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Tobacco Smuggling - Tax Paid  -  Paul McGoldrick


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Tobacco Smuggling - Tax Paid
by Paul McGoldrick

UK price: £6.99   US price: $9.99
Format: Paperback:
Perfect binding , cream interior
Size : 21.2 x 13.8 x 1.2 cm
Pages: 84
ISBN-10: 0955985250
ISBN-13: 978-0955985256
Published: October 2010



Film and TV comedy working-class actor Paul McGoldrick takes us on a roller-coaster ride through his zany, crazy life! The reader will be fascinated and moved to tears and laughter by his many happy mad-glad and sad, courageous, true accounts of his personal battle with bi-polar affective disorder (formerly known as manic depression) in this heartfelt, humorous, straight from the heart, account of his dilemma. He gives us a wonderful insight into the highs and lows of the illness, leaving no stone unturned, describing in layman's terms the excruciating mental torture the affliction can bring. He also reveals how he was wrongly accused and found 'not proven' of a prevention of terrorism charge at the height of the Irish hunger strike in 1981. He also describes, in vivid terms, the joys and ecstasy that can be achieved by the up-side of the disease.


Dumbarton actor releases first book
Oct 1 2010 by Marc Mclean, Lennox Herald (main ed)

HE can sing, dance, act, make you laugh, and has a brain for business.

It’s hard not to be jealous of multi-talented Paul McGoldrick as he has a knack of being successful.

The Dumbarton man is now having a go at writing, with his first book set to be launched in a few weeks’ time.

And, despite its misleading title ‘Tobacco Smuggling – Tax Paid’, the autobiography details Paul’s biggest achievement of them all – overcoming mental illness.

But the 48-year-old writes about this very serious subject like no other by injecting humour.

“Laughter is the best medicine,” said the former stand-up comedian. “The book is a happy, mad, glad and sad look at my zany life.

“The highs of bipolar disorder are very high, but the lows are so low and I wanted people to know that I’ve come through it and they’re not alone.

“I was diagnosed 30 years ago – as the illness often manifests in adolescence – but I’ve only ‘come out’ in the last 18 months.

“I’ve had five suicide attempts. I openly admit that.

“I’ve been self-medicated on lithium for the past four years and I’m honestly the happiest man alive today.”

After working abroad as a stand-up comedian, Paul turned to acting a decade ago and has appeared in River City and Taggart, and is a regular cast member on comedy capers show Just For Laughs.

Paul plans to donate all proceeds from his book to the Manic Depression Fellowship and insists that he wrote the deeply personal work to try and help save lives.

Despite Paul’s long struggle with mental illness, the publication contains its fair share of humour and anecdotes.

He said: “I wrote it to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, and my motto is, ‘the more I sell, the more get well’.”

Paul, who was born and brought up in Coatbridge, moved to Dumbarton earlier this year and is in awe of the surroundings.

He said: “I’ve only stayed here five months but I’ve fallen in love with this area. Writing is my solace, but I can easily jump in the car to places like Balloch, Luss, Helensburgh and Rosneath.

“In fact, when we were kids this kind of place was a holiday destination for my family. I can remember we used to get the train to Helensburgh in the summer and that was a huge trip for us.”

Paul revealed that he wrote his book in a matter of hours as one of the results of his condition, and hopes it will achieve his goal of helping others as well as entertaining.

Paul said: “A ‘gift’ of the condition, as I refer to it, is that people with medicated bipolar disorder become very creative.

“Writing the book was awesome – I’ve battled alcoholism and been sober for 13 years, and the experience was like one of the parts of the wonderful 12-step programme, about making amends and recognising character flaws.

“My message to people in the same position would be to please take their medication and talk to the right people, and I hope it inspires them.”

Paul will be launching Tobacco Smuggling – Tax Paid at WH Smith in Argyle Street, Glasgow, on Saturday, October 16, at 2pm. The book is priced £6.99.

Paul welcomes any enquiries about the book and encourages anyone who has suffered from bipolar disorder to contact him on 07518 832426 or email palliam6@hotmail.com.

Review - Realradio Scotland

Comedy actor Paul McGoldrick was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 30 years ago but wouldn’t seek treatment because of the stigma. Now the Coatbridge actor is revealing all after beating the illness and writing a book about his experiences.

As a laddy I was always a practical joker... but if you look back on some of the more famous comedians than myself, a lot of them have got a dark story. It’s that big black hole in the soul symptom.

People like me become the joker to cover everything up. People would always say to me ‘you’re off your head, you should be on the telly’ but I couldn’t be bothered with it. But I was a practical joker. I had a go at market trading and my product of choice was jokes and tricks. I’d dress up in all sorts of outfits and did a roaring trade.

I was a joker, but there was definitely a darker side to me. I have had five suicide attempts – all when I was in adolence - with 1985 being the last one.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 30 years ago but only recently went public with it.The thing with bipolar disorder is that the highs are so high and the lows are so low. The highs are so high I call it the gift of bipolar. The highs are so high that when we hit the lows we tend to think ‘I’ll get through this, I don’t need to see a doctor’ but more often than not, suicide intervenes. Bipolar is the biggest contributory factor to suicide.


It is a chemical imbalance, we just need lithium... but I battled alcoholism before I realised that. I’ve been sober 25 years now thanks to the wonderful 12-step programme.

Because I’ve always been the joker some people might have been jealous so when I took the breakdown some people were maybe rubbing their hands saying ‘yeah good’. That might have been the illness that made me think that though.

My story, that I’ve written in my book is mad, glad, happy and sad. I wanted to write it because I wanted people to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that they shouldn’t be ashamed about their condition. I went public with mine 18 months ago, but there is a lot less stigma about bipolar disorder than there used to be thanks to people like Stephen Fry.

I do think that laughter is the best medicine and it has certainly helped me. Ten years ago a friend of mine told me about some extra work on the soap River City – I got that and then there was auditions going on for Just For Laughs I got that too. I love it. I sit dressed as a police officer outside the city chambers and take people at random and hit them with a hot hamburger and they go ‘what do you think you are doing? Call yourself a public servant?’ I do look quite hostile so I get all the hostile gags. It is hilarious.


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