top of page

HELEN LEDERER

Not That I'm Bitter
Star swirl

(my memoir)

Helen
Inside the flaps more about my memoir
Funny footage on the socials
Press - reviews, TV, radio and podcasts
Book Tour

inside the flaps... more about my memoir

get your copy now - what?! YES!!

About

You may or may not be aware that I’ve written a memoir.

If you would like to order a book, I will love you for ever. I realise ‘for ever’ is a tricky concept, but you can assume my love for you will be in play for at least the next five years - possibly more. Grab yours - before they sell out.

It’s a bit of a truth fest – but no toilet humour – well I don’t think so, best check – but these words below describe my alarmingly honest book which I’d like to think is quite accurate... and very nice talented people have given me VERY NICE QUOTES without me paying them.

A hilarious and alarmingly honest memoir by one of Britain’s first female stand-up comedians of the 80s, when Alternative Comedy created a new generation of TV heroes, and when women were seen as ‘high maintenance’ if they dared to send in a comedy script to the BBC.  ‘How did I get from being what my mother called a ‘show-off’, to an ’80s stand-up comedian? It’s not as hard as you might think...’

Helen Lederer’s face and wry, witty perspectives are unforgettable. A regular on the stand-up circuit and new-wave sketch shows that launched the careers of today’s comedy national treasures, she performed on stage and TV with other household names from that time.

But Not That I’m Bitter is more than the story of one decade. The child of a Czech wartime refugee, she was never part of the mainstream. Her powerful, frank, moving and characteristically funny memoir, reveals exactly how tough it was for a woman to break through. Even in the ground-breaking 1980s, it was as much a struggle for women to be seen and heard in comedy as in any boardroom or workplace, and just as hard to avoid predators.

 

Here in her first full account of her life, Helen Lederer is in joyous flow, mixing startling self-revelation with nail-sharp observation. How does humour help to cope with a lifelong battle with weight and low-self-esteem, diet-pill addiction, or dependence on steroid injections? How can laughter defeat the darker moments, despite enormous success, the constant self-sabotage of always feeling a failure?

 

There’s something in Helen Lederer’s life story that everyone can relate to. A memoir full of heart and just the right amount of bitterness, Not That I’m Bitter is a compelling, addictive mix of the sweet, the sour, and the genuinely laugh-out-loud.

Available in Hardback, eBook and Audiobook from all good retailers and independent bookshops. And my handbag.

“Dizzy, dippy and divinely funny Helen Lederer takes you on an insanely readable tour through her chaotically wonderful life. Under her costume of the madcap and the daft, there ticks a very, very smart brain and there beats a most warm and kindly heart. It’s a wonderful read.”
- Stephen Fry

“This wildly entertaining ride through Helen’s fabulous life is funny, adorable, and thought-provoking in equal measure, rather like the dazzling author herself.”

- Joanna Lumley
 

“Helen’s book is funny, wise, brilliant, and brave Just like its author. A fascinating trip through the life and times of one of the early (and not sufficiently recognised) heroes of Alternative Comedy.”
- Ben Elton

 

“Helen Lederer is the third funniest woman in the world.”

- Dawn French

“Helen is an open book, and this is a book you should open. Her progression through the comedy swamp of the eighties is fascinating, poignant and laugh-out-loudy.”
- Jo Brand

“Honestly funny, honestly truthful, from one of the pioneers of the 80’s comedy scene, when women on the circuit were as rare as unicorns.”
- Jenny Eclair

Arrow

funny footage... on the socials...

Here are some bits of footage that young people tell me are necessary to promote the book in a light and fun manner?

