Fast approaching his fortieth birthday, Andrew is cornered at a family gathering by the nine-year-old son of his brother-in-law's sister. Having seen him as a talking head on TV, the boy asks, 'What are you?' It is a question so frank and simple that Andrew doesn't have an immediate answer to hand.
So, with hilarious self-deprecation, he sets out to retrace how he got to where he is today. Seventeen precarious jobs in seventeen years: from trolley collector at Sainsbury's to high-flying film critic sipping cocktails with Will Smith and Jerry Bruckheimer on a yacht in Cannes. This is Andrew's tale of rubbing shoulders with the world's biggest stars: pissing off Christini Ricci, having his hairstyle mocked by Noel Gallagher, trying not to wake Clive James from his afternoon nap, having his apple pie eaten by Bob Geldof, and somehow stumbling into the next dream job.
Along the way, he's been the world's worst gossip columnist, an almost-hip young gunslinger at the NME, a Radio 1 DJ (enduring a hellish Radio 1 roadshow in a car park in Birmingham), an ITV presenter, EastEnders scriptwriter, ghost writer for a major TV personality and much, much more. It charts a world of hedonism, mundanity, towering egos, shallow idiocy and occasional moments of mind-blowing joy. And, of course, being sent shit in a box.
Collins' easygoing charm is hard to resist - a welcome visitor into any home that houses a Nick Hornby or a Tony Parsons
All recounted in a wittily self-deprecating style. As good an insight into magazine life as you'll get
Entertaining from start to finish
It's Almost Famous for grown-ups. Witty music journo Collins describes a life of rubbing shoulders with the stars
A punchy self-help book for aspiring journalists