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Pam Ayres
Born 14 March 1947 (1947-03-14) (age 63)
Stanford in the Vale, Berkshire, England
Nationality British
Genres Poetry, Songs
Official website

Pam Ayres MBE (born 14 March 1947) is an English poet, songwriter and presenter of radio and television.


Early life

Pam Ayres was born at Stanford in the Vale in the English county of Berkshire, now in Oxfordshire. After leaving Faringdon Secondary School at the age of 15, she joined the Civil Service as a clerical assistant. She soon left and signed up for the Women's Royal Air Force, where she worked in a drawing office dealing with operational maps,[1] and it was there that she chose her career as 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 September 2006, a BBC website stated that Bob Dylan inspired Pam Ayres to write poetry,[2] although in an interview (aired on Radio New Zealand's Nine To Noon programme, 24 October 2006) Pam stated that the Lonnie Donegan records her brother played were her inspiration.


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.

Her poetry has a simple style and deals with everyday subject matter. 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. However, in 2000 her TV show was ranked at number 64 in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Moments from TV Hell.

Ayres is married to theatre producer Dudley Russell, and they have two sons, William and James. They live in the Cotswolds, and keep some rare breeds of cattle, as well as some sheep, pigs, chickens, and guinea fowl. Pam is a keen gardener and beekeeper.[3] She is a patron of the Battery Hen Welfare Trust.

Cover of Pam Ayres' latest book, Surgically Enhanced (September 2006).

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

Pam continues to actively perform her work, the humorous quality of which is enhanced by her idiosyncratic delivery and 'country bumpkin' accent. Starting in September 2006 to coincide with the release of her latest book and audio CD, Ayres gave dozens of performances in various locations in the United Kingdom and Australia, with additional dates scheduled for the UK and New Zealand in 2007.

From 1996, Ayres has appeared frequently on BBC Radio: from 1996 until 1999 Pam presented a two-hour music and chat show every Sunday afternoon on BBC Radio 2; this was followed by two series of Pam Ayres’ Open Road, in which Pam visited various parts of the United Kingdom, interviewing people with interesting stories to tell about their lives and local areas. More recently Pam has become a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4, appearing in programmes such as Just a Minute, Say The Word, That Reminds Me, and two series of her own show, Ayres On The Air, a radio show of her poetry and sketches.[4]

In mid-2007, Ayres started work acting in a new radio sitcom, Potting On for BBC Radio 4, in which she co-stars with actor Geoffrey Whitehead.[5] She wrote and recorded three series of her BBC Radio 4 programme Ayres On The Air, the latest of which was broadcast in the late summer of 2009.[1][4]

Since 2002 Ayres has appeared a number of times on Channel Four in Countdown's Dictionary Corner alongside Susie Dent.

On Friday 16 January 2009 she made her first appearance on BBC TV programme QI.


Pam Ayres is well known for her comedy songs. One of these is ‘They Should Have Asked My Husband'.


Pam Ayres: In Her Own Words was recorded live at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham in September 2005 and is available on DVD

Select bibliography

  • Some of Me Poetry (London: Galaxy Records, 1976) ISBN 0-950-47740-0.
  • Some More of Me Poetry (London : Galaxy Records, 1976) ISBN 0-950-47741-9.
  • All of Pam's Poetry (London: Hutchinson, 1978).
  • Thoughts of a Late-Night Knitter (London: Arrow Books, 1978) ISBN 0091343801.
  • Dear Mum: Poems for Mums and Their Babies (Severn House Publishers, 1985). ISBN 0-727-82066-4.
  • Pam Ayres: The Works, (BBC Books, Sep 1992) ISBN 0-563-36751-2.
  • With These Hands: A Collection , (Orion, Feb 1998) ISBN 0-752-81553-9.
  • Surgically Enhanced, (Hodder & Stoughton, Sep 2006) ISBN 0-340-92278-8.

Audio CD

  • Pam Ayres: Ancient and Modern, (Hodder & Stoughton, Nov 2006) ISBN 1-844-56318-9.


  • Pam Ayres: In Her Own Words, (Acorn Media, March 2006)


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

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



The Wonderbra

  • I bought myself a Wonderbra
    For fourteen ninety nine,
    It looked so good on the model girl's chest,
    And I hoped it would on mine,
    I took it from the packaging
    And when I tried it on,
    The Wonderbra restored to me
    All I believed had gone.

In Favour Of Pushing Your Car Over A Cliff And Buying A Bike...

  • I am a mighty Garage,
    On the corner of the Square,
    And it is all my pleasure,
    To provide a quick repair,
    Or I can do your service,
    In the blinking of an eye,
    I wouldn't say it's thorough,
    But it'll get you by.

Oh No, I've Got A Cold

  • I am sitting on the sofa.
    By the fire and staying in.
    Me head is free of comfort
    And me nose is free of skin
    Me friends have run for cover,
    They have left me pale and sick
    With me pockets full of tissues
    And me nostrils full of Vick.

External links

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