A six-year-old author who sold copies of his book to raise money in memory of his brother has been contacted by his writing inspiration David Walliams.
Paddy Newton, from Crosspool in Sheffield, has been invited to be a guest at the filming of a Britain’s Got Talent live show later this month by the comedian.
Paddy has been selling copies of his short story The Adventure to Find the Monkey-Faced Bat in aid of the The Children’s Hospital Charity in Sheffield, a cause championed by his family since older brother Benjamin passed away in 2009 aged just 20 days.
He started selling copies for £1, hoping to raise £50, but instead the JustGiving page has collected almost £2,000 so far. Author and TV star Walliams got in touch with the family after hearing about the amazing effort and sent him a letter and signed presents.
David’s note to Paddy reads: “I read all about your brilliant idea of writing a book and selling it for charity. I can’t wait to read it. The Adventure to Find the Monkey-Faced Bat is a superb title. Best of all you are honouring your brother’s memory and turning something negative into a positive by helping other children through the Children’s Hospital Charity. Keep up the great work. With love, David.”
Dan Newton, Paddy’s proud dad, said: “We are overwhelmed that this has happened to Paddy, who must be one of David Walliams’s biggest fans. He has been counting down the days until David’s new book is released, so this really is the perfect surprise for him. He was so excited when he found out. He said it was ‘awesome’ in fact.”
Paddy originally penned the story for BBC Radio 2’s 500 words competition. In the story, protagonist Sam, 70 – named after his grandfathers and younger brother – sets out on a grand adventure to find the Fijian monkey-faced bat. Caitlin Hallatt, community fundraiser at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are blown away by Paddy’s fantastic fundraising – and are so pleased for him that he has been recognised by his idol.”