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ArticlesUp Front 09/15

Up Front 09/15

I vaguely remember one of our contributors once writing in the Observer Food Monthly that he had asked his editor if he could promote his new book in his monthly column. The kindly editor said yes, so the contributor did just that. I’ve just successfully tried the same tack, so here is a short explanation of why I haven’t been at home on a full-time basis for about the last two years. Next month Random House is publishing a book I have written about owner of The Week, Felix Dennis. For those who may not have heard of him he was an Englishman who described his life as consisting of a series of unlikely events. He spent much of his youth playing in R&B bands; endured and eventually won the longest conspiracy trial in British legal history; recorded a chart single with John Lennon; co-authored the first full-length biography of Muhammad Ali; became one of the richest self-made individuals in Britain and became addicted to crack cocaine—during which time he claimed to have spent $100 Million on drugs and women, before eventually going cold turkey to quit. By the time I first met him he owned properties in Mustique, London, Warwickshire, New York and Connecticut and had built up hugely successful companies in England and America. As well as writing an enormously successful book on how to get rich, he also launched two of the most successful media brands in the world. In his late middle age he developed a compulsion to write, and toured the UK and America reciting poetry from his ten published poetry books. Sadly, whilst working on his biography, the throat cancer that we hoped he may recover from spread to his lungs and he passed away whilst working on yet another poetry book. These few lines can’t begin to scratch the surface of what I discovered over the last two years, which I have to admit, have been some of the most challenging of my life. Apart from trying to produce a magazine each month, I spent dozens of fascinating and often harrowing hours with a man who had all the toys that life could offer, but had run out of time to play with them. More Lives Than One: The Extraordinary Life of Felix Dennis is published on 10th September by Random House. I leave it to you to decide what you think of him.

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