First published on www.theguardian.com
It used to be that for a guaranteed boost to sales, all publishers needed to do was sign up a celebrity, get a book out of them – by their own hand or not – put it in the shops and watch the cash roll in.
But new figures show that perhaps Britain is falling out of love with the celebrity memoir, with few of the genre making the top 10 chart despite new offerings from the comedy stalwarts Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Graham Norton and Paul Merton.
Only the memoir of Lynda Bellingham, the “Oxo mum” and Loose Woman who died of cancer in October this year, has made it into the top five. Her book, Something I’ve Been Dying to Tell You, sold 37,118 copies, according to sales monitors Nielsen Book, making it to No 4 in the chart.