John McLay is an International Children’s Literary Scout and is extremely well connected in the children’s publishing world. The founder of the Telegraph Bath Festival of Children’s Literature, which he directed with his wife, Gill, for 6 years, John is also an author and anthologist. Born in Middlesbrough, before the first moon landings but after man went into space, he grew up on a story diet of books, comics and Doctor Who. Sometimes all three. He loves Castles, but never wants to live in one. Too drafty. He walks a lot. Likes the sea. Loves seaside walks. He once worked on EastEnders – but rarely talks about that time in his life. Too painful. If pushed, he will also admit that he once ironed Kylie Minogue’s jeans. Too embarrassing. It’s his ambition in life to see a performance of every Shakespeare play ever written. There are 37. He is getting close.