Sir Michael Caine's East Anglian life remembered on Channel 5 documentary

A delighted Sir Michael Caine with the blue plaque he unveiled outside the school he attended as a wartime evacuee in...

A delighted Sir Michael Caine with the blue plaque he unveiled outside the school he attended as a wartime evacuee in North Runcton. - Credit: John Hocknell

One of Britain's most recognised actor's East Anglian life has been remembered on prime time television.

Sir Michael Caine's childhood in a rural Norfolk village and early acting experience in Lowestoft was relived with Channel 5 documentary Michael Caine: The Man and the Movies.

The 90-minute-long special featured a collection of interviews with the star over the years, including being evacuated from London to Norfolk during the war.

The actor, then known as Maurice Micklewhite, was moved from south London to North Runcton, near King's Lynn, with his mother Ellen and younger brother Stanley.

He said: "My recollections of this time are very vague, but the first big one was when the war came when I was six.


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"I was given some sandwiches and a gas mask and evacuated to Norfolk with my mother, to a little village called North Runcton near King's Lynn.

"That was one of the happiest times of my life."

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The documentary shows a historic clip of Sir Caine returning to his former North Runcton home, which he shared with five other families.

He attended what was then known as King Edward VII Grammar School in Gaywood.

Sir Michael Caine lived in North Runcton as a child evacuee during the Second World War. Photo: Dani

Sir Michael Caine moved to Kirkley aged 21 - Credit: PA

He returned London aged 12 after the war and, after fighting in the Korean war, he returned to Britain, before eventually arriving on the east coast in Lowestoft aged 21, living in Kirkley.

During his time in the town, he took to the stage at the Arcadia Theatre on London Road South.

Having been rebranded from The Playhouse in 1952, the theatre would be renamed against as the Theatre Royal in 1960, before being turned into the Royal Casino bingo hall and later as the Hollywood Cinema - rebranded again after a major refurbishment into East Coast Cinema.

The show repeats an 1969 interview with Sir Caine, in which he returned to the Lowestoft theatre.

He said: "The plays we did here, you would never have heard of.

"They were written by anybody from anywhere, but we used to do quite good business and it taught me a great deal.

"It was here too, that I was to meet the lady that would become my ex-wife, eventually. She was the leading lady."

After marrying actress Patricia Haines at Lothingland Registry Office, the couple returned to London.

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