The Necessary Aptitude
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The Sunday Times bestseller - a beautifully written memoir by Pam Ayres, one of Britain's most-loved personalities

About the Author

Pam Ayres has been a writer, broadcaster and entertainer for over 35 years since winning the talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1975, and she has become an audience favourite for her sharp perception of the comic detail of everyday life. Pam is the author of several bestselling poetry collections, including With These Hands, Surgically Enhanced and The Works. Many of her poems are in school textbooks in countries including China, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, South Africa, Ireland and Singapore. Pam's books, record albums, CDs and DVDs have sold many millions, and she is a regular guest on radio programmes such as Just A Minute, Loose Ends and Saturday Live. Her own programme Ayres on the Air will be entering its fourth series in 2012. Pam performs her solo stage show annually to sell-out audiences throughout Britain and around the world. In 2004 she was awarded the MBE.

Reviews

Ayres gives a wonderful account of what it was like to grow up poor but respectable in post-war rural England. Some of her writing in the early chapters, describing life as the youngest of six children in a council cottage in the Vale of White Horse, Berkshire, has the original freshness of classics such as Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford -- Kathryn Hughes * Mail on Sunday *
I find her work sweet and sour, gentle and sad, and often very moving in its wistful way ... The descriptions of post-war Berkshire life in The Necessary Aptitude are wonderful ... The world Ayres evokes is Hardy's Wessex ... I do admire (and envy) this marvellous woman -- Roger Lewis * Daily Mail *
Excellent ... Unsentimental, especially about herself, Ayres gives a surprisingly moving account of what it was like to grow up poor in rural England without any "aptitude" for making something of herself -- Kathryn Hughes * Christmas Guide to a Cracking Read, Mail on Sunday *
Highly readable ... Pam's memoirs are a masterclass in effective and effervescent prose * The Lady *
An evocation of long-gone village life as captivating as Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford. At the book's height, she reaches up and touches Laurie Lee * Buckinghamshire Life *

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