The book is an autobiography come biography about Vivian Mackerrell and about Colin’s own life ,Vivian may be part of the inspiration for the film character Withnail from the film Withnail and I .Now Bruce Robinson has said he was part of inspiration and knew Vivian when they shared a house whilst at drama school ,Colin Knew Vivian from an earlier time growing up in Nottingham .THE book starts with a bit about both there childhoods and Colin’s reason for writing the book .The first thing he does is trying to find relatives meeting his brother and his partners .He also contacts Bruce Robinson he didn’t want to be interviewed but offers photos and letters also other people Colin may talk too .Vivian grew in Nottingham spending time in his late teens round the playhouse in Nottingham this sparked an interest in acting and lead to him going to london to study where he meets Bruce ,David Dundas a musician and composer ,Micheal Elphick a fellow actor ,they live the usual student life drink meeting women etc .post college Vivian struggled as a jobbing actor ,he had talents but was difficult at time ,with his acid wit and wry humour ,Eventually he made his way back to live in Nottingham ,had a great partner Kate who he was close too ,he always drank and loved pub culture being sat in a pub talking to people ,he worked on and off over the years for the designer Paul Smith a friend of his from his days in Nottingham ,eventually life caught up with Vivian and he spent time in hospital and had some fun at times whilst in hospital ,he lived a colourful and eventful life.

“It’s a present from Dodgy Dave ,the fucker who stole my television .He was working at Raleigh and I bet him he couldn’t nick me a bike .Well he did it in bits ”

I can’t imagine you ever riding a bike

but it’s not any old bike ,It’s a Raleigh chopper .A real seventies icon .He’s been nicking parts for weeks .The rest is in my back shed you don’t fancy putting it together do you ?

a friend notices Vivian television is missing but there are some handlebars in his front room.

I loved this book ,knew I would like most people of my generation the film Withnail and I is a real icon ,so this biography of the man who may have inspired the character was a must read for me .Now whether or not he did inspire Withnail doesn’t matter Vivian’s own story is a real touching story ,not one person who meet him seems to have a bad words in fact the opposite he seems to be a fondly remember guy who like a drink and had a huge if under used talent as an actor .i m sure in most big towns there are a number of Vivian’s the guy who tells wonderful stories in the pub as you sit and have a drink with him.A true testament to a true english eccentric ,he like the actors he admired Harris ,Burton was a large than life figure and truly deserved this touching portrait by Colin Bacon.

September 2010


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