Billy T

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Billy T

Matt Elliott

Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers (New Zealand)

Billy T James was a larger-than-life comedian who gave us some of our best belly laughs, creating enduring characters as he poked the borax at race relations in New Zealand. His characters were Kiwi through and through and we loved him for it. When he died in his early forties, of complications following a heart transplant, we were shocked - first by his premature death, and then by one of the first highly publicised interracial body-snatching incidents. His widow, Lynn Matthews, and a number of Billy's closest friends who have kept their silence until now, have cooperated with author Matt Elliott to tell the story behind the cheeky grin. What emerges is the shy, self-doubting man the public never saw, and the death threats and exploitation of his generous nature that placed intolerable strain on the man who only ever wanted to make us laugh. The result is perceptive, poignant, funny and endearing - just like Billy T.

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