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Born in 1944 in Horsforth, Yorkshire, Frazer Hines has had a long career in television and on stage, since his first appearance as a child actor in Stock Car (1955). However he will always be only one of two characters in the nation minds, either that of Jamie McCrimmon in Doctor Who or Joe Sugden in Emmerdale...
Hines Sight: The Life and Loves of One of Britain’s Favourite Sons is a re-edited and revised edition of his autobiography, Films, Farms and Fillies, this time around Frazer is publishing the book himself. Regardless of what you may think of the title, I personally though the original title reflected the contents more accurately, even if the correct order seems to have been reversed, few actors have been able to capture the hearts of different parts of the television audience and do it so convincingly.
The book has a forward by long time friends and variety entertainers Ian and Janette Krankie, it also has sixteen pages of black and white pictures only a couple of which cover his Who or Emmerdale days.
The structure of the book is what we have come to expect from autobiographies, starting with early childhood we follow Frazer through stage school, early work before finally getting to his work on Doctor Who and Emmerdale. However, rather than a blow by blow narrative, Frazer picks out those moments in his life which were important to him, both the highs, Jamie and Joe, and some of the lows, including his failed relationships. The book has a very honest tone about it, and Frazer does little to disguise his own failings which sometimes contributed to painful moments in his life.
True, he says some nice things about the people he worked with, but Frazer's mind was often on other things, work appearing to take a very poor third place behind his interest in the fairer sex and horse racing.
Hines has a nice easy reading style of writing, but in the end the book has less to do with his two well known roles and more to do about Hines as a person, and let’s face it that’s the sort of thing you really want to read in an autobiography.