Review: The Soundtrack to My Life by Dermot O’Leary

The Soundtrack to my LifeThe Blurb

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.


The Review

Let’s face it, we all love Dermot O’Leary and if you don’t then a) you’re in the minority and b) what the heck is wrong with you?

In his brilliant memoir The Soundtrack to My Life, Dermot tells tales of his growing up and associates them with songs (some good, some downright awful) that have shaped his existence. Now some might say, why has this fresh faced presenter of TV and Radio wrote a memoir, he only, like, 12 (I’m possibly being a tad hyperbolic here) but believe it or not but Dermot is in fact in his forties. Furthermore, his career – which makes up a large portion of his memoir – took years of hard graft, perfecting a craft that we, as audience members, take for granted. I know for one I couldn’t present live TV….that doesn’t mean that I don’t pretend to…at home…to my audience of no one….anyway…awkward.

What is really good about this memoir is that you can hear Dermot O’Leary throughout. I know that sounds a little obvious but I have read memoirs that have been written by ghost writers and you get the sense that the subject of the memoir hasn’t really had much input. Not The Soundtrack to My Life. It screams Dermot O’Leary. His little asides seem natural and truly make you smile. Dermot comes across as self-effacing, humble and most importantly (to me, anyway) a true lover of music.

This is a brilliant memoir, even if Dermot is not your favourite person The Soundtrack to My Life makes you think of your own personal soundtrack. Keep your eyes peeled for my soundtrack post coming soon on

The Soundtrack to My Life by Dermot O’Leary is available now.

Follow Dermot O’Leary (@radioleary) on Twitter.

4 Stars

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