Bloomsbury will publish the memoir of actor, campaigner and Labour peer Michael Cashman, One of Them.
Editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle bought UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Robert Caskie at Caskie Mushens. One of Them is set to be published in spring 2020. The book will will span showbiz insights and “stirring” campaigning stories as well as the the nature of love and impact of grief. It is Cashman's first book.
Cashman was born in east London and went on to star in “Oliver" at the age of 12 in London’s West End. His screen career led him on to notoriety as the man who delivered the first gay kiss on British television. While starring in "EastEnders" for three years as Colin, he campaigned against the stigma of AIDS and HIV, and the anti-lesbian and gay law section 28. He became founder and chair of the LGBT equality group Stonewall.
He stepped away from acting as he grew more interested in campaigning and policy issues. He was elected to the European Parliament, as well as the Labour Party National Executive. He stepped down from elected politics in 2014, was awarded the CBE and became Labour’s LGBT Global envoy.
He joined the House of Lords as Baron Cashman of Limehouse in 2014, four days after the death of his husband and partner of 31 years, Paul Cottingham.
Pringle said: "Michael Cashman has led many lives, all of them remarkable: as a beloved actor of stage and screen, as a playwright, an activist, and politician, he has lived both bravely left of field and firmly embedded in the heart of what makes our country liberal and good.
"But his book is remarkable for more reasons than that, for like its author it contains multitudes: glorious nostalgia, wickedly funny showbiz gossip, a stirring history of a civil rights movement, a sorrowfully clear-eyed exposition of Britain's standing in Europe, and an unforgettable love story.”
She added: "It is also one of the most moving accounts of how irrevocably grief changes us that I have ever read. I cannot wait for the world to fall in love with this book - and Michael - as we have.”
Cashman said of the deal: "To find someone who beautifully and instinctively understands what you feel and how are you are trying to convey it is a gift that most writers dream of. And so I have been given this amazing gift to work with Alexandra and the astounding team at Bloomsbury."
Caskie said: "Michael Cashman and Alexandra Pringle are both true pioneers - evangelists who, each in their own way, passionately and successfully enable people to express themselves, and in so doing liberate them and enrich all our lives….There is a wonderful synergy happening here already, and I believe the best is yet to come."