Frank Norman was born in Bristol in 1930 and abandoned by his natural parents. After an unsuccessful adoption he was committed to a succession of children's homes in and around London—the story of which is recounted in his childhood autobiography, Banana Boy (1969). After the homes came a succession of petty crimes for which he was imprisoned, finally leading to a three-year stretc. A Playwright and a novelist; he also spent time in a Dr Barnardo's home, Norman worked as a farm labourer and in a travelling fair as well as serving two short prison sentences (described in his successful autobiography Bang to Rights, 1958 and Stand on Me, 1961). He also worked, with Lionel Bart, on the successful musical Fings Aint Wot They Used T'be (1959).