Comedian and author David O’Doherty entertains Norwich youngsters during school visit

PUBLISHED: 16:27 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:05 07 March 2017

Comedian and author David O'Doherty at Lionwood Junior School.

Comedian and author David O'Doherty at Lionwood Junior School. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

Youngsters in Norwich became comedian and author David O’Doherty’s latest audience during a whistle-stop visit to the city.

The Irish actor and playwright spent time with pupils at Lionwood Junior School on Tuesday while in Norwich for a three-day run of performances at Norwich Playhouse.

Mr O’Doherty, who has penned children’s books including Danger is Everywhere: A Handbook for Avoiding Danger, spoke to more than 250 pupils about ‘dangerology’.

He offered survival tips on how to spot hidden dangers in books, vampire teachers, aliens masquerading as children and traffic lights which can transform into jellyfish.

Speaking after his visit, the author said: “The key to these books is you have to be of an age where you are able to go, ‘oh hang on, this guy is a wally!’

“You remember the term wally we used to have, which implied just a silly grown up? We don’t really have an equivalent of it now. I am trying to bring the wally back.

“So it’s to give kids the confidence to be able to read a book and be like ‘this guy is off his head! What’s going on here?’ and I quite enjoy that.”

He also spoke about the newly-launched Get Norfolk Reading campaign, which has been spearheaded by the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group and is supported by this newspaper.

Its goal is to encourage more primary school age children to get into reading to drive up literacy levels in the county.

He said that books were “another world” which allowed people to escape the “stress and pressure” of everyday life.

“We need to get kids to appreciate that it can be a really nice place where they can go and decompress from the world,” he said.

“The hard part, and this is where libraries and schools come in, is finding the one book that gets kids into reading. I sincerely believe that there is a book out there for everyone and once that door opens to you then there is a universe behind it.”

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