There's something fascinating about the story of the Krays and their reign over London's East End. It's a story so full of drama that it's been made into two films.

The notorious twins, who ran London's underworld in the 60s, may be dead now but they are still alive in the memories of many living people today - and one of them is highly-regarded local journalist Fred Dinenage. 

For those of us who remember Fred from our childhood on TV show How! it seems an unlikely relationship to have formed. The self-declared 'pratt' of kids' TV, local news stalwart and family man Fred, struck up a friendship that would span decades with arguably Britain's most notorious gangsters.

But such are the twists and turns in life, especially a life in local news, that as ridiculous as it seems, their paths crossed and led to some interesting encounters.  

Basingstoke Gazette: Fred Dinenage and Alex Dyke on stage at the Haymarket

Fred, now 81, has written two books about his time getting to know the Krays. After a successful stage show in Eastleigh last year, which drew a great crowd, Fred has now taken the format on tour and appeared at the Haymarket in Basingstoke to a full house on Friday, March 8. 

He is interviewed by Alex Dyke, with clips and photos shown on a big screen, before the audience can take part in a question and answer session. 

Largely the questions were about the Krays, and such was the reach of their empire, several audience members had their own tales to tell of encounters. It seems everybody, including myself, who has connections to the East End, has some kind of story to tell of relatives either being helped or having run-ins with the brothers.

Amazingly Fred still has a dictaphone with a tape of an interview with Ronnie, held inside prison, and due to various reasons, it's never been heard. A video of the tape is shown, with its spools turning, and Ronnie's voice is brought to life. His message to young people today - not to follow him into a life of crime. 

The attraction of the Krays in the 60s saw celebrities flock around them and allowed them to manipulate London. Now decades later, with a packed house at the Haymarket, a tour of shows, two books and two films, it seems that attraction is as alive as ever. 

Fred's show is as captivating as it is interesting, it's packed with anecdotes and almost unbelievable stories. At the end, Fred even posed for pictures and met audience members. A true people person, this show makes for a different and memorable night out. 

Basingstoke Gazette: Kimberley Barker with Fred Dinenage after his show

Spring dates for Fred Dinenage: Reggie, Ronnie and Me

March 1 – Portsmouth Guildhall

March 8 – Basingstoke Haymarket

March 10 – Christchurch Regent Theatre

March 15 – Eastbourne Devonshire Park

March 20 – Exeter Corn Exchange

March 21 – Tavistock Wharf

March 22 – Paignton Palace Theatre

April 6 – Banbury Mill Arts Centre

April 16 – The Lights, Andover

April 24 – Wimborne Tivoli Theatre