Ruskin Park: Sylvia, Me and the BBC
Can we ever really know the truth about our parents? From the popular journalist, podcaster and tweeter about his rescue dog #SophiefromRomania, comes a moving memoir in search of the truth behind his isolated childhood and absent father.
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DESCRIPTION & REVIEWS
Rory Cellan-Jones knew he was the child of a brief love affair between two BBC employees. But until his mother died and he found a previously unknown file labelled ‘For Rory’ he had no idea of their beginnings or ending, and why his peculiarly isolated childhood had so tested the bond between him and his mother. ‘For Rory,’ his mother had written on the file ‘in the hope that it will help him understand how it really was …’
This is a compelling account of what Rory uncovered in the papers, letters and diaries; a relationship between two colleagues (two romantics) and the restrictive forces of post-war respectability and prejudice that ended it. It is also an evocation of the progressive, centrifugal force at the centre of all their lives – the BBC itself.
Both tender and troubling, the drama moves from wartime radio broadcasts, to the glamour of 1950s television studios, to the golden era of BBC drama. His father may have directed The Forsyte Saga and Rory may have watched him from the corridors, but he would never actually meet him until much later in adulthood. Until then Rory’s life was bound to the one-bedroom flat he shared with his mother in Ruskin Park …
Praise for Rory Cellan-Jones’s books:
‘Delightfully insightful and intensely readable.’
Miranda Sawyer, Observer