WHEN I write my autobiography I will describe in detail how I was once a trialist with Man Utd, wrote a song that James Taylor raved about, rescued starving children in South America and even dated the best-looking Nolan Sister.

Or at least I’d be tempted to, despite never being asked to pen my memoir and the fact none of the above are true.

The question of truth and its often flimsy relationship with autobiography is especially relevant this week with the release of Elton John’s memoir, Me, because there’s a sense parts of his story are as real as his hair. (Yes, it may be real hair, but it once grew on someone else’s head).

Elton, whose music has been glorious, has, it seems, re-written history to turn himself into an inglorious victim. Somehow, his mum is to blame, he says, for his life. He may have become a coke-addled, tantrum-throwing, spirit-crushing bully who made the lives of those who’d looked after him hell, but that was because he was denied real love. The superstar unplugs the line which connects his partner David Furnish’s arrival with disconnection from people who’d been with him since he was a Reginald; his mother, driver and assistant Bob Halley, publicist Gary Farrow, manager John Reid, etc.

George Bernard Shaw once wrote; “All autobiographies are lies. I do not mean unconscious, unintentional lies. I mean deliberate lies.” That may be a little harsh; there’s a real chance Elton believes his version of events to be real. And Benjamin Disraeli offered a counterpoint; “Read no history; nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.”

But did Disraeli include autobiography? Surely not. You can imagine the former PM spinning like a peerie on reading David Cameron’s new tome, or the dreariness of works by Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama.

George Bernard Shaw is really asking the question; can any one of us be trusted to tell the truth about ourselves? Do we have the introspection and dare required to present a reality? Is it not the case we are what our friends and family (and perhaps even our enemies) think we are? How can we put down in print tales of those whom we’ve let down, disappointed or shamed, when our survivalist instinct tells us to try and forget?

Shaw would surely have cited John Major’s autobiography as an example of dishonesty, in which he failed to mention his affair with Edwina Currie. And HG Wells’ great sleights of hand in Experiment In Autobiography, when leaving out many of his affairs to focus on his two marriages. Or he may even have agreed with Louis Theroux’s wife when she found the first draft of his memoir to be “a bit dull.” He’d certainly have found releases by Leslie Phillips, Alan Shearer and Anthea Turner all thoroughly deserving of the Bargain Books placement. (Contributing to the likes of HarperCollins downgrading the celebrity memoir.)

That’s not to say Elton’s new book won’t sell well, but it’s mostly down to the showbiz tittle-tattle he offers up, telling, for example how Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone almost got to a square go after a dinner party, during which they both reckoned they could both “date” Princess Diana. (Wonder how press haters Prince Harry and wife will react to Uncle Elton having spilled Royal beans like a tabloider?)

The reality is there’s far more insight to be gained about Elton by reading biographies by the likes of Philip Norman. (That’s not to say all biographies reveal glorious insight; John Schlesinger’s was a direct contrast to the vividness of his films.) And having written an account of the life of TV star Brendan O’Carroll I seriously wonder if his autobiography would have mentioned the huge part his former partner Gerry Browne played in the development of his career? (The clue is in the name).

Yet, I can’t be a complete hypocrite here. Just last week I prompted actor chum Andy Grey to read “the best autobiography ever written; Moss Hart’s Act One.” He just emailed me back to say he thinks it excellent. This is in spite of the fact that American playwright Hart didn’t mention a single sexual relationship. And the second best memoir ever written has to be Neil Simon’s, who is also a little economical with personal detail.

Andre Agassi’s Serious is awesome. And I can’t say I didn’t enjoy Dorothy Paul’s life story, even though there is no mention of a single man who shared her life.

But wait a minute. Perhaps I should start writing. I can be allowed a little embellishment. And I’ve got the title, given to me by an irate Pavilion Theatre manager who yelled “You’ll Never Interview The Krankies Again.” And the truth is I did take a Nolan to dinner a few times.

If Elton can re-frame the past a little so can I