When Oliver Reed stayed at the Duke
Oliver Reed will be forever remembered as a robust English actor famed for his performances in theatre and films including The Trap, Oliver, Tommy and Gladiator.
But aside from his burly screen presence Reed was a man also known for his boisterous off-screen antics and a legendary affection for booze.
In the late 1970’s as many British actors fled to Hollywood to escape the UK’s oppressive tax rate on high earners it was Reed, ever the maverick, who chose to exile in Guernsey.
His first residence on arrival in St Peter Port? - The Duke of Normandie Hotel.
Whilst he settled in Guernsey Reed stayed at the Duke for about a year during which time he endorsed his reputation as a hell-raiser.
He was rumoured to have been barred from many a watering hole on the island and was charged with criminal damage after he drunkenly broke a window at the hotel and was forced to spend a night in the cells!
In another famous anecdote it was claimed that Reed downed an astonishing 106 pints of beer during a two-day binge prior to his wedding to his bride, Josephine, who was 26 years his junior.
Having left the Duke of Normandie he and Josephine continued to live in Guernsey for the following fifteen years, so we must have made him feel welcome!
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