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Andrew Weale

Andrew Weale is every mother's nightmare. As well as being a writer of children's books, he is an actor and singer. He lectures on picture books at Winchester University and coaches corporate clients in presentation skills, so his mother does manage to catch some sleep at night.

Born in Brighton and educated at Eastbourne College, he won a Classics Scholarship to Trinity College, Oxford. Having rubbed shoulders with the likes of Boris Johnson and Niall Ferguson, he decided to change direction completely and learn how to act at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

After far too many years of education he set up a theatre company that went on to win a Fringe First Award at the 1991 Edinburgh Festival. At the Award Ceremony he got to make a speech and kiss Emma Thompson.

Andrew's company was the first to tour Romania after the revolution, having been invited personally by Ion Caramitru, head of Bucharest's Bulandra Theatre. The company also toured in New York and Hong Kong.

Andrew has worked as a freelance actor and singer since 1997, when he played Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. Other highlights include working with Sir Alec Guinness and Janet Suzman. He has had roles in Kevin Spacey's film Beyond the Sea and Peter Sellars' production of The Rake's Progress at Paris' Chatelet Theatre. Recently he played the lead in the Theatre Royal Bath's Dangerous Obsession opposite Liza Goddard.

Andrew has always been involved with books. He worked with Kathleen Tynan and Allegra Huston on The Kenneth Tynan Ketters and Nick Hern on The Honourable Beast (the posthumous autobiography of English theatre director John Dexter). In 2010 Hodder published Andrew's first children's picture book One Newt in a Suit. Since then he has written four more for Andersen Press, Random House and Hodder. He has spoken at many festivals, including the Imagine Festival on London's South Bank, and the Oxford and Hay festivals.

Andrew's mum is sleeping much better these days!