Pam Ayres is a poet and broadcaster.
Pam was born in the Vale of the White Horse and retains her characteristic Berkshire burr. She is the youngest of six children, and grew up in the company of her four brothers and a sister in a small council house.
Although she was interested in writing from an early age, she failed her 11-plus exam and left school at 15 to join the Civil Service and later the Women's Royal Air Force, where she found opportunities to appear in amateur dramatics.
She began to perform her comic verse in local folk clubs in the early 1970s and her first break came when she secured a spot on BBC Radio Oxford. In 1975, she won the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks and by the following year she had given up her day job.
Pam has sold more than three million copies of her books, and has been called "the people's poet", thanks to her ability to write verse which resonates with a wide audience. Her best-loved poems include Oh, I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth, which was voted one of the UK's top ten comic verses in a BBC poll. Striking a very different note, her poem Woodland Burial has become a popular reading at funerals.
Presenter: Kirsty Young
Producer: Sarah Taylor.
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