Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Book Review: Les Battersby and Me by Bruce Jones

The story of the man behind the character that people love to hate on Coronation Street-Les Battersby.

My Review:
I must admit here that Les Battersby was one of the Corrie characters that I never liked though I thought the actor took the part well, and there were some good storylines that he was involved in. Again, the main reason I read this was because of a recent obsession to read Corrie related biographies and I have to say that this was one of the best I've read.

Bruce talks about how he nearly died as a child of rheumatic fever. Now I'd heard of it but I assumed it was like TB or a lung infection but it sounds so much worse than that. He describes a ward full of kids who spent day and night screaming because of the pain and agony all over their bodies with no respite. I can't imagine how Bruce got through it, I really don't. It was a horrifying thing to read so his suffering must have been awful.

I had no idea that his story actually featured run ins with two infamous British serial killers. Firstly he thumped Trevor Hardy, The Beast of Manchester, in a pub for insulting boys with Downs Syndrome. This evil man killed three women and Bruce admits that he wishes he had killed him in that fight as it might have saved at least one victim. Now that is scary stuff. Then poor Bruce found the body of one of the Yorkshire Ripper's victims, something that haunts him to this day. This was the Ripper's sixth victim and it caused Bruce not only to be off work ill for a year, but to be considered a suspect by police. Those incidents are pretty damn scary to think about and I certainly don't envy him.

Bruce talks about his first wife Sue and is honest about how his pub visits put a strain on his marriage on a regular basis. I do admire the fact that the couple worked hard to sort out their problems and didn't just give up the way these young celebrities. I hate seeing divorces after a year as that says to me that you haven't tried hard enough unless there is something like cheating or violence of course. When they called it a day they certainly tried hard to make it work. Similar issues appeared with second wife Sandra and again, the couple worked hard on staying together. Money issues when Bruce lost his job after an accident led to depression and excess drinking which would have been hard on both of them, yet they stayed together. In fact it took Bruce attempting to kill them both on a motorway that finally seperated the couple. That episode was pretty frightening to read about and led to rehab for Bruce.

I liked reading about his Coronation Street escapades and the various celebrity shows he appeared on which I had never watched like Celebrity Wife Swap and the one where he had to live as homeless on the streets. That was fascinating. I was also shocked to read Bruce telling the story behind his sacking in Corrie. Like many others I thought he was sacked for his drinking but he was sacked after being set up by the scum that were the News of the World. They tried to get him to cheat on his wife with 'fans' that were a set up, tried to get him to spill soap secrets and then twisted what he said and did. And Corrie sacked him for it. I think he was treated quite badly based on what I've read here.

Bruce Jones comes across as a normal guy who would be great company on a night out. He is nothing like Les Battersby and I found myself liking the guy a lot more than I expected. It was a fascinating book with a lot of interesting stories about his life and some good humour. This is well worth a read.
 
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2 comments:

  1. Looks like you're reading a lot of memoir types right now. I do get hooked into those sometimes. Hope you're enjoying your reading!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah if I read non fiction, I can watch TV at the same time and not lose track of a plot like I would reading fiction! A couple more days of that until the darts finish and it's back to fiction!

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