided to ignore the old adage of not judging a book by its cover. Craig Revel Horwood’s orange face, gaping grin and pure white teeth, combined with a banner that states “contains all the latest gossip” was enough for me to dismiss it as a trashy kiss and tell story. But after the first page and discovering it was an actual autobiography, I decided to give a chance. “I’ll read the first chapter” I told myself; “I’ll then unleash my attitude on her”. That one chapter was enough to hook me.

Harwood on SCD1Strictly Come Dancing shall thusly be known comes across as a privileged 2I must have poor hearing because I do not detect a trace of an Ozzy accentBritish man who enjoys ripping apart celebrity performances. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Craig writes about his life events in a fantastic witty and factual manner whilst still being able to present is feelings with a level of intimacy that allows everyone to relate. He describes the events of his life with honesty, integrity and impartiality. Even those that are less than easy to recount such as the story of his inebriated, gun-totting farther.

The so-called “latest gossip” does not come across seedy or like it’s merely there to sell, but are stories about people has met and worked with and is always honest about those events. There is no slander or bad mouthing, no expose of others secrets. Just his side of stories that have appreciated in the press and, generally, how fantastic other people are.

This memoir is not as it first appears. It’s an inspiration story of an incredibly hard working individual who against all odds makes achieves a level of success within his field that he should be proud of and a passionate recount of the journey he made to get there. It’s factual, funny and where necessary is able to evoke empathy for the not so great situations and circumstances he has had to face. A tabloidesque gossip fuelled expose this is not. To sum up in three syllables its fab-u-lous.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Strictly Come Dancing shall thusly be known
2. I must have poor hearing because I do not detect a trace of an Ozzy accent