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Episode 4

As her father’s grief subsides, Mary Portas’ recounts her thriving creativity and how his new romance affected the family.

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

Ten months after her mother's sudden death, Mary's dad is finally beginning to emerge from his grief. At the Widows' and Widowers' Club, his brylcreemed hair and Night Fever dance moves prove attractive - soon he's bringing his new girlfriend Rebecca to meet the family.

Mary has started a course in 'visual merchandising' at the local college, but she knows her future doesn't lie in anything as mundane as shops – she spends her nights at the Roxy in Soho listening to Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees, The Clash and The Jam, and craves drama and excitement.

Then, one work experience at Harvey Nichols, she begins to see that shop windows can be as theatrical as any stage. They are a performance, a fantasy landscape where anything could be played out.

But just as Mary starts to see a future for herself and an outlet for her talents, the foundations of her life are pulled from beneath her when her father announces his intention to sell the family home and move in with Rebecca.

Read by the author
Abridged by Jo Coombs

Produced by Hannah Marshall
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4

23 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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