BOOKS – EYES ON LES CLAYDEN BY PETER MANN
“I could never understand when I was five what I had done to the Germans for them to give me the measles, I didn’t know any Germans!”
And so begins the life story of gentleman, Les Clayden.
From poverty in the East End of London to bouncer, bobby, arm wrestler, third generation stall holder in Whitechapel, and Chairman of The British National Theatre Schools, Les Clayden has seen much and done more.
‘Swimming with Stingrays’ will take you on a journey through one man’s remarkable life where encounters with The Sex Pistols, The Who, David Bowie, Prince Charles, Miss World and Ronnie Kray were just everyday run-of-the-mill events.
Laugh, cry and reminisce with the man who arm-wrestled Frank Bruno and narrowly avoided death during an IRA bombing in the seventies.
Publishing initiative, Britain’s Next Bestseller, were thrilled to sign ‘Gentleman’ Leslie J Clayden.
His autobiography, ‘Swimming with Stingrays – The Other Side of Life’ is a truly evocative book, dealing with the East End of London, his life as a Special Constable, working as a bouncer at legendary venues such as Mecca and The Lyceum and his success and fame as an arm wrestler.
Inter-cut with very personal and moving episodes in his life and you have a book that will make you reminisce, laugh and be moved to tears.
Director of publishers, Britain’s Next Bestseller, David McCaffrey, said: “We were contacted by Les’s daughter one evening via email.
“Natasha said that her Dad had written his autobiography and would we be interested in taking a look.
“You get to read many autobiographies in publishing, all of which are special because the author is sharing, sometimes, very personal details of their life.
“Les’s manuscript was the same, but filled with a humility and humour that set it apart from other titles in that genre.
“We had a few challenges in getting it right from a publishing perspective as it presented us with a few learning opportunities, but we got there in the end and produced, with Les’s blessing, something quite special. It was an honour to be involved in his life story.”