Michael Morpurgo on the nativity

The children's author Michael Morpurgo has been in the studio this week, narrating a dramatised version of his book On Angel Wings, which will be broadcast on Classic FM on Christmas Day.

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It tells the story of a young boy, left on the hillside to watch the sheep while the adult shepherds go in search of the baby Jesus.

"Almost everyone has been in a Nativity play - either as a shepherd, or as the back end of a donkey. We all know the story. We all love the story as it's part of us. The whole idea of retelling it is to shine a new light into the story. So that people smile a little more when they hear it, rather than take it too seriously."

Morpurgo’s books often have a more serious side, introducing children to difficult subjects such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, war in Afghanistan and asylum seekers. He has just come back from the Middle East, where he met both Israeli and Palestinian children:
"I wanted to find out what life was like for the Israeli children out there and the children on the Palestinian side: to see what they think of each other, to see what hope there was, primarily to hear their stories. I sat and listened to a lot of sad things. Some angry children, hurt children, traumatised. But some who were already talking about forgiveness. What came across from both sides is, I don't think they blame the children from the other side."

Tune in to Classic FM at 5pm on Christmas Day to hear On Angel Wings.

Listen to the interview with Michael Morpurgo now



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