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A Sting in The Tale biography (Authorised)
ISBN: 1902578139 Hardback RRP£14.99 Mono stills
FOREWORD BY STING - Serilalised in The News of the World. 

The only biography to receive the full approval of Sting and with the foreword contributed by Sting this is a must-have for any self respecting Sting fan. Eye-wateringly funny it tells of the bizarrness of what it's like to have a world famous rock star as a friend.  Written by Jim Berryman, Sting's friend of some 37 years, it is so funny and full of tales of on course betting, read of the day Jim hoodwinked Sting into attending the races with him and the promised hotel turned out to be a tent on a nearby golf course.  World famous Sting sleeping in a tent, never! 

Sting and Jim grew up together, went to school together and still to this day are the best of mates.  Not a kiss and tell book by no means but not a suck up and kiss book either.  Jim says that he's the altogether better singer and compares Sting's singing to that of a wounded wilder beast! Acclaimed by the official Sting fan club and a whole host of newspapers. Sting starred in the film "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". . 

Sting says: "Jim Berryman once told me, after a particularly bad day at the race-track, that he felt so low he wanted to hang himself and would I lend him the money so he could buy himself the rope." Already acclaimed by Journalists and the ‘Outlandos Fan Club’ on the Web Jim Berryman has a flair and talent for holding your attention through the short, succinct and often very funny chapters of this book. 

This oblique look at his friendship with Sting is explored from Schooldays right up to the time of Sting being wedded to Trudie Styler and beyond. Jim and Sting have remained friendly despite the gap between wealth and happiness. It was at Sting’s prompting that Jim penned this biography, which tracks their friendship through thick and thin from the school playing fields to their days as trainee warehousemen. 

When Jim meets Dustin Hoffman and Tom Hanks by the poolside at Sting’s mansion it seems that their differing worlds are about to collide, but Jim is so funny at this meeting: “You two look like you’re ready to take the plunge?” He says nodding towards the swimming pool. One of the yanks replied: “I think he’s already married.” Jim goes on to write, ‘They both departed so I picked up another glass of Krug. I was more used to Newcastle Brown Ale. I lived in Newcastle upon Tyne on a housing estate and I didn’t have a brass farthing.’ 

An amazing insight into Sting’s rise through the ranks from his schooldays to playing at seedy jazz clubs on Tyneside to eventual stardom. An odder couple couldn’t be more likely than the author and Sting. Every chapter, all forty-one of them, has something to make you laugh. Jim Berryman might stand accused of patronising Sting, but he pulls no punches when he says he’s the better singer between the two. The rainforest-loving Sting is also accused of pampering to his fans when in the past, Jim says, sting would have had no time for such burning issues. 

Outlandos (Sting's Fan Club) on the web, March 2000 
'Eye Wateringly funny, a must have for any Sting fan'.

Book converted in to 12 part TV series (comedy drama)

UK TV celebrities Ant & Dec shun Sting script!

 See related newsapaper cutting


In this authorized biography, James Berrymore writes about his lifelong friendship with the rock star Sting, from their school days onwards. 


This book is award-winning stuff. Our editor couldn’t put it down once he’d started reading it; our book reader wouldn’t return the only manuscript, which we needed for extracts, until she had fully read and digested it all. Serialised in two UK national newspapers and featured as Night & Day mags book of the week also featured on the Richard & Judy show and featured in an Irish national Sunday newspaper. 


To the right of the driveway lay a full-sized cricket pitch in immaculate condition. At the bottom of the drive stood ‘The House’, a nineteenth century building. The priests who taught at the school lived there. This also encapsulated the Chapel, and the Headmaster’s Study. A little way from ‘The House’ was the main school building. Erected in the 1920’s, it consisted of about twenty classrooms, either side of a narrow corridor, which led to an old-fashioned hall, which was also lined by classes on each side. Past the hall were two more classrooms separated by a cloakroom. At the rear of the main building was a recently erected modern structure, complete with a large assembly hall with adjacent chemistry and physics laboratories.

A few steps from the main building was the playground, adorned with metal five-a-side goalposts at each end. It didn’t look big enough to accommodate 1200 or so potential players of a lunch time kick-around, and so it proved. Beyond the schoolyard were the main playing-fields, on the opposite side of the school building to the cricket pitch.