What's In Helen's Fridge
Helen Gets A Book Deal
Helen Gets A Podcast
Helen Gets A Magazine
Ep8 - Helen Commits Plagiarism
Helen Gets A Festival
Ep7 - Helen Enters Adulthood
Book Anxiety Countdown pt2
Ep9 - Helen's Done Well
Ep6 - Helen Trips as a Child
Ep5 - Helen Deals with Criticism
Ep4 - Helen Dreams of Stephen Fry
Ep3 - Helen feels sick
Ep2 - Helen may get arrested
Anxiety
Ep1 - Helen Tells the Truth
Pre-Order Now
Book

press... reviews, tv, radio & podcasts!

How To Be 60 with Kaye Adams

How To Be 60 with Kaye Adams

Helen Lederer on Why She's Not Bitter

Full Disclosure with James O'Brien

Full Disclosure with James O'Brien

Helen Lederer: "I've never been on the winning team when it matters"

Book Review - The Observer

Book Review - The Observer

Not That I'm Bitter is reviewed in The Observer

The Guardian

The Guardian

Not That I’m Bitter by Helen Lederer review – funny lessons from the comedy fringe

The Shift with Sam Baker

The Shift with Sam Baker

Helen talks to Sam about anxiety, failure & living an “alarmingly truthful” life.

The Guardian

The Guardian

Helen on envy, rejection, fun and fame: ‘I wanted it so badly – maybe that’s not normal’

Hoovering with Jessica Fostekew

Hoovering with Jessica Fostekew

The podcast about eating. Helen talks about her memoir, Not That I'm Bitter.

RHLSTP with Richard Herring

RHLSTP with Richard Herring

Book Club #96 - Richard talks to comedy legend Helen about her honest, hilarious and sad memoir.

Women's Own

Women's Own

Book review in Women's Own

Iain Dale All Talk

Iain Dale All Talk

Iain interviews Helen about getting through rejection in her career, being honest on stage and the changing comedy landscape, as well as plenty of stories from her memoir NOT THAT I'M BITTER.

Quick Book Reviews

Quick Book Reviews

Helen talks about her memoir and recommends some other titles too.

Channel 5 News

Channel 5 News

Helen chats to Dan Walker about her memoir Not That I'm Bitter

i Newspaper

i Newspaper

Rik Mayall warned me not to crash his laughs

Ken Bruce Greatest Hits Radio

Ken Bruce Greatest Hits Radio

Helen chats to Ken Bruce about her Golden Year

BBC Radio London Breakfast

BBC Radio London Breakfast

Helen chats to Salma El-Wardany

The Friendship File

The Friendship File

Helen and Tony Slattery's 41-year friendship has dealt with everything.

Today #9

Today #9

Helen talks about her memoir on Australian breakfast TV

BBC Radio Guernsey

BBC Radio Guernsey

Helen chats to Steph Watkins about her memoir

Women's Weekly

Women's Weekly

Zoe West shares Helen's Not That I'm Bitter as one of her Great Reads

BBC Mornings

BBC Mornings

Helen tells Connie McLaughlin why she isn't bitter in her brand new book.

Lights Camera Author

Lights Camera Author

Jim Junot interviews Helen

Ireland AM

Ireland AM

Helen chats about her new memoir on Ireland AM.

BBC Radio 4 - Loose Ends

BBC Radio 4 - Loose Ends

Helen Lederer joins Clive Anderson for conversation, music and comedy

ITV London News

ITV London News

Helen discussing her new memoir ‘Not That I’m Bitter’ with Carolyn Sim

Good Morning Britain

Good Morning Britain

Helen discusses her new memoir ‘Not That I’m Bitter’ with Susanna Reid and Ed Balls

Mumbelievable

Mumbelievable

Helen Lederer has just released her memoir "Not That I'm Bitter" and as well as plugging the book (gently) Helen talks to Sonia about her mum

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live

Helen with Gordon Smart, discussing her new memoir ‘Not That I’m Bitter’

Crushed

Crushed

Helen talks to Margaret Cabourn-Smith

BBC Radio 2 - The Michael Ball Show

BBC Radio 2 - The Michael Ball Show

Michael is joined by comedian and writer, Helen Lederer.

