Born in Hackney, East London in 1940, Mike began a life of ‘ducking of diving’ to earn money almost as soon as he could walk. He learned to earn his living by his own wit and street-wise cunning, avoiding a police record until, aged sixteen, he was caught red-handed ram raiding a jewellers shop. The result was two years correction in an approved school in Wales. At seventeen he fled a disastrous teenage marriage and joined the Merchant Navy, where he got his first taste of showbiz, becoming director of entertainment.
Back home Mike became involved in the London drinking club scene. His acquaintances included the notorious Krays, Ronnie Knight and the Nash family. It was then too he met his present wife, Shirley. In an effort to support her, Mike turned his back on the criminal world. After some string-pulling he landed a job as a stunt driver, and featured in many major films and TV productions including The Saint, The Avengers and The Dirty Dozen. His big break finally came when he landed a spot in The Comedians.
Mike’s colourful life has been filled with comedy. But there have been personal darker moments too. Mike and Shirley’s beloved 24 year old son committed suicide on Mothering Sunday, some years ago. His strength of character has seen him through some very difficult times, and to the public, he remains a popular, loveable rogue. T’rific is Mike’s own story, told with the wit and wisdom of one who’s seen – and done – it all.
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