This is a quite extraordinary story. Martin Muncaster describes his life experiences in a way which has surprises in every chapter. He writes in detail, often with very personal and emotional descriptions, about many aspects of his family. The book starts with a life-threatening road accident followed by even more challenging incidents. He goes on to describe how, as a young man from a somewhat aristocratic family background, he had to adjust himself to life on the ‘lower deck’ for part of his National Service in the Royal Navy, but eventually, after much hard work and perseverance, acquired the coveted commission (and cap badge!). And it was this same determination and personal strength which carried him through the ups and downs of his life and his career in broadcasting.
Along the way, there are many lighter anecdotes, starting from his early days at stage school, then working as an actor in Canada before returning to pursue his career in television and radio. As a well-known presenter, he had an insight into the world of both commercial television and the BBC, and he describes his encounters with many well-known people including Sir Laurence Olivier and Richard Dimbleby. In the background throughout the book is the inspiration provided by his father, the renowned marine and landscape artist, Claude Muncaster.
There are also vivid descriptions of travel experiences in South Africa, Canada and Scotland, but it is all interspersed with family and personal tragedies which remind the reader that even familiar faces and voices have another private life we don’t know of.