Jim Bowen talks about adoption and his upbringing

Jim Bowen and his mum
Jim and his mum

I’m proud to be adopted, and I shout it from the rooftops whenever I can.

I was a lucky lad. I’ve always felt that fortune shone my way, from the time my mum told me that she wasn’t my real mum, but got the job when the original failed the audition due to unforeseen circumstances. Enquiring further into this scenario, I was told that my real mum wasn’t able to sustain me, due to lack of funds and a recognisable absence of a father. She was unmarried, so I suppose that made me a potential traffic warden or tax inspector! The way this info was imparted was very skilfully choreographed.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

Adoption and all its emotional baggage is a very sensitive issue and one not to be treated flippantly, so please read this article with affection, and in no way regard it as one of dismissal. I’m proud to be adopted, and I shout it from the rooftops whenever I can.

Jim Bowen's mum and dad on Blackpool prom
Jim’s mum and dad on Blackpool prom

Joe and Annie Whittaker – of 303 Dill Hall Lane, Church, near Accrington, Lancashire (no post code in 1938!) – became the owner of one Peter Williams in the early months of 1938, when I was around nine months old. I was collected from the C of E children’s home in Liverpool by Joe and Annie, and brought home to Dill Hall Lane, where I was to become Peter James Whittaker (after an audition period of six months!).

The next decade saw me sprout into double figures via All Saints Primary School, Clayton-le Moors, and ultimately into full bloom via Accrington Grammar School and Her Majesty’s Royal Army Ordnance Corps, where I made full corporal!

I look back on those precious years with immeasurable affection and gratitude. What a lucky lad I was to be cared for during those formative years by two people who didn’t even know me. Talk about being in the right place, and all that!

So why am I telling you all this stuff about me? Well, apart from wanting to tell everybody, I
thought you might like to bear in mind March 14th 2010. It turns up every year (just like
birthdays!) and – to me – it’s a date I particularly take note of. It’s a date of particular significance to me.

As you can see, I had two mums. The first one didn’t quite cut it, through no fault of her own, leaving me rudderless for a while. Then came along mum number two to take up the reins and, along with Joe, she managed to give me a life of incredible good fortune.

All I’m saying is this: Mothering Sunday is on March 14th 2010. (Dad has his own day later!)
Best regards, Jim Bowen (or Williams or Whittaker!)

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