Danny Malin: My mum is my hero bringing up 17 children - and I love using her 'owt for nowt' motto

Rate My Takeway's Danny Mei Lan Malin shares the reasons why his mum is his hero ahead of Mother's Day this weekend.
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I was brought up with 17 brothers and sisters. I’m used to chaos. Although we didn’t get all the options like youngsters do these days. Even with two kids it can be carnage.

Granted, I only ever had three siblings at any one time but we had to have what we got given. Whether it be leftover battered sausage and chips from my mum and dad’s chip shop in Barnsley, salad cream sandwiches or beans on toast.

Danny Malin has shared why his mum is his hero ahead of Mother's Day 2024.Danny Malin has shared why his mum is his hero ahead of Mother's Day 2024.
Danny Malin has shared why his mum is his hero ahead of Mother's Day 2024.
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Everything was cheap and cheerful because my parents worked several jobs to make ends meet and to care for my brother and I alongside their foster children.

My mum would always make sure there was food on the table even if it was all inspired by the out of date bananas she picked up from the factory she worked at. My mum is one of the strongest yet loving people I know. She takes after my nan who always lovingly cooked up epic Sunday roasts with proper thick gravy.

Mum has always grafted hard at home and at work at the chippy or in the care home alongside my father. I saw what it took for them to afford a takeaway at the end of the week.

My mum would make sure the housework was done, we were all sorted for school and we had enough food in the fridge. She was always entrepreneurial whether it be running the chippy or how to make cheap cuts of meat into a hearty stew to feed the whole family.

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Not only has she loved and cared for my biological brother and I for over 40 years but also my foster brothers and sisters, some for a few months, others for many years. Still today, she is there for all of us, including all the grandchildren. Ensuring everyone is looked after. Tracking us on her iPhone is one of her favourite hobbies alongside daily FaceTimes.

My mum still whittles and worries about every one of her children. While in recent years she’s retired from fostering, she still works.

For the past 20 years however she’s set up her own miniatures business called Smallsorts, where she handcrafts dollhouse miniatures. Mum does this while propping her phone on FaceTime because I think she must spend all day on the phone checking in with each child and grandchild.

If she’s not checking in with us she’s following me online and joining in my live videos or she’s watching Spudman live.

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Then she’ll be listening to me on the wireless on my LDC Radio show. She will be even there when I’m filming and hosting meets and greets, trying to flog my merch. Not because I ask her to but because she wants to.

My mum and dad scarcely used to go on holiday; they couldn’t afford it but when we finally could, it would be to be to go camping and eventually after a lot of graft we got a caravan. When we were late teens, my parents saved enough money to pack my brother and I off to Spain to see our nan throughout the summer.

Some of my best memories as a child were spent in Spain scranning on Paella, hamburgers and my nan’s egg and chips. While my parents stayed at home working.

Nowadays my mum loves a cruise but they struggle leaving their new baby Buddy, the dog, and my daughter Athena. When my parents can afford it they’ll try and take some of their grandkids with them too, to give us parents a break.

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My mum has a wicked sense of humour, she loves her grub and she’s always got something to say. A bit like me, just without teeth. My mum’s biggest wish has been to get new teeth this year but I sadly don’t earn as much as those online believe.

So instead mum for Mother’s Day I’ve written you this for free because I’m a tight Yorkshireman. I have learned from the best, you and your “owt for nowt” motto.

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