Thursday, October 01, 2015

Cradle to Grave: Danny Baker & SE London

I've really enjoyed 'Cradle to Grave', the BBC comedy/drama series based on Danny Baker's memoirs of growing up in 1970s SE London (published as 'Going to Sea in a Sieve). Baker was born on the Crossfields Estate in Deptford and then lived in Silwood Estate SE16, going to Rotherhithe Primary School and then West Greenwich Secondary Boys School.

Baker gave a great interview about the show on 'Later with Jools Holland' last month, accompanied by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze who have soundtracked the show and who of course, along with sometime member Jools Holland, also come from the SE London area. There was some funny discussion of how Northerner Peter Kay, who plays Baker's dad in the series, had to master the SE London accent - according to Baker a much faster version of its East London counterpart.

Asked to describe SE London, Difford said: 'I think we live in a wonderful world, it's almost like a mythological place full of fish and chips and ducking and diving'. The best bit  though was a great rant from Baker himself:

'My dad was a docker and my dad brought home lots of the produce of the docks... helping themselves... we've had too many university comedies, we've hard too many middle class comedies, people forget that working class aren't there to be demonized, they're not there to say "oo look they stole stuff and brought it home" because where the docks used to stand in London is now Canary Wharf, and that's where the banks are, that's where the hedge fund monies are, you want to talk about pilferage, let's not talk about a few stray bottles of Scotch, and that is the truth of it... sometimes people just get on with stuff and they get through this vale of tears the best way they can and usually it's with a lot of good spirit'.

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