TV provides showcase for stories of success

The cream of the North's acting, writing and artistic talent have joined forces for a TV series exploring the magic of the written word.

The cream of the North's acting, writing and artistic talent have joined forces for a TV series exploring the magic of the written word.

The first instalment of Seven Stories from Seven Stories will be broadcast on ITV Tyne Tees on Sunday.

Every week for seven weeks some of our best storytellers will create a tale and take us on a journey through one of the seven basic plots said to lie behind every story: The Quest, Rags to Riches, Overcoming the Monster, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth.

The readings, which feature stars such as Jill Halfpenny and Coronation Street's Bill Ward (Charlie Stubbs), are filmed at Seven Stories, the Centre for the Children's Book in Newcastle's Ouseburn Valley.

The first sees actor Kevin Whately, star of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Inspector Morse telling a story specially commissioned from best-selling children's author David Almond and illustrated by Newcastle artist Keith McIntyre.

The series was the brainchild of North producer Lesley Duncanson and is produced by her production company, Planet North.

In addition to the storytelling, viewers will see each author and illustrator talking about the way they work and their influences.

David's story, The Savage, is based on the concept of voyage and return and is a heartwarming tale of a young lad who turns to "scribbling" a story to come to terms with his father's death. But then the boundaries blur between the real world and his imagination.

David, who has enjoyed international success with books such as Skellig and Clay, says: "The language of Tyneside and the geography of Tyneside is the map of my imagination. I went back to Felling and the story makes use of the difference between the place of home and the place of wildness, which is the hills across the field from home.

Of the theme, he says: "It's such an elemental form. You go out, you have an adventure and you come back to tell someone about it."

* The first of Seven Stories from Seven Stories will be screened on ITV Tyne Tees on Sunday at 5.30pm.

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