The Autobiography of a Northern Bastard - from Factory Street (east) to Coronation Street and beyond

The Thirty Bob Kid. Autobiography of British actor and writer Dave Dutton.


Mr. J. S. Gregory

5.0 out of 5 stars

The kid done good


I was hooked from the first few lines. This book had me laughing one minute and then feeling like I was prying into someone’s intimate secrets the next. I couldn’t put it down, being of a similar age and being brought up in that working class small town, I could relate to and see myself in some of the stories being shared. It brought back so many memories of long forgotten little things that went on in our everyday life, that mean so much now. Thank you Dave for sharing your life so far with us.



5.0 out of 5 stars

I loved every minute of it

This is not a show biz memoir, it is a life story told with honesty and integrity. Without frills, it tells of a life well lived by a man very well regarded by all who have come into contact with him. I loved every minute of it. It can't be easy to tell of the sad and personal times, but it is to his great credit that it is not sanitised and skimmed over. Thank goodness for the humour which lights up every other page. A super, fascinating read, well done Mr Dutton.



Stephen Paul Tolley

5.0 out of 5 stars

This kid did good!

As honest an autobiography as anyone could ever expect from an overly modest man of some integrity. A comedic star who rarely realises his own fabulous talents. A wonderful and honest communicator and proud Lancastrian, Dave Dutton is right to be really proud of his life and his loves. A fantastic, complete, no holds barred look at a lad who we can all identify with! Bless you Mr D-loved it!



5.0 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this book. Lots of nostalgia, laughter and tears. Quite a colourful rich life the author has had (and still having!) and very well written. I would highly recommend it for not just for us northerners but a great read for anyone and everyone.

It's a story that takes us from his birth to a single mum who worked in a Lancashire cotton mill and lived in a two up two down in a cobbled street through the many phases of his career from journalist to comedy writer to appearing in some of the UK's biggest soaps and television shows, including Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

When he found out he was "different" at junior school, it had a profound effect on his personality which resulted in the short sharp shock of being locked in a police cell aged nine.

His Mam's ill-fated love affair meant that he never met his father who was his mother's boss at the wartime munitions factory where she worked on the dangerous production line known as the Suicide Squad.

He also never met his grandfather who mysteriously disappeared into thin air one day. He met his sister for the first time when he was nearly 40.

After leaving school, Dave worked in the madcap world of local newspapers then went on to work on the Manchester Evening News before leaving to pursue a career in comedy writing - eventually becoming chief writer for Ken Dodd then going on to write for other famous comedians.

It wasn't all a barrel of laughs though, as he frankly discusses.

A chance encounter led him into working as an extra on television, progressing to bigger and bigger parts and leading to many different roles in the nation's favourite soaps and comedies.

He talks about his Mam's sad decline into dementia as well as his encounters with fascinating and famous folk ranging from the Sex Pistols, Stan Laurel's valet, Rik Mayall, Les Dawson,Tommy Cooper and many more.

It's a book full of interesting and funny stories, laced with nostalgia and with a motivational twist.

Meet his eccentric family; marvel at his Mam's mind-boggling superstitions and some rather spooky events that can't really be explained.


Highlights include...

My life changing conversion in a Victorian police cell

My dad who never appeared

My granddad who suddenly disappeared

My sister who suddenly appeared

My Mam who slowly disappeared

My grandmother who wanted to drown me but later changed her mind

My fox hunt in Coronation Street and more

My abduction by aliens in Emmerdale 

My unwitting part in advancing Gay Rights

My big bang incident with God

My time with the famous "sincere hypocrite"

My shattering revelation at primary school

My life as a 50's kid

My surreal scene with Rik Mayall in a smelly bog in Plymouth. 

My meeting with a most fascinating man

My rooftop rescue by the fire brigade and other escapades

My dealings with famous people

And other stuff to titillate, amuse, edify and, hopefully, entertain.

Doddy came to the wedding. Shortly after, a full brick came flying through the window

The view from my bedroom window

You've nearly set my fanny alight! cried the stripper.

Rik Mayall ad Dave Dutton inThe Last Hurrah studio

Rik Mayall shouted "Oi! PIGS!" at three burly Plymouth policemen.

Hello. I'm your brother.

HHe smashed the workhouse windows when they wouldn't let him IN!

He went to a brothel with Stan Laurel

"You'll never work in television again" said Doddy

I shoved a knitting needle down and made a hole in my leg

Then my trousers fell down and I got my first big laugh

When not poking Ken Dodd's teeth, Uncle Ned had a part time job doing Hitler impressions.

"I will place a curse on you and anyone who wants you!" yelled the gypsy.

"Thirty shillings" said the midwife

"Drown him!" said Gran.

Mam took me home after the fire brigade rescued me from the top of the Coffee Pot.

I was trying to teach him the basics of Robert the Bruce's schiltron formation

She's my Beautiful Battler. A very special child.

Mr Zak Dingle I presume..

Half man half robot.

Someone has to do it

The Thirty Bob Kid is available on Amazon and Kindle. You don't need a Kindle to read it - you can download a Kindle reader for phone, tablet or computer. Dead easy. Click on the buttons below. It's also available in other countries.