Globe columnist Peter Grant reviews the autobiography of one of Wirral's most famous sons – Graham Stark.

Stark Naked is the quirky title of a book now re-issued to celebrate the life of New Brighton-born actor, director and photographer Graham Stark.

Audrey Nicholson, who was married to the multi-talented star until his death in 2013 at the age of 91, says it has been brought out for the first time in paperback due to popular demand.

Audrey, herself an actress, told the Wirral Globe: "People kept asking his manager about it - so we all felt it was time to have it back on the bookshelves.

"It is lovely collection of memories for me and his fans.

"And, of course, there-s 70 photographs - many of the famous people in showbusiness he captured.

"Graham talked about his early life in Wirral, wartime exploits and life in entertainment with stories of people who became friends, from Roger Moore to Ringo Starr." 

There is also a picture of a young stage-struck Graham at Wirral Grammar school in his debut performance in 1933.

Audrey says he had shown a talent for acting from an early age and started his career with a performance at the Liverpool Playhouse.

Audrey says his heart was always in Wirral.

He loved the promenade and watching the great ships sail by.

He said his childhood was idyllic and he remembered Prescot Street and Vaughan Road School with great affection.

Audrey reflected: "You had to move to London - if you were in theatre world.

"But he often went back to see his family and he always hankered about Wallasey.

"He loved to talk about growing up there." 

The warm and affectionate 200-plus page book details his love of photography, says Audrey.

"Peter Sellers was his dear friend.

"They both loved gadgets and they had a love of cars and cameras.

"When he would come to our house they would be like two big kids with new found toys. 

"You could not open cupboards in case photo negatives fell out.

"People would come to our house to be photographed by him I recall one time when he asked me if we had any rope because he wanted to 'hang' Joanna Lumley.

"I found out he wanted he wanted to make a swing to photograph her on.

"Joanna said he was full of 'madness, energy and optimism.' 

"Audrey is proud that Graham made a name for himself not only as a regular much-in-demand supporting actor in such hits as The Pink Panther films, but also just under a hundred other roles in total - including Alfie with Michael Caine as well as being an award-winning director himself.

"He was such a hard-working man right up to the end.

"Graham did take his work seriously and as for his photography – people wanted to be portrayed by him.

"When he was on a film set he would take photos that didn't disrupt the proceedings. 

"Sydney Poitier loved his picture very much and at first Ursula Andress had to be convinced to have her picture taken which she was so happy with.

"His vast collection of images are now owned by Getty Images so his work is seen all over the world on front covers of magazines everywhere - he would have been so proud of that." 

Audrey adds, with a gentle laugh from her London home, that Graham would have loved to have seen the book out again in 2017 and especially on the shelves of his beloved Wirral.

Stark Naked, Right Publishing; £9.99