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Author Charlie Higson: ‘Children should play video games as much as they read books’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 March 2014

Writer Charlie Higson with students from William Ellis School. From left Corron Buxton, 12, David Hernandez, 13, Charlie Higson, Sol Perez, 13, Mustafa Ahmed, 12, Zac Coote, 13, and Miss Sinclaire-Webb, English teacher. Picture: Polly Hancock

Writer Charlie Higson with students from William Ellis School. From left Corron Buxton, 12, David Hernandez, 13, Charlie Higson, Sol Perez, 13, Mustafa Ahmed, 12, Zac Coote, 13, and Miss Sinclaire-Webb, English teacher. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Author and The Fast Show comic actor Charlie Higson has said children should be playing video games and watching films just as much as they read books.

Mr Higson, author of the Young Bond children’s series, said whenever he visits schools he is always impressed by how many students love to read or want to become writers.

The Tufnell Park writer made the comments after meeting pupils, aged between 11 and 13, at William Ellis School, Highgate Road, Highgate.

He signed copies of his books and held a writing workshop for older students.

“Books can give kids a lot,” he told the Ham&High. “All the different media can give something.

“You read so many stories about how kids should be reading books instead of playing games or watching films.

“They should be doing both, and it’s important to get that across.

“If you believe some of the media, all kids are just stupid and they wouldn’t know what a book was if they saw one. But at the end of the talk, I asked how many were interested in becoming writers and a lot of hands went up.”

Mr Higson, whose three sons went to Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park, will publish the sixth novel in his zombie-horror series The Enemy in September.

The Enemy series, which features William Ellis School in the first book, will finish with the aptly named seventh title, The End, next year.

The author is currently in talks about making the first book, The Enemy, into a film.

After the series ends, Mr Higson, who is one of the most-read authors at the boys’ school, said he wants to start writing fantasy books.

Rami Choudhury, 12, from Gospel Oak, said Mr Higson’s talk had inspired him to read more often.

Vullnet Thaci, 12, of Archway, added: “I don’t read as often as I used to. [Mr Higson] made me think about what books I want to read next.”

Donit Shahini, also 12, said: “I think it was great for him to be here and it inspired all of us to write and become writers.”

English teacher Sophia Sinclaire-Webb said: “We wrote to him in a letter to ask him here as one of his stories mentions William Ellis.

“The boys love his books. They were so excited to meet someone who has inspired them.”

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