Philip Pullman

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Duration: 30 minutes

Philip Pullman is one of Britain's best-loved and most celebrated writers - for both children and adults. But few people know that he was first inspired to become a writer during the years he spent growing up in North Wales. In this programme, we meet Philip's former school friends, teachers and fans and admirers of all ages, as we delve into his Welsh background and search for the sources of his inspiration. Philip himself tells us about how he got into a fight on his first day at school in Harlech, and of how his life was changed by an inspirational teacher. We hear how the landscape of Snowdonia shaped his view of the world, and of how a visit to a Barmouth bookshop opened his eyes to art. Schoolfriend and historian Merfyn Jones offes a unique insight into how the seeds of Philip's masterpiece, His Dark Materials, were planned in North Wales. And former Python, Pullman fan and fellow North-Walian Terry Jones pays tribute, and gives him a moving reading from the work. As Philip Pullman himself says 'The time my family spent in North Wales was only ten years. And I was very lucky, because having the friends I did, reading the books I read, prepared me for the rest of my life. I knew I wanted to write books, and I got those ambitions, that sensibility, from the time I spent in Wales'.


Ian Michael Jones
Ian Michael Jones
Executive Producer
Paul Islwyn Thomas



On 19 March 2013, from his Oxfordshire home, acclaimed author Philip Pullman (~PP) took part in a live Twitter Q&A masterclass conducted by BBC Cymru Wales, and also answered some questions that came in via email. This live blog reflects discussion on Twitter via the #AskPullman hashtag

  • 19 Mar 2013 14:30:24

    Some emails from Ysgol Ardudwy:

  • 19 Mar 2013 14:30:24

    "How would you recommend dealing with a writer's block?"

  • 19 Mar 2013 14:29:06

    "Do you ever want to give up when writing a book?"

  • 19 Mar 2013 14:28:02

    "How would you encourage creativity in the short time left in a school week?"

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