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Simon O’Brien uncovers the books that made the North West

Simon O’Brien
Simon O’Brien

New BBC One documentary series Books That Made Britain looks at how the landscape of the North West has inspired local writers.

The landscapes and cities that have inspired some of Britain’s most loved authors will be celebrated in a new series of documentaries produced by BBC English Regions in partnership with BBC Learning as part of the #LoveToRead season.

Books That Made Britain, is part of an eleven part regional series to transmit on BBC One in the North West on Sunday 16 October at 3.45pm.

Presenter Simon O’Brien travels his home region discovering the landscapes that have inspired children’s authors and ignited the imaginations of their readers.

On his journey he sails across Coniston to uncover the enduring appeal of Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransom and ventures underground to bronze age mines in search of the Weirdstone of Brisingamen from Alan Garner’s novel. He visits the home of Beatrix Potter in the Lake District and meets Millions author Frank Cottrell-Boyce.

Simon is also passionate about encouraging children to use literature as an escape and will reveal his plans to build a library in the shape of an upturned book in his native Liverpool.

Simon, from Liverpool, says: “I firmly believe that the greatest gift you can give a child is a love of reading so it was an absolute joy to work on this programme about children’s authors. As a boy, the Weirdstone of Brisingamen was my favourite book, it took me to a completely different world so to meet its author, Alan Garner, was a real privilege.”

In the other episodes Martha Kearney will be in East Anglia, Suggs in London, John Wedgwood Clark on the Yorkshire Coast, Gemma Cairney will be exploring Bristol, Chris Donald in the North East, Damian Barr in the South East, Chris Packham in the South West, Qasa Alom in the West Midlands, Alice Levine in the East Midlands and Craig Henderson in the South.

All of the programmes will be all asking audiences to share their favourite book of all time using the hashtag #LoveToRead.

Books That Made Britain will go out on BBC One in the North West at 3.45pm on Sunday 16 October and on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after.

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