A South West broadcaster has written a children’s book inspired by a trip to Paignton Zoo.

For the last 26 years veteran broadcaster Bob McCreadie has been entertaining listeners on commercial radio stations in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

When health problems forced him to hang up his Breakfast Show headphones, he picked up his pen instead, and channelled his creative energy into hatching a flamingo! Now, Bob has published his first book for young children - Fred The Fabulous Flamingo.

It is the heart-warming story of a flamingo that just can't get the hang of standing on one leg. Instead of being a beautiful bright pink, poor Fred is a muddy mess, scorned by the rest of the flock - until his life is changed by the beautiful Frederica.
Bob first told the tale to his children on the way back from a trip to Paignton Zoo.
"They absolutely loved the Zoo's gorgeous flock of flamingos and wanted me to make up a story about them,” says Bob. “After that first telling it became a firm bed-time favourite - they must have heard it hundreds of times!"

Now all in their twenties, Bob's kids have never forgotten Fred and have often urged him to turn the story in to a book.

"I knew that to really bring Fred to life in book form I would need some really eye catching pictures and I can't draw to save my life. By an amazing stroke of luck the wonderfully talented illustrator Debbie Bellaby agreed to work on the book with me. The result is that Fred is every bit as fabulous on the page as I had imagined."

As the story is based on Paignton Zoo's famous flock of flamingos, Bob and Debbie were delighted when the Zoo – a registered charity - agreed to support Fred's bid for fame by stocking the book in their shop and giving him their seal of approval.

Philip Knowling from Paignton Zoo said: “As a charity dedicated to education and conservation, we are delighted that our flamingos inspired Bob to create the story of Fred. It is a terrific book – we hope that Fred takes flight!”

Fred The Fabulous Flamingo is published by Fabulous Fred Books at £4.99 ISBN 978-0-9573124-0-1
Available from Paignton Zoo or online at www.fabulousfredbooks.co.uk and from Amazon.

For more information: e mail [email protected] or call 07538 550214

Quotes Zootastic Paignton! Quotes