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Mairi Hedderwick

Kirsty Young talks to author and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the author and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick.

Her most famous creation is a little red-haired character called Katie Morag who - in wellies and a kilt - has skipped her way through fourteen books and a 26-part TV series. Katie lives on the imaginary Isle of Struay with her parents, siblings, cousins, granny and prize-winning sheep Alecina. Like her creator she relishes the rhythms and freedoms particular to life on a wee Scottish island. But that's where the similarities end - the author was born and brought up an only child on the mainland of the lowlands. She lost her father when she was just twelve and says she was never part of a close-knit family.

As a grown-up, all she wanted was to quit the rat race and be an island crofter, but after a decade she left her dream behind in favour of a more stable income and a secondary school for her children.

She says, "I have a notion that children's writers explore unresolved questions in their own childhoods. I certainly do."

Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.

Available now

45 minutes

Music Played

  • Donald Shaw - Accordion, Anna Massie - Guitar, Aidan O"Rourke - Fiddle, Nathon Jones - Dobro & Signy Jakobsdottir - Percussion

    Granma Mainland Theme

    • Katie Morgan TV series.
    • Vertical Music.
  • Martin Carthy & Isla St Clair

    Over the Hills and Far Away - Tom Tom the Piper's Son

    • The Classic Nursery Rhyme Collection.
    • Ocean Music.
  • Frank Sinatra

    My Blue Heaven

    • The Columbia Years 1943-52.
    • Leo Feist Inc.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Double Violin Concerto in D minor – 3rd movement

    Performer: Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Performer: Jaime Laredo. Performer: John Tunnell.
    • Bach: Violin Concertos.
    • IMP.
  • Dire Straits

    Telegraph Road

    • Love Over Gold.
    • Vertigo.
  • Kirsty MacColl

    Mambo de la Luna

    • Tropical Brainstorm.
    • Big Cat.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Symphony No. 2 in E Minor - 3rd movement

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic. Performer: Lorin Maazel.
    • Rachmaninov: Orchestral Works.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Einojuhani Rautavaara

      Cantus Arcticus (Concerto for Birds and Orchestra)

      Performer: Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Robin Ticciati.
      • Music of Rautavaara.
      • Catalyst.
  • Book Choice

    • A book containing all the Ordnance Survey maps of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland

  • Luxury Choice

    • A wonderful bath that comes down from the skies

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Mairi Hedderwick

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