‘Plenty! I’ve had the experience of growing up in working class Bermondsey, the experience of prison, living in Israel for two years, working for the Church of England with young people as a born again Christian, marrying the granddaughter of a lord, living in Spain for many years and, of course, the experience of becoming an actor,’ says Eddie Webber when I asked what we can expect to find in his autobiography Hi Diddle-Dee-Dee, writes Michael Holland.
Eddie was born in Guy’s Hospital and grew up in Bermondsey. He and his siblings attended local schools and an early appreciation of the Beatles got him into music and working with local bands: ‘I play guitar, a bit of piano and harmonica,’ he says without sounding boastful. Adding, ’John Lennon still inspires me today.’
As well as music, acting has been a major part of Webber’s life. ‘I sort of just fell into it. I go into it a bit deeper in my book but certainly Adrian Jackson and The London Bubble were a big part of it,’ he says intriguingly. But he does reveal some highlights: ‘Working with Ken Loach and Alan Bleasdale was certainly up there, as was working with Nick Love in The Business and The Firm.’
He has praise for Ray Burdis, who directed his latest film, ‘To Be Someone’, and tells me how much he enjoyed acting in one of Story Pocket Theatre’s plays – his wife’s theatre company.
It was while telling his sons Barney and Alfie stories of his life that Ali, his wife, suggested he write them down. ‘I realised there was so much that I had done on my journey that I couldn’t really tell it all in one sitting,’ he recalls. ‘So I started writing and didn’t stop!’
Another motivation was the anger he still carries from the time spent in prison for a murder he did not commit. ‘I was fitted up by the police in the 1980s for some heavy crimes – they fabricated evidence against me and whilst writing I started to feel angry again, so bringing that to light was an incentive, and also very cathartic.’
The title for Hi Diddle-Dee-Dee came from a scene in Pinocchio when the walking, talking puppet is lured away by a sly, con artist fox who plans to make him work in the theatre for little wages.
I asked if Eddie had any last words for the readers: ‘I wanna say thanks to Sarah Hembrow, who edited the book, and a shout out to Vulpine Press for taking a chance on me. Plus, go out and buy the book and let me know what you think; I’m on Facebook as Eddie Webber, Instagram as eddie.webber, and Twitter @agoodeyedeer… But be gentle, I’m a sensitive soul…’
The book, published by Vulpine Press is out now on most online bookseller websites.