Pam Ayres

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Pam Ayres (born March 14, 1947) is a British writer of humorous poetry.

Pam Ayres was born in Stanford in the Vale, Berkshire in England (the town was incorporated into Oxfordshire in 1974). After leaving school she joined the Civil Service as a clerical assistant. It has recently been revealed that she was working for MI5, the Security Service. She soon left there to sign up to the Women's Royal Air Force, and it was there that she decided she wanted to be an entertainer. She began reading her verses at the local folk club in Oxfordshire, and this led to an invitation to read on the local BBC radio station in 1974. Her reading was re-broadcast nationally, and then broadcast again as one of the BBC's Pick of the Year.

In 1975 Ayres appeared on the television talent show Opportunity Knocks. This led to a wide variety of guest appearances on TV and radio shows. Since then she has published six books of poems, toured in a one woman stage show, briefly hosted her own TV show and performed her stage show for the Queen. She regularly appears on the radio show Just A Minute.

Her poetry has a simple style and deals with everyday subject matter. It is not to everyone's taste. In 2000 Pam Ayres was ranked at number 64 in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Moments from TV Hell. However, her poem I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth, was voted into the Top 10 of a BBC poll to find the Nation's 100 Favourite Comic Poems. In the UK Arts Council's report on poetry Ayres was identified as the fifth best-selling poet in Britain during 1998 and 1999.

In June 2004 she was awarded the MBE for services to literature and entertainment.

Ayres is married to theatre producer Dudley Russell, and they have two sons, William and James.

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