Sunday, 28 February 2016

Book Review: Secrets of the Street by Lynne Perrie

My Review:
Lynne Perrie tells her story as if she is sitting with you in the pub and just having a chat and sharing stories. She is a fun storyteller with no concern over her language, story content or attempts to edit it to make it less offensive. That is why I liked the book so much-it really was warts and all with all the details. I prefer this in a memoir as I see little point than reading an edited version of the persons life!

Her relationship with her husband is certainly unconventional and she doesn't hold back on what she sees as his faults-being tight with money, never showing her affection, refusing to live with her in Manchester when she was on Corrie, having little sex drive. Lynne on the other hand freely admits to all her faults-infidelity, wasting money, alcohol problems, prescription drugs addiction, domestic violence, not being there enough for her family. At times they really seemed to hate each other yet neither asked for a divorce and Lynne admits that they do love each other in their own strange way. There really are some bizarre moments between the two of them over the years. Lynne does say that Derrick was an excellent agent and would ferry her around to gigs, enjoying being slagged off in her comedy routines.

She doesn't hold back when talking about her countless affairs and the man she wanted to leave Derrick for. She admits to having affairs with Coronation Street co-stars but does not name those involved to respect their privacy. The details are quite shocking when she talks about her sex life as you still her see as the straight laced Ivy from Corrie in your head! It was certainly entertaining and a few of her conquests are household names. Lynne also admits that when her father refused to let her marry DErrick, she got pregnant just to force him to give his blessing.

Her adventures in Africa on the Cabaret circuit were very funny. Her story of Chick Murray's attempt at seduction, getting arrested for persuading a black hotel worker to use the white only lift, running screaming from the toilet with her knickers round her ankles at a party because of huge spiders roaming the bathroom, being tricked into sitting on an ostrich egg to get it to hatch and trying to watch the moon landings with a pair of binoculars as she had no TV! I liked the story of when she asked the black houseboy if he would call his employers if there was an uprising and he responded 'No no madam I couldn't do that. I kill the family next door and their boy kills everyone here.' You don't know how to react to that!

Lynne talks in detail about her Corrie co-stars. Her friendships with Pat Phoenix, Johnny Briggs, Charlie Lawson, Anne Kirkbride, Julie Goodyear, Jill Summers etc. Her uneasy relationship with Geoff Hinsliff began on the first day when he told her she was too old to be his wife and he looked down on anyone not classically trained. Her friendship with Liz Dawn was up and down due to some rivalry between then and Lynne thinking that Liz was always trying to copy her. She talks about the young actors like Warren Jackson and Chloe Newsome needing sorted out, Bill Roache being a ladykiller, the jealousy aimed at Julie Goodyear as she took over the Rovers, Simon Gregson's issues adjusting to fame, Bill Waddington's penny pinching and her own position as the gossip hound of the Street.

Lynne talks about how lonely she was on her own, living in a small place near the studio, and getting drunk most nights in the pub that the cast went to. For all her problems with her husband you can see that she wanted him there. I liked what she said about Charlie Lawson always ensuring that she got home safely after a drinking session and that Johnny Briggs, also lonely on set was a platonic friend she could always count on. She is also open about her decision to have plastic surgery and why she was really sacked from Corrie.

This book is full of drama, shocks and a lot of laughs! It was one of the best memoirs that I've read and I recommend it to Corrie fans and those who like interesting memoirs.
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