T'rific - Mike Reid - The Autobiography

 

T'rific - Mike Reid - The Autobiography

T'rific - Mike Reid - The AutobiographyT'rific is the autobiography of Mike Reid; actor, Eastender, comic and professional London wide-boy. Best known these days as Albert Square's long suffering Frank Butcher, Reid is instantly recognisable and welcome in every British home.

However, here is a celebrity for whom it could all have been quite different. Born in Hackney, East London and raised when money was short, Reid's teenage and even childhood years served as an apprenticeship for petty--and not so petty--crime. No sooner had the author escaped borstal than he was the 16-year-old groom at a shotgun wedding (although Mike's wild ways ended the marriage by the time he reached 20).

Soon, a life at sea became the only alternative to a spell in prison, and home leave meant drunken evenings with muckers Charlie and Reggie Kray. While still very much part of this underworld, Reid began to make an impression on the northern club scene. In the 70s The Comedians launched his television career. By this time, the woman he still calls "princess", Shirley, was his constant companion.

T'rific is very much in keeping with the man who wrote this life story. Told in uncompromising but honest language, Reid's attitudes are as telling as the events he describes. Certainly, if friends were made and lost, few were forgiven past misdemeanours. A matter of fact description of losing a first child, a daughter, may shock and glib mentions of children aborted may seem callous to many. In contrast, Reid's account of his struggle to cope with a grown up son, Mark, who suffered for years from psychopathic schizophrenia, is heartbreaking.

When one of Mark's many suicide attempts eventually succeeded, Reid was left desolate, and asking questions to which no-one could ever put answers.

  • Author - Mike Reid
  • Paperback Edition
  • 416 Pages

T'rific T'rific

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Description

T'rific is the autobiography of Mike Reid; actor, Eastender, comic and professional London wide-boy. Best known these days as Albert Square's long suffering Frank Butcher, Reid is instantly recognisable and welcome in every British home. However, here is a celebrity for whom it could all have been quite different. Born in Hackney, East London and raised when money was short, Reid's teenage and even childhood years served as an apprenticeship for petty--and not so petty--crime. No sooner had the author escaped borstal than he was the 16-year-old groom at a shotgun wedding (although Mike's wild ways ended the marriage by the time he reached 20). Soon, a life at sea became the only alternative to a spell in prison, and home leave meant drunken evenings with muckers Charlie and Reggie Kray. While still very much part of this underworld, Reid began to make an impression on the northern club scene. In the 70s The Comedians launched his television career. By this time, the woman he still calls "princess", Shirley, was his constant companion. T'rific is very much in keeping with the man who wrote--or perhaps dictated--this life story. Told in uncompromising but honest language, Reid's attitudes are as telling as the events he describes. Certainly, if friends were made and lost, few were forgiven past misdemeanours. A matter-of-fact description of losing a first child, a daughter, may shock and glib mentions of children aborted may seem callous to many. In contrast, Reid's account of his struggle to cope with a grown up son, Mark, who suffered for years from psychopathic schizophrenia, is heartbreaking. When one of Mark's many suicide attempts eventually succeeded, Reid was left desolate, and asking questions to which no-one could ever put answers. The final chapter here is telling; certainly Reid is aware his attitudes--the product of the mind which has learned to think for survival; to see in black and white, then try to walk away from what he least understands--are far from politically correct. What is refreshing here is that the path he has chosen leads to a level of honesty rarely found in celebrity memoirs.--Helen Lamont

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