• Virgin Trains has teamed up with the award-winning children’s author and comedian to create an exclusive children’s story this summer
  • Baddiel will travel on Virgin Trains across the UK collecting inspiration from customers and staff for a new story, launching on BEAM this September
  • Everyone has a chance of inspiring David by tweeting in their summer stories during August

Virgin Trains today unveiled David Baddiel as its new ‘Summer Author’. The comedian and award-winning children’s author of The Parent Agency and The Person Controller will have a unique role writing a children’s story inspired by some of the customers he meets as he journeys across the UK on Virgin Trains, which will then be brought to life by award-winning illustrator, Jim Field.

David Baddiel will spend time in July travelling the length of the UK on Virgin Trains’ east coast and west coast routes, observing and unearthing the stories of some of the millions of customers who travel on the train network over the summer months. The customers, Virgin Trains’ staff, characters and stories he comes across will then form the inspiration and provide some of the content for the children’s story.

The new children’s fiction is due for release in September and will launch exclusively on BEAM, Virgin Trains’ on-board content platform. Those who want the chance to be involved but who don’t bump into David on his travels, can still share their memories via Twitter, with #SummerStories to the @VirginTrains and @Virgin_TrainsEC handles. He will be taking inspiration from all of the submissions as he creates his new children’s story.

Commenting on the campaign, David Baddiel said,
“Trains are, I think, my favourite form of transport. Not least because they’re the best form of transport on which to write. Something about the rhythm of the movement, the ability to look out of the window at passing scenery, and the presence of other people in the carriage to base characters on combine, in my experience, to inspire the imagination. I’m actually really looking forward to spending time on a train, just writing.”

Patrick McCall, Chairman of Virgin Trains, said,
“We welcome millions of customers on our trains every summer and they carry with them an amazing array of stories and memories to share, while making new ones every day. We are working with David Baddiel, our official Summer Author, to uncover these hidden gems and create a story inspired by some of the rich tapestry of tales from our very own passengers. We’d love as many customers as possible to get involved and look forward to sharing the final book via our BEAM app come the autumn., If you’re lucky, your Summer Story might just find itself immortalised for families everywhere to enjoy!”

Virgin Trains has been working with David’s publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books, to bring the story to life and become the first ‘book content’ on BEAM this year, available to all Virgin Trains passengers on board.