Jim Piddock Bares All

In Features by Samuel Love

You may not know Jim Piddock’s name, but you certainly know his work. Over four decades in the entertainment industry, Piddock has done it all – and appeared in some of the most beloved comedies ever made, on the big and small screen alike. Now, he shares his story in Caught With My Pants Down and Other Tales from a Life In Hollywood.

Covering everything from Piddock’s humble beginnings in Rochester, Kent through to his Hollywood career in the States, the memoir is packed with wonderful insights and hilarious anecdotes that make the book a must-read for anyone interested in the industry. Expect many names you recognise – and many you don’t – as this gifted raconteur tells many tales of his life and work. 

Originally not planned to be a book but rather a one-man-show, Piddock found himself with far more to say than he had anticipated and ended up with a book almost by accident. But let’s call it a happy accident, because here is one of the most amusing, and surprisingly poignant, Hollywood memoirs to make its way to bookshelves in many a-year. Those familiar with Piddock’s collaborations with the comedy genius Christopher Guest will find a lot to love in the tales surrounding the production on films like Best in Show and Mascots, while even those new to the Piddock’s work will be enthralled and entertained by this charming page-turner. 

Piddock makes an interesting observation early in the book about how while perhaps only a small number out of 10 people on the street would necessarily be familiar with him, the majority would certainly be aware of him from the works he’s appeared in. A football fan through-and-through (he passionately supports Crystal Palace), Piddock’s acting career began in San Francisco in 1982, starring in one-man-show The Boy’s Own Story, following a football goalkeeper. Appearing in close to 100 TV shows in the years since and making countless memorable appearances on the big screen, his is a fascinating career and this memoir brings it to live wonderfully.

Jim Piddock is – and I don’t feel I am overstating here – a legend, and this book only goes to show why. Above all, Piddock comes across as a genuine, kind, humble – and immensely talented although self-deprecating – creative, and it’s a true pleasure to spend time in his company across the 300 pages of Caught With My Pants Down. What a delight.

Perhaps I should leave it to Seth Meyers to close this feature with his succinct and accurate recommendation: “Jim has a big heart and a sharp wit and both are on display in the pages of this book. So fucking read it.”

Caught With My Pants Down and Other Tales from a Life In Hollywood is available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook from 23 March 2022.