Review | The Soundtrack To My Life by Dermot O'Leary (@radioleary)

29 October 2014


Publisher: Hodder
Pages: 352

Dermot O'Leary has always loved music. Throughout his life and career, music has been a constant companion, best friend, confidant and at times, tormentor. The Soundtrack to My Life is Dermot's personal memoir of a life in music told through the songs that were playing at key moments in his life. With a wonderful gift for storytelling, Dermot describes his journey from a childhood in Colchester with his Irish family, to some of the biggest jobs in TV and radio in the UK. It's a story which is accompanied, in every scene, by music. Dermot would be the first to admit, they are not all great songs. This isn't Desert Island Discs; the songs chose him, not the other way round. Dermot went to his first gig at the age of nine, and saw Irish troubadour Brendan Shine, he roller-skated to Baby I Can't Wait by Nu Shooz and got his first job in TV while the Macarana was playing everywhere. Constantly. But, other songs playing in the background to his life - songs by The Smiths, Elbow, The Pogues or Bruce Springsteen, are tracks & artists which he truly loves and will always love, and not just for the memories they evoke.Funny, engaging and full of surprises, this is Dermot's memoir and his essential soundtrack to his life.

I, being a terrible fan, didn't find out about this book until my friend text me to say I mustn't make any plans for a Wednesday coming up as we were going to Dermot's book signing. My reaction was sign me up because there's no way I am missing that. So I attended his opening book signing in London with said friend, sat on the front row of during his informal chat about the book and I knew I couldn't wait to read it and with my holiday just around the corner I bought it on my Kindle (yes, I had a hardback but I didn't want to ruin it). 

The Soundtrack To My Life is Dermot O'Leary's autobiography and tells his life through the medium of music. Each chapter in the book is dedicated to a song that reflects a certain time in Dermot's life (some amazing but some not so much like the Macarena but he apologised for that so I forgive him) as he undertook his journey from his youth in Colchester to his job as the presenter of one of the UK's biggest Saturday night entertainment shows, The X Factor. 
I have been a massive fan of Dermot since his days on Big Brother's Little Brother and I vaguely remember his T4 days. Although BBLB was the big thing that introduced me to Dermot and I loved getting to read an look into his life through the songs that he mean something to him and link to life changing events. 

I loved the way Dermot wrote this book, it didn't sound like he was telling you his life story. It read like he was talking to you and I could just imagine him sat in front of you just recalling these amazing life stories that are fun and entertaining just as he had on the night we went to the signing. Dermot's personality really comes through in this book and it was great fun to read his journey through life to become the talented presenter he is. There were a few laugh out loud moments that had me grinning from ear to ear and near the end of the book there is a lovely dedication to his wife which had me crying happy tears and feeling all mushy. 

In this book, Dermot says that you don't choose the soundtrack to your life but it chooses you which really is true. There are songs I think of and I'm right back in that moment reliving it like it was yesterday. 

Through the book Dermot links to the songs he is referencing so you can go and watch it yourself and see just what he was talking about which was a great little add on! If you're a fan of Dermot I highly recommend giving this book a read. 

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