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J.K. Rowling and Stephen Fry on BBC4 this Saturday

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc--8 December, 2005--In Living With Harry (Saturday 10 December 9.00am BBC Radio 4), J.K. Rowling and Stephen Fry brighten up Saturday morning with a conversation about the phenomenon that is Harry Potter.

In the course of this half-hour conversation, J.K. Rowling reveals her own favourite children's writer (E. Nesbit) and her concerns about "sanitizing" children's literature: "I feel very strongly that there is a move to sanitise literature because we're trying to protect children not from the grizzly facts of life but from their own imaginations…We need to fear and we need to confront fear in an controlled environment and that's a very important part of growing up...the child that has been protected from the Dementors in fiction, I would argue, is much more likely to fall prey to them later in life in reality."

Stephen Fry asks about the relationship between Harry and Voldemort and J.K. Rowling firmly rejects the suggestion that he is Harry's father ("that's a Star Wars question" ) and promises they won't turn out to be Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

J.K. Rowling tells Stephen Fry about writing a new book whilst hearing the audio tapes of an earlier book in the series being played by her daughter and asks him about the way he reads the stories. Stephen tells her that before each new book he has a CD made of all the characters so that he can remind himself what each character sounds like.

She asks how he does Hermione's voice and Stephen reveals his inspiration to be Stanley Baxter: "I always loved the Scottish comedian Stanley Baxter and I noticed from an early age, I was about 10, that when he did a woman he would deepen his voice unlike trying to do a falsetto and actually for a lot of women that works very well."

She talks to Stephen Fry in general terms about the new book, number seven in the canon, confirming that she does know how it will end. She confesses: "Occasionally I get cold shivers when someone guesses at something that's very close and then I panic and I think it's very obvious and then someone says something that's so off the wall that I think 'No, clearly it's not that obvious'. For the first time I'm very aware that I'm close to finishing...the end is in sight."

Living with Harry Potter BBC Radio 4 Saturday 3 December 9.00 am.

Published December 8, 2005

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