Cover smile for the camera

Shortlisted for Political Book of the Year at The Paddy Power Political Book Awards 2015

No politician pandered to the media’s appetite for personality more than Liberal MP Cyril Smith. Instantly recognisable for his colossal build, Smith was a larger-than-life character in a world of dull grey men. He spoke for the everyman, and his forays into show business blurred the lines between politician and celebrity. Yet ‘Big Cyril’ was anything but the roly-poly gentle giant of popular imagination.

In November 2012, Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk outed Smith in Parliament as a serial child abuser. Now, in an astonishing tale of a spectacular misuse of power, he describes how Smith used his profile to groom and sexually abuse young boys, frequently in institutions he had helped to establish. His victims, often troubled boys from broken homes, had no voice against their attacker and, though rumours abounded, Smith’s appalling crimes went unnoticed by the public and unpunished by the authorities.

A story deeply rooted in the political culture of the 1970s and ’80s, Smile for the Camera brings to life Cyril’s domineering personality and his sickening predilections. It reveals the extraordinary double life of a man who hoodwinked the public and evaded justice for decades.


Sunday Times Political Book of the Year

Sunday Times

Mr Danczuk's courageous book has opened up a stinking can of worms and it seems clear that only a proper judicial investigation can uncover the whole unsavoury truth.

Daily Mail

In this compelling book... Danczuk revealed how the authorities systematically covered up sickening sexual exploitation of boys by Sir Cyril over decades.

Daily Express

This is an extremely good book, and a brave one, too.

Rod Liddle, Sunday Times

This important book should be read by all those charged with delivering criminal justice, by all those interested in politics, but most importantly by those in every community motivated by a healthy and unstinting scepticism of authority.

Keir Starmer , Progress

[A] brave, disturbing, in many ways brilliant book.

Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

Must Reads, Our Choice of the Best Recent books: ‘a brave study of the lies and cover-ups’

Sunday Times

A bold and genuine attempt to fill in some of the gaps in the myth of Smith… The Danczuk-Baker book merits close attention.

Rochdale Online
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