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Episode 2

When her mum is taken seriously ill, tragedy threatens to blow the family apart. Mary Portas recounts her 1970s childhood.

Mary Portas reads her moving and hilarious memoir of her early years.

It's 1974 and the world is changing. Glam-rock boys who look like girls are wearing silk and glitter on Top of the Pops, and even in Watford chicken chow mein is all the rage and Oxford bags are making an appearance on the market stalls.

For the young Mary Portas, life is full of opportunity which she'll seize as soon as she's old enough for a Saturday job. She's never happier than when she's singing along to David Bowie songs with her brothers and sister, with backcombed hair and fuchsia eye shadow.

Her mum, a stickler for the rules when it comes to school and church, is happy to encourage her children's self-expression. But this world of chaotic creativity is blown apart when Mary's mother is taken seriously ill.

Read by the author
Abridged by Jo Coombs

Produced by Hannah Marshall
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4

21 days left to listen

15 minutes

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Reader Mary Portas
Author Mary Portas
Abridger Jo Coombs
Producer Hannah Marshall

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