BBC Breakfast

BBC Breakfast

Helen chats about her memoir on BBC Breakfast

BBC Somerset

BBC Somerset

Helen talks to Andy Bennett about her new book and appearance at the Bath Comedy Festival

Love Reading

Love Reading

Deborah Maclaren in conversation with Helen Lederer

Namaste Motherf**kers

Namaste Motherf**kers

Still Crazy After All These Years with Helen Lederer

Times Radio - Off air with Jane and Fi

Times Radio - Off air with Jane and Fi

Helen discusses her new memoir 'Not That I'm Bitter'.

BBC Radio - Late Night Jo

BBC Radio - Late Night Jo

Helen discusses her new memoir 'Not That I'm Bitter'.

book tour... behind the scenes...

Very private... 

13 APRIL

Until Frome, I never knew the joys of  ‘porch signing’ in a book shop, but Harriet at Winstone's Hunting Raven Books Bookshop UK  did me proud. Even the local Mayor requested a selfie, but alas, not a book. I asked if he already had a copy of Not That I’m Bitter at home. He told me he didn’t.…      


Evening spent at the Bath Comedy Festival, where apart from being interviewed by a real actor who told the audience he had stepped out with one of the ‘names’ in my book (we all tried to guess who she might be), I was also presented with  the ‘Bath Plug Award’ for services to comedy 2024 by Nick Steel. Obviously, I cried. Hopefully the plug wasn’t taken out of someone’s actual bath, or they might be crying too. 

14 APRIL

BBC Radio 2 The Michael Ball Show (Listen from 1 hr 3 minutes in)

I get to meet Michael Ball. I deicide to refrain from singing. We agree this is best. He is lovely about the book. I am lovely about his hair, his personality and probably clothing... 

15 APRIL

I go to Chorley Wood Book Shop to be interviewed by a nice woman who also used to go out drinking in the 80’ so we decide to be friends. I am aware it will just be tea in the green room, so I sneak in a mini bottle of wine and pour it into a mug. Unfortunately, I only remembered to send footage of a film trailer to show at the start of the talk, a few hours before we start. We all agree this is quite late, but a very nice technician is setting up a screen and a laptop when I arrive. Everyone is very nice to him.

Frome
arrowLongPink.png
Michael Ball
Chorley Wood

16 APRIL

Audience With Helen in Richmond in Books on the Rise Bookshop. There is an actress in the audience from Emmerdale who asks good questions, and three gentlemen friends of Joan Collins who buy a book each - Joan says ‘hello’ to me, one of them tells me. I am chuffed. This is the coolest book shop happening ever. 

17 APRIL

ITV Good Morning Britain This goes well. Ed Balls appears to be excited; Susanna Reid says my book is well written. I thank her for this. A lot.

ITV London News I wear a different blouse but the same velvet jacket.

19 APRIL

Audience With Helen & Book Signing... Linghams Bookshop (Wirral) this is a glorious  book shop. They got the wine in specially for me. I have a choice of Chardonnay and one other make. I choose both, Linghams Booksellers. The shop is haunted - in a good way apparently, which adds cachet.  Wonderful audience. In the front row is a man who came to my Edinburgh show in 2018. He reminds me what subject I'm on, when I forget facts. I love him.

20 APRIL

BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends (Listen from 34 minutes in) I am in the presence of Clive Anderson which has always been a thrill. We have a play fight on air. I love this a lot. I’m experimenting with form. Clive has made notes about my book which I take as a caring gesture. I go home chuffed. 

Huddersfield Festival I love this town and the team and also Michelle who interviews me. It is very full, and the questions are funny. In fact, it feels like a house party. Lots of people buy my book. I  ask about their families in return. 

21 APRIL

Cambridge Literary Festival where I get interviewed by the astute and brainy Alex Clarke who, arranges for a dry martini to be handed to me on stage. I can’t remember the reason for the drink, but I happily drink it, on my own. The audience watch as I slur a few words....  Someone who used to work for M15 stays behind for a post-interview tipple, along with someone I was at school with but didn’t recognise.  We all party while people clear up around us. I sell loads of books. I decide this is a quality festival - partly because no one else has served a martini.

