If I ruled the world: Pam Ayres

Caroline Hutton

Pam Ayres has been a writer, broadcaster and entertainer for over 40 years and is the author of several best-selling poetry collections. One of our most popular female comedians, she’s currently on a UK tour

People would be more compassionate to animals

I feel strongly that we should live alongside them; my garden belongs just as much to birds, toads, frogs, hedgehogs and grass snakes as it does to me.

 

I’d teach children to cook at school

As they grow up they’d appreciate the value of eating healthily and know that cooking is fun. When I was young we studied “domestic science” and I’ll never forget the moment I was handed a chunk of yeast. I was amazed by this living spongy stuff that transformed my dough into the most delicious smelling and tasting bread.

 

We’d keep an eye on those close to us

Of course it’s great to help people the other side of the globe but let’s not forget our family, friends and local community. We should get to know and look out for our neighbours and be there to offer support if someone needs it. I’m lucky because I live in a very nice village with a lovely network of people who do things to bring people together—we recently had a village festival where everyone opened their gardens. It was great fun.

 

If you have room for a dog in your life it would come from a rescue shelter

The benefits of dog ownership are well known but there’s something extra special if that dog needed a new start in life. They’re so grateful. People with dogs tend to smile at each other and are more open to conversations, plus the outdoor exercise is great for your physical and mental health.

 

I’d stop car-parking charges at hospitals 

Recently my brother-in-law was very ill and my sister was paying large amounts to visit him. It seems immoral to add to the burden of anyone with a loved one in hospital.

 

Hotel bedrooms would be designed better

I travel a lot and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to squint in the mirror on the back of a wardrobe with the hairdryer flex stretched to its maximum. Just a comfortable chair, a table, lit mirror and a socket, all within reach of each other, would be nice.

 

I’d give farmers financial incentives to encourage wildlife on their land

One of the worst results of intensive farming is the deadly run off from the chemicals that are sprayed over crops. This toxic liquid finds its way into our streams and seas. When I was a child I used to love lying on my tummy by the stream near our house and the joy of lifting up stones to find little bullheads, sticklebacks and minnows was wonderful. Now that stream has no wildlife in it at all and I mourn the poisoning of the habitat.

 

I’d tell people, “It’s OK to be different”

In fact, it’s something we should encourage. There’s a lot of pressure on children to conform but it’s good to remind them that it’s perfectly all right to be themselves.

Pam will be touring the UK until February, visit pamayres.com for tickets and futher details. Her latest book, The Last Hedgehog, is out now.