Bigger image

More to explore...

  • Codename-Eagle
  • The-Eagle-Trail

Robert Rigby

As a child

I was born in Romford, Essex but moved to Billericay when I was quite young. Back then Billericay was a small country town, now it’s almost part of London. Overall I enjoyed school, particularly English, Music, Drama and Art. Maths was a mystery to me then and remains so to this day, which is why I never play darts as I can’t do the subtractions. I played a lot of sport and became interested in music and the theatre quite early on.

As an adult

I went from ‘A’ levels to being ‘indentured’ as a trainee newspaper reporter. It was a three-year apprenticeship, part of which was spent at college. I ended up with the National Council for the Training of Journalists Proficiency Certificate. Ever since then I’ve been working as a writer in some form or another. Firstly as a songwriter then as a playwright and dramatist for TV and radio and eventually as a novelist for young people. I’ve lived in various places, I spent a long time in Norfolk, which I liked very much as I enjoy being close to the sea.

As an artist

I like to work at home at a desk, conventional but it works best for me. I can’t write with a pen and paper any more, it has to be on a screen. But once I’ve written I prefer to read what I’ve written from paper.

Things you didn’t know about ................

  1. I’m half English and half Belgian, my dad was born in East London and my mum in Antwerp. I still visit Antwerp regularly and enjoy being in the city I know so well.
  2. When I was at school I wanted to be a footballer and then an actor. As a young footballer I broke my leg in a match when I tripped over the ball, a very dramatic way of breaking a bone. I do act occasionally, especially in my radio plays – I usually write myself a bit part. I was ‘killed’ in a play a couple of years ago and in the most recent one I was beaten up – maybe I should give up acting!
  3. I’m colour-blind; it’s mainly combinations of red, green and brown. I have no idea what the colour purple is, it looks like dark blue to me. So does mauve. I like Art very much and when I look at a painting I often wonder if I’m seeing what most other people see. I’ve also bought some very interesting shirts over the years - these days I always take advice!
  4. I play the guitar and the tuba. When I was at school I wanted to play the trumpet but the music teacher told me I had the right embouchure (look it up!) for the tuba. I found out later it was actually because they didn’t have a tuba player. But once I got used to it I loved it.
  5. I like most sports but especially football. I support the mighty Tottenham Hotspur and the greatest players of all time are Jimmy Greaves, Martin Chivers, Glen Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne – all Tottenham players, not that I’m biased towards Tottenham of course. Writing the Goal books took me to some fantastic places, such as Real Madrid’s Bernabau Stadium where I watched Beckham and all the famous galacticos.
  6. I get bored by televised snooker and I don’t really like watching tennis – too much grunting. But I am getting more and more into cycling. I was in France during the 2012 Tour de France and cheered Bradley Wiggins as he rode to victory. Watching the Tour on the streets in France is brilliant, everyone has a great time, its like a carnival every day for three weeks.
  7. I spend a lot of time in France, in the south close to the Pyrenees, and I would like to live there one day. I like most things about France; the people, the weather, the food, except for fois gras, which I won’t eat. If you don’t know what fois gras is and you look it up you probably won’t want to eat it either.
  8. I worked as a journalist and musician and songwriter before becoming a full-time writer. I quite liked being a journalist and I think it helped me learn to meet my deadlines as a writer. I used to be able to write shorthand at a hundred words per minute, I can probably do about twenty now. I still write songs and I once wrote a song for the former British and European Ladies Wrestling Champion, Miss Mitzi Mueller!
  9. I’ve written Thomas the Tank Engine for television, which means of course that I’ve been to the island of Sodor and know all the engines and the Fat Controller. I also wrote many episode of the BBC children’s drama, Byker Grove, which was where Ant and Dec started their careers.
  10. I didn’t start reading books for fun until I was eleven or twelve – much too late. Before that I read comics, The Beano, The Dandy, The Tiger and Hurricane, my sister’s Bunty and Judy! These days I read all the time, still catching up on all the reading I missed out on.

Bear Logo