27 APRIL

Audience With Helen & Book Signing...... Yate Library after going to the wrong car park, I am crisply re directed to the right one. There is bunting galore of lemons and all manner of my book memorabilia displayed as well as cake. I ask two men in the audience to help me put up the screen. This proves interesting. We decide its faulty. Within five minutes of the talk, a hand goes up with a questions and we have the best discussion ever. I LOVE this library.

ITV News
Linghams
Loose Ends
Huddersfield
Yate Library

1 MAY

Channel 5 News with Dan Walker I wear a different blouse again as its television and people may well be making notes about my tops - but I'm sticking with the black jacket. Dan and I admire the news item before me which features some crocheted phalluses made by two women in the country. Then Dan says my book should be taken seriously. I later reflect that since we’ve both seen the phalluses, he may be needing to be focus on the graver aspects of my book, as way of contrast.

Iain Dale All Talk Podcast this is good and vigorous.

4 MAY

Guernsey Literary Festival I take a risk and share a dodgy moment that I experienced in Boots the chemist before the show. This is taken in good heart. I think. Jo Durrant very good interviewer. Sell loads and loads. I could live here I tell everyone. 

7 MAY

Chipping Campden Literature Festival – interviewed by Jo Durrant again but this time Jo is wearing a different outfit, I am not. I make a joke about being able to buy tea towels easily here. None walks out. I love the audience and they buy books. Brilliant festival.

10 MAY

RHLSTP with Richard Herring I love this a lot

Guernsey
Chipping Campden

17 MAY

Festival of Ideas - University of Hertfordshire I manage to keep people under one roof (well tent actually, as we are al fresco) nice questions at the end. We all agree that cancel culture is interesting. We leave it there.

25 MAY

Bath Literary Festival boasted a welcoming Green Room – it’s main asset being a FRIDGE. I immediately asked for a white wine and a nice mini bottle was handed over pronto. I sipped my wine, while sitting where Ruby Wax had sat a few days before me apparently. After this piece of news, I reacquainted myself with Becky Rogers - author and winner of The CWIP prize 2021 who was to be my interviewer. We pledge to have fun and also bring each of our books on stage with us, as we decide this isn’t boasting. The sound chap Ben obliges when I ask him to find some Ska music for walking in music. ‘Dave Andrews?’  he suggests, ‘fab ‘ I say, not knowing who Dave Andrews is  (Dave Andrews turns out to be excellent). I go off on a tangent about June Whitfield in a ‘M and S’ nightie, giving feed lines to Terry. And forget to be salacious and gossipy. Becky is very good. At the end, nice people buy books. Other people don’t. I’m sure they are nice too. Just not AS nice…

Bath Festival

25 MAY

Hay on Wye Festival. On the last day, as I sign the visitors book, I discover I have slept in the same guest house as Marian Keyes. What would we have said to each other I wonder, if we had bumped into each other going up the stairs, and past the umbrella stand of several sharp looking medieval swords? I’m being interviewed by Samira Ahmed and sharing the stage with the very funny Doon MacKichan.  Before we go on, I am asked to remove one earring - for the sound man to attach the Brittany Spears style microphone. Apparently, it will rattle if the earring is left in, he tells us firmly. I cave in (‘my ear has a mind of its own and will close up’, I tell him half jokingly, but take it out). After more banter/protest, Doon ends up removing hers as well. We both discuss if this was oppression or not. On stage. I experiment with inserting some gossipy sound bites in the middle of the discussion, to hopefully be picked up in the press. Doons’ are better than mine. It’s not a competition though, just because we are two women who have written memoirs. Hel no, we also have a laugh.  No really, we do.        

Hay on Wye Festival
bottom of page