On these fields stood five full-size football pitches in descending order of merit. The best, which was hardly ever played on, was at the top, nearest the school. At the bottom of the field, the last pitch boasted an enormous oak tree, just to the left of the penalty-spot. Apparently the tree was the leading goal-scorer in the ‘under-thirteen’ games for many years.

There was an antiquated gymnasium next to the playing fields, and for my first year at the school it also doubled as the dining room while a new one was being built. I learned that it was particularly important to be vigilant in the first Games lesson after lunch, as a squashed pea on the gym floor could have devastating consequences. It was hopelessly ill equipped as both a gymnasium and a dining room.

Once inside the school building, Michael dropped me like a hot potato. I was on my own now. I found what I thought was the correct classroom and stood outside. I could see that I was not the only newcomer who looked and felt like an outcast. Many young faces looked tear-stained and afraid. I could only gaze with wide-eyes at the older boys. I found it impossible to believe that some of them were of school age. Many of them looked like they needed a shave - I mused to myself.

I remarked to a fellow sufferer, “Look at him. Just get those great big sideboards.” My young friend nervously looked around for the furniture then, even more nervously moved slowly away from me. “Oh absolutely, old chap,” he muttered as he left, thinking that I was hallucinating. ‘Sideboards’ we called them in Longbenton. ‘Mutton-chop side whiskers’ to this lad, perhaps, would have made more sense.

I strolled past the short-trousered brigade hoping to find anyone who looked like they might not faint at the mention of the word ‘fart’.

“Christ, I hate this place already” I heard a kindred soul say, and I immediately stuck to him like fluff to a boiled sweet.

“Is this ‘Form 1’?” I asked my fellow inmate, knowing full well that it wasn’t.

He answered slowly in a kind of Western drawl, “YUP”

“No, it isn’t,” I said,

“So, whit yu asking me fur, stranger?” He replied,

“Are you pretending to be a cowboy?” I asked innocently.

“YUP.” He laughed.

“I’ve been doing it since I got here, and you’re the first to notice. Well done,” the lad said to me. I was shitting myself, and here was someone who couldn’t give a toss. I was well impressed.

“I’m sorry. I knew this wasn’t ‘Form 1’, but I just wanted to talk to someone who didn’t seem to be speaking with a mouthful of gobstoppers.” He laughed again and I felt at ease for the first time that day.

The lad was tall for his twelve years and fair-haired. He had a serious face, with a steady gaze that was contradictory to his obvious sense of fun. Although so young, he was already handsome in a rugged way, and looked two years older than the rest of the first-years I had seen that morning. His hair was longer than anyone else’s was; finished with an exaggerated quiff that was the height of 60’s fashion. His uniform looked out of place on him, hanging like an onion sack, but he didn’t care. You could just tell. 

He reflected, “Yeah, there are a canny few toffee-nosed buggers knocking around here.” 

“Not me, though,” I very quickly confirmed. “I’m from Longbenton.”

“Wallsend,” the lad replied. We had already hit common ground. Wallsend was as working-class as Longbenton.

“My name’s Jim, Jim Berryman.” I introduced myself to Blondie, poking out a hand that he took and shook warmly. Curiously he appeared both cocky and nervous at the same time, his tie was already undone and he was chewing bubble gum, which we were to learn, was tantamount to stabbing a nun. “Pleased to met you, Jim,” said the lad, “my name’s Gordon Sumner”.

The formalities over, we went on to agree what an absolute dump we thought the place was.

“What class are you in?” I asked the new boy.

“1 C” he replied.

“I’m in form 1”, I said, disappointed that I would not be joining my new pal in class. The streaming for that first term was simply done alphabetically. With me being a ‘B’ and he an ‘S’ we would not be joining up just yet.

The school bell rang out to signal the start of a less than inspiring academic career for both myself and as it turned out, the tall fair-haired Wallsend kid, 'the boy who would be Sting'.

“See you around, bonny lad,” said Sting going off to 1 C. Little did I realise that we would be seeing each other around for the next thirty-odd years - some of them very odd years. 

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