Pam Ayres is a working class woman who’s made a living as a poet. No mean feat that.
Early inspiration for her writing came from making up parodies of Lonnie Donegan skiffle songs.
Her break came on the TV show Opportunity Knocks, hosted by the most sincere Hughie Green, in 1975. This put her in front of a national audience. She’s never lost her distinctive Berkshire accent. Her poetry was out on record as quickly as it was in books. Kate Tempest wasn’t there first. The poetry is wry and comic and still reaching a large audience.
She was someone the ranters kicked against to an extent, but many of us also thought that there’s much to be admired in a working class woman making a living from poetry, especially in the 1970s. There’s much to be loved in something that’s simultaneously admirable and piss-takable.
from 1976, contains her best known poem Oh I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth.