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There's an awful lot of bubbly in Brazil by Alan Brazil with Mike Parry

Release date: 03rd August, 2007
Publisher: Highdown Publishing

List Price: £7.99
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The art of making a job look and sound easy is a difficult one to master, yet regular listeners to TalkSport radio frequently remark just how Alan Brazil makes the task of presenting his cult show appear so straight forward. Put most of his admirers in front of a microphone, however, and the vast majority of them would clam up faster than one of Carlos Tevez's lawyers.

There is great skill involved in moving a radio show along with sufficient pace and content to make it continually interesting and Brazil regularly achieves this; it helps enormously that he's one of the boys, one not averse to recounting tales of alcoholic excess and the inevitable aftermath which most of us have encountered. His delivery has been likened to listening to your best mate: he often makes you wonder whether you were actually there, but were so out of it that you can't remember. It's a skill which belies an enormous amount of hard work.

Yet it was not as a media personality that Alan Brazil first came to the sports fan's attention, but as a fine centre forward who won the UEFA Cup with Ipswich Town. It was only following a recurring back injury which ended his football career that Alan Brazil re-invented himself as a bon viveur and boy, can he vive.

He enjoyed his finest footballing spell at Portman Road. A strong, sharp forward not afraid to get stuck in, under Sir Bobby Robson's guidance, he became a late-70's version of Mark Hughes before moving onto White Hart Lane and subsequently, to Old Trafford.

Bubbly is not what might be called a 'traditional' football autobiography, laden with stats and a compulsory playing history from the age of four with far too many photos of school teams and Mr Macintrye the sports master who encouraged him so much during his early days (you get the picture). Nonetheless, Mike Parry has done a good job of highlighting Brazil's playing career high points and the lows which included two consecutive league runners-up spots (to Aston Villa and Liverpool) in the early 1980s. In fairness, neither writer nor subject harp on about this, preferring to concentrate upon successes.

Indeed, the reader will find himself happily chuckling as another amusing story concerning one of the many scrapes and japes into which he and Mike `Porky' Parry get into as they stagger from one alcohol-influenced (invariably Champagne) event to another.

While still playing football, Brazil began taking an extended interest in horse racing, a hobby which duly developed into another string to his multi-faceted bow. He now owns the Alan Brazil Racing Club, an ideal excuse for him to transport the TalkSport studio down to Cheltenham for a week to enjoy the town's racing Festival. Here he can also sample the wide variety of surrounding restaurants that appreciate his presence as he can often spend money like it's going out of fashion.

This is not the most taxing book you'll ever read, but that does not make it any less worthy of reading. It doesn't pretend to be cutting-edge literature, although many of us could learn from Alan Brazil's willingness to work hard and make the best of any given situation. He's done it in football, in the media and in his business: what is it about some people? Read Bubbly and you may conclude that being prepared to have a laugh (at yourself as much as the situation you're in) may actually be the answer to Alan Brazil's undoubted success.


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