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From the boxing clubs of 1970s East London to Hollywood's red carpets—the knockout autobiography of one of Britain's best-loved actors
Ray Winstone's amazing talent for bringing out the humanity buried inside his often brutal screen characters—violent offender in Scum, wife-beater in Nil by Mouth, retired blagger in Sexy Beast—has made him one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. But how do these uncompromising and often haunting performances square with his off-duty reputation as the ultimate salt-of-the-earth diamond geezer? The answer lies in the East End of his youth. Revisiting the bomb-sites and boozers of his childhood and adolescence, Ray Winstone takes the reader on an unforgettable tour of a cockney heartland which is at once irresistibly mythic and undeniably real. Told with its author's trademark blend of brutal directness and roguish wit, Young Winstone offers a fascinating insight into the social history of East London, as well as a school of hard knocks coming-of-age story with a powerful emotional punch.
bit of clobber made for Christmas and Easter – it’s something I still do today. This geezer’s shop was up beyond the north end of Mare Street, past the centre of Hackney that you have to drive round instead of through now, going towards Clapton Pond. I went back to have a look for the exact place recently but the shop was gone. I’m pretty sure the guy who owned it was called Raymond though, so when me and my dad came round we were three proper little Rays of sunshine. One particular time we
meal at least once a week if everyone’s about. If we’ve got guests I have to warn them that we don’t stand on ceremony. Don’t blink at the wrong moment or everyone else will have had all the best roast potatoes. Of course, bringing people together to eat can cause friction as well as harmony, especially when you’re dealing with a family who all have quick tempers. We did have our moments around that Church Street dinner table. Mum and Dad would be sat at either end with me and Laura bickering
the two guys were in hospital in traction for months on end. But because my mum and dad kicked me out the next day and I went off to live with my granddad, I didn’t find out what had happened till a year or so later. I suppose as much as anything this tells you how happy I was to be back in the East End – it turned out that if you took the man out of Enfield you actually could take the Enfield out of the man (well, this one, anyway). But still, no one thought to ring and tell me. Obviously
companies as the next man – probably more than most – but anyone can see that’s just an excuse, because fraud affects everyone. And when it’s focused on an individual victim it can be a terrible thing which absolutely destroys people’s lives. Of course, I didn’t see things that way then. In my late teens and early twenties I wouldn’t have thought of fraud as something that was really hurting anyone. But luckily before my career as a fraudster could really get off the ground, the movie remake of
ankle got snagged by a fishing hook that dragged me under the sea. I just about managed to pull the hook out of my leg and get home in one piece. Then I got found guilty and paid the fine without my Old Man finding out, so that was more good news. Fast-forward thirty-five years, and having this conviction on my record still causes me problems getting into America. Every time I go there, which I do a lot, I get pulled out of the line and have to sit in a room and be investigated (not intimately,