Sid Owen has detailed his poverty-stricken childhood, which included his dad ‘robbing banks and beating up the kids.’
In a heartbreaking memoir called From Rags to Ricky, the EastEnders star, 49, details his difficult upbringing, which included an absent father and a terminally ill mother.
In an extract published by The Sun, Sid first narrates the story of how the family were about to jet off on their first proper family holiday to Mallorca, and when just as they were about to take off, their father got arrested on the tarmac.
Past life: Sid Owen, 49, has detailed his poverty-stricken childhood, which included his dad ‘robbing banks and beating up the kids’
‘They grabbed my dad, stuck him in handcuffs and dragged him out. We were screaming, terrified’ he says.
He recalls that his dad was an angry alcoholic, and had tendency to lash out when he’d been drinking.
His mother, Joan, would not stand for her husband to abuse the children, and it was the last straw of his angry behaviour.
Tell-all: Sid has written the autobiographical account called From Rags to Ricky, which recalls a poverty stricken life growing up, with an absent father and terminally ill mother; a young Sid is pictured
‘She kept chucking him out because he was just too violent […] Robbing banks was one thing, but violence against kids was another,’ he wrote.
Sid added that he and his three brothers felt very protective of their mother, and would step in when they could, even when they were so young.
Sid, who’s actual name is David, grew up on Mantell Street in Islington, and said that it was a real community, and everyone would help each other out.
Way back when: Sid tells of how the family were about to jet off on a family holiday to Mallorca, when their father got arrested on the plane tarmac; pictured as Ricky Butcher in EastEnders in 2000
Sid, who’s actual name is David, grew up in Islington and recalled that his father could be violent when he had been drinking (pictured with Patsy Palmer who plays Bianca in the soap)
As a result of their severe lack of money growing up, Sid and his brothers would roam about their community getting involved in burglaries.
Because Sid was young, he was four years old when he first started ‘nicking stuff’, he was able to fit in to tight spaces that his elder brothers were not, and they referred to him as Spiderman.
Having young children took it’s toll on his mother, who eventually turned to alcohol, and was drinking in replacement of any real diet.
Turning to crime: As a result of their severe lack of money growing up, Sid and his brothers would roam about their community getting involved in burglaries; a young Sid is pictured, left
She ended up contracting terminal cervical cancer, and even with chemo she ended up passing away when she was 35 in 1979 when Sid was eight years old.
The soap star went onto say didn’t go to his mother’s funeral, with his extended family deeming him too young to attend.
On the day of the funeral, he and two of his brothers – Scott and Darren – decided they would escape from the house.
‘They found us later but it was a weird feeling, knowing your own mum was being buried and just running and running through this strange landscape.’
Sid recalls he thought he had come to terms with the pain of losing his mother, but he had just been numb to it, and it took him years to discover this.
Troubled: His mother, Joan, would not stand for her husband to abuse the children, and it was the last straw of his angry behaviour (Sid is pictured in his younger years)
Devastating: His mother ended up contracting terminal cervical cancer, and even with chemo she ended up passing away when she was 35 in 1979 (Sid is pictured in 2018)
It comes after Sid said he is ‘proud to still be alive’ after battling drug addiction and boozing during his EastEnders days.
In an interview with The Sun, Sid admitted he used to snort cocaine while learning his lines, spending up to £200-per-night.
Speaking about his cocaine troubles, Sid said: ‘It’s recreational then all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Hang on, I’ve got to get through pages of scripts, and then go to work’.
‘You think you can do it and get away with it. I thought I could juggle the two, but I soon realised it was a silly idea… I’m proud I’m still alive.’
Candid: It comes after Sid said he is ‘proud to still be alive’ after battling drug addiction and boozing during his EastEnders days (pictured in 2019)
The actor continued that during the 90s he could spend as much as £200 a night on his habit and once drove to the TV studios ‘coked up to my eyeballs’.
He managed to put drugs behind him after a rehab stint and also credited focusing on his fitness as a way to stay healthy, revealing he also doesn’t drink much anymore.
Sid, who is releasing an autobiography called From Rags to Ricky, also reflected on his raunchy sex life and admitted that he ‘lapped’ up attention from women when he was single, adding that he doesn’t have any regrets ‘even sex in Tesco’.
Elsewhere in the interview, Sid discussed his childhood in North London where he was the youngest of four boys and would help his brothers commit burglaries and started smoking at the age of four.
Throwback: The actor played Ricky Butcher in the BBC One soap from 1988 until 2012, with his character marrying Patsy Palmer’s Bianca twice over the years (pictured at their 1997 nuptials)