Julia Donaldson set for appearance in Zog and the Gruffalo - interview

  • The List
  • 19 January 2011
Julia Donaldson set for appearance in Zog and the Gruffalo - interview

The celebrated children's author on Mick Jagger, tea and abusing the power of local radio

The author of The Gruffalo reminisces about a lost pet, a hairy young man and abusing the power of local radio

First record you ever bought
‘Girl Don’t Come’ by Sandie Shaw.

First film you saw that really moved you
The Red Balloon about a little boy in Paris. I cried when the balloon burst.

First movie you ever went on a date to
Planet of the Apes (with a very hairy young man).

Last time you cried
When my cat Gizmo died.

First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
A cryptic crossword.

Last great meal you cooked
Christmas dinner – roast rib of beef for the carnivores and chestnut and mushroom wellington for the veggies (but the Christmas pudding boiled dry).

Last extravagant purchase you made
A greenhouse.

First crush
Mick Jagger.

Last book you read
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín.

First great piece of advice you were given
Never go to sleep before making up after a quarrel.

Last time you were star struck
Watching Federer play tennis (sorry, Andy).

First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Ban sodium lights (those unpleasant orange ones).

Last meal on earth – what would it be
Roast pork with lots of crackling.

First song you’ll sing at karaoke
‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ by Edith Piaf.

Last time you exploited your position to get something
When I worked at Radio Bristol I managed to get some free driving lessons by obliquely threatening to broadcast the fact that my original instructor hadn’t turned up because he’d run off with the driving school’s car and money.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
In December I bought some glamorous-looking boots which turned out to be uncomfortable and non-waterproof, and I went and got talked into buying some shoe-protection spray with them when I already have about 20 unused canisters of the stuff sitting in a cupboard.

First time you realised you were famous
Not so sure about me, but my husband got asked by a passport official, ‘Are we talking Gruffalo Donaldson here?’

Last time someone criticised your work
On Amazon someone said one of my books was going ‘straight to the charity shop’.

First three words your friends would use to describe you
Untidy, absent-minded, welcoming.

First concert you ever attended
Classical: The Messiah. Rock: The Rolling Stones.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
My early morning cup of tea. I can’t think of anything else until I’ve had my first live-giving sip.

Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
I usually drop off to sleep in the middle of a page of a book, but if I can’t sleep I conjure up all my favourite people from my past and present one by one.

Julia Donaldson appears in Zog and the Gruffalo, Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Sat 22 & Sun 23 Jan.

Zog and the Gruffalo

An hour of fun with Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and her husband, who will be telling her best-loved stories and singing some songs with the help of a few puppet friends - and there may even be a guest appearance from big furry friend the Gruffalo. Julia Donaldson will be signing copies of her books at the end of each…

Wriggle & Roar with Julia Donaldson

Can you purr like a cat in the sun and squeak like a mouse on the run? If so (and you're under a certain age) come and join celebrated children's author and Gruffalo creator Julia Donaldson and her husband Malcolm for an hour of silly rhymes and noisy stories. Ages 4 and up. Part of StAnza.

StAnza: Scotland's Poetry Festival

The cleverly titled StAnza is a literary festival that focuses on verse. Joining the locals for readings, performances, slams, open mics, jazz, films, workshops and poetry-related art exhibitions, and installations are a host of local and international wordsmiths. The festival's 2021 edition heads online, with the themes…

The Gruffalo's Child

Tall Stories presents Julia Donaldson's Gruffalo sequel, following the adventures of his child as she sneaks out in the night to see if the Big Bad Mouse really does exist.

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