Delight at my Beatles childhood crush becoming his own Paperback Writer

Sir Paul McCartney, who has written a new children's book

Lovely writer - Helen says she is excited about Sir Paul McCartney's forthcoming autobiography - Credit: Dan Harr/Invision/AP

It’s taken him a year or two but, after resisting several offers, at the age of 78, Sir Paul McCartney has decided to write his autobiography, with a little help from his friends, of course.

One friend in particular is the Pulitzer Prize-winning former professor of poetry, Paul Muldoon.

I must say the idea of a renowned poet and a famous Beatle jointly putting pen to paper didn’t strike me as the most likely literary partnership but when I heard Paul Muldoon on the radio discussing his reasons for teaming up with McCartney I found it fascinating.

As a youngster growing up in the sixties, like a lot of girls I loved the Beatles, and I secretly fancied Paul.

But when we discussed the group (which was often) and made claims for which Beatle was best I always said Ringo Starr as I sort of felt sorry for him.

Ringo had fewer followers than the others in our little gang so I wanted to stick up for him. I’m sure he was deeply grateful.

The Beatles

The Beatles pictured in the summer of 1966. From left, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Helen admits she used to fancy Paul, but felt sorry for Ringo - Credit: PA

Paul did seem to be the sort of boy you could take home to your mum, a bit of a maverick with that long hair and that shiny suit, but he seemed safe and nice, not like those rough Rolling Stones. Paul was the pretty boy of the band; it turned out that he was pretty literate too.

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Paul Mulroon spent five years in the company of his namesake and discovered that from a very early age the boy was an intelligent writer and had his own talent for poetry.

He said: “McCartney was influenced in his lyric writing by the likes of Dickens, Edward Lear and Shakespeare ... to name but a few.”

I wouldn’t have put them in the same bracket, but I’ve listened to some of his songs with a slightly fresher ear and I can admire McCartney’s ability to write a clever, catchy phrase. It’s this ability that forms the basis for the McCartney/Mulroon book that the world is waiting for.

McCartney tells the story of his life through his lyrics, all 154 of them, and by all accounts this autobiography is a cut above. Logically enough, it’s called The Lyrics and we’ve got to wait until November before we can judge for ourselves whether or not McCartney is indeed a “literary phenomenon” and “significant writer”, as Paul Mulroon describes him.

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Either way, it will bring back happy memories of those years when I used to cover myself in talc from a tin which had the faces of Paul, John, George and Ringo on it (wish I’d kept it!), and the day when my first boyfriend, called Alan, took me to see Help! when it was just released.

We sat nervously holding hands (in those long lost days when we could) and although Alan wasn’t exactly a Beatle he did have a nice Beatle haircut .

It’s been a week of reminiscing, not only about The Beatles but, would you believe it, Mr Potato Head.

I’d forgotten all about the familiar plastic person until I read that he’s going to be 'gender neutral' from now on, at least on the box that he comes in.

From now on all it will say on the box is 'Potato Head', though I do believe after extensive research that you can still get a Mr Potato Head or a Mrs Potato Head but not in a labelled box.

Hasbro, who make the toy have explained that “culture has evolved and Mr Potato Head is being re-imagined for the modern customer”.

Quite right too, of course. Why don’t we have a go at Cluedo while we’re at it? Mr Boddy, Mrs Peacock, Miss Scarlet (how dare they?), Mr Green, all must surely go and be 're-imagined'. Oh, and before I forget let’s get shot of Mr Blobby. 

Can’t say I’d miss the Blobbies all that much, having been beaten by one of them in the London Marathon a few years ago.