“His childhood was tough” says dad of I'm A Celebrity's Cliff Parisi from his Milton Keynes home
The father of I'm a Celebrity star Cliff Parisi has spoken out from his home in Milton Keynes about his pride in his son.
Retired design engineer George Manley, 82, was forced to sleep rough in a park with his wife and children in the early 1960s when Cliff and his older sister were tiny.
Previously Cliff, 59, has told how the family were evicted from their home in London after his parents turned down a bizarre offer from their landlady to BUY him.
“When my mum came back from hospital with me, she wouldn’t give me or my sister up, so the landlady threw us all out,” he said.
The family slept rough in Victoria Park in Hackney for a while, but then social services found out and took Cliff and his sister into care.
The pair were put in a home in Reading, then eventually returned to their parents.
George, in an interview with The Daily Mirror, recalled: “Life was very hard in those days. I had a very poor upbringing and things were tough for most people...we lived in one room in Crouch End. It was very, very hard. You survived like everyone else.”
Cliff does not remember those early years and was unaware of the landlady story until his mum told him several years ago.
He began his career as a stand-up comedian back in the 1980s.
He played Minty in EastEnders and is also known for playing Fred in Call the Midwife.
George told The Mirror: “He was a very active boy, always climbing trees and falling out of trees. He was just a lovely boy, he never got into any trouble or anything. He was very, very popular. He had lots of friends – we had to lock them out, he had so many.
"He’s done very well, he’s worked very hard. He’s a granddad now. I’m very proud of him and think he has done extremely well.”