WISE WORDS FROM PAM... TheDailyPreview PAM AYRES: Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick

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WARWICK Words is up and running and celebrating literature and the spoken word with an array of top guests.

Pam Ayres is among those appearing tomorrow when she will be talking about her new memoir The Necessary Aptitude at the Lord Leycester Hospital.

It is 36 years since she won TV talent show Opportunity Knocks - when she was sandwiched between a man singing You Are My Heart's Desire and a woman who played the squeeze box.

Amid the whirlwind of euphoria over her victory, she signed up for her own TV series, went on tours and was filling huge venues with fans hungry for more of her humorous verse.

Her new memoir charts her life from her early childhood in rural Berkshire to the launch of her career and ends shortly after her Opportunity Knocks win.

"People had seen me on TV doing a poem or two, then suddenly I was in the biggest theatres in the country and I didn't really have an act. I shambled out there, did a few poems and was surrounded by a lot of support acts," says the poet and broadcaster.

"There was a kind of hysteria - it was a bit like Susan Boyle. I was painted by the press as some little old country gal who sat under the haystack writing her poems."

Pam ended up returning to small theatres to work her way up the ladder again. By then she'd met her husband, Dudley Russell, a concert promoter who became her agent. …