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Episode 1

4 Extra Debut. Life in a large Irish family in a small Watford semi in the 1970s - Mary Portas recalls misbehaviour at communion and school.

Mary Portas reads her moving, funny account of growing up in a large Irish family in a small Watford semi in the 1970s.

Young Mary is always getting into trouble. When she isn't choking back fits of giggles at Holy Communion, or playing pranks on her teachers, she's gluing together cardboard boxes with her mum and dad to win youth club competitions dressed as a pack of Player's No. 6.

In Mary's house, money is scarce and space is tight. But these are good times and everything revolves around the force of nature that is her mum.

Mary's dad is a tea salesman and she loves tagging along on his sales calls to independent shops, selling everything from Chappie dog food and Heinz soups to Homepride flour and Kellogg's Corn Flakes. And even as a six-year-old, the girl who will one day be known as "Mary Queen of Shops" knows there is a world enclosed in the four tiny letters of the word 'shop'.

Read by Mary Portas. Abridged by Jo Coombs

Produced by Hannah Marshall
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4

20 days left to listen

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 3 Dec 2019 02:45

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Reader Mary Portas
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Abridger Jo Coombs
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