TV comedian inspires hundreds of Hartlepool youngsters to read

Author and comedian David O'Doherty signs copies of his latest book for Lewis Wilkins (Barnard Grove) and Lucy Preston (Stranton) in the Town Hall Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID
Author and comedian David O'Doherty signs copies of his latest book for Lewis Wilkins (Barnard Grove) and Lucy Preston (Stranton) in the Town Hall Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

A well-known comedian and children’s author entertained hundreds of Hartlepool school children when he performed a reading from his new book.

Funnyman David O’Doherty, who is a regular on TV comedy panel shows, had hundreds of youngsters in fits of giggles as he read from his latest book at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre yesterday.

Author and comedian David O'Doherty during a question and answer session with primary and secondary school pupils held in the Town Hall Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Author and comedian David O'Doherty during a question and answer session with primary and secondary school pupils held in the Town Hall Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

The event was the latest in a string of successful events by Hartlepool’s Libraries inviting children’s authors to town to encourage children to read.

A full house of 400 pupils from Stranton, Barnard Grove, Hart, St Peter’s Elwick, Ward Jackson, West View and St Joseph’s primary schools were invited to listen to David who is also an award-winning stand-up comedian.

He read from his book series centred around the adventures of Doctor Noel Zone, who is afraid of everything.

His latest, entitled Danger Really is Everywhere, is the third in the series written as illustrated handbooks for avoiding wacky dangers from vampire teachers to haunted books.

David, 40, told the children how he was encouraged to read as a child after discovering books such as The Twits by Roald Dahl.

He said: “All I tried to do was write a book that I would have liked when I was your age.

“When I was little I was scared of sharks and snakes coming up out of the loo. I was obsessed with sharks and lions and animals we don’t get here.

“Drawing pictures of them and putting them in a book means you are not really scared of them any more.”

Older students from English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College were also lucky enough to be invited.

Heather Bellwood, Hartlepool Borough Council’s children’s and outreach librarian, said: “David had them cracking up in the aisles with his humour, they loved every minute.

“These face-to-face meetings between authors and children are well-proven to help spark youngsters’ interest in books and reading.

“They are a highlight of our libraries programme and we are very proud that they have proved such a huge success.”

All of the children who attended the event were given signed samplers of David’s new book.

Encouraging children to read, Irishman David added: “Keep searching and you will find a book you love and the whole world of books will seem like such fun.”