Flint scores a hit with Wapping Assassin

Thursday, August 7, 2008
5:17 PM

By Len Whaley JIMMY FLINT has been throwing punches for most of his life – in the school playground, then later in the ring during his career as a top fighter. In his new life as an actor on stage, he is still doing it with style, writes Len Whaley. The f

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By Len Whaley

JIMMY FLINT has been throwing punches for most of his life - in the school playground, then later in the ring during his career as a top fighter. In his new life as an actor on stage, he is still doing it with style, writes Len Whaley.

The former amateur champion who became a top class pro has been an actor for more than 20 years and now links his two careers in a one-man show entitled Wapping Assassin, which is based on his own troubled early days and his rise to fame in the ring.

Following a successful four-night run at Wilton's Music Hall - just a short distance from his old home in Wapping - Flint is involved in talks about taking the play on tour around the country. There is even a possibility that the play will transfer to Broadway.

"That prospect really excites me," says Flint. "Imagine the thrill of going on stage in New York with my own play."

Flint has been on stage before and has also appeared in a number of films including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Revolver and The Krays.

He shows remarkable range in Wapping Assassin, which he wrote himself, and sees him playing various roles as the characters that have influenced his journey through life, including his struggles in and out of the ring.

As a writer who had a ringside seat at most of his boxing nights at Wembley and the Royal Albert Hall, you can take it from me he could fight too.

Flint would certainly have added the British title to his achievements but for the fact that the outstanding Midlands fighter Pat Cowdell ruled the featherweight division at the time.

He was stopped in the eleventh round of a tough battle against Cowdell at the Royal Albert Hall in 1980.

It was only his second defeat in 20 fights but within a year he had retired from the sport.

In his fighting days, Flint had a ruthless streak that brought him into conflict with boxing authorities and in his later career he has not been slow to pass on some unrequested acting advice to big-name performers - but that's his character.

Despite admitting that he struggled to read or write until he was in his thirties, Flint has subsequently made a successful living as an actor and now a playwright.

But despite his own success in the two fields, Flint admits he would not like to see his own 13-year-old son become boxer or an actor.

"You have to take some pretty hard knocks in both - you can believe me," he smiles.

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