McGough hands out poetry on a plate

Poet Roger McGough is making a meal of his latest book by serving it up on a series of plates.

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Roger McGough has created teatime tales for children aged three to 10 which have been printed on a quarter of a million plates. (Birds Eye/PA)

Poet Roger McGough is making a meal of his latest book by serving it up on a series of plates.

The 75-year-old writer has created teatime tales for children aged three to 10 which have been printed on a quarter of a million plates and are to be given away in supermarkets.

The campaign by frozen food firm Birds Eye - thought to be a publishing first - is aimed at making meal times more enjoyable for families.

McGough, who created some of the dialogue for The Beatles' film Yellow Submarine and is also a former member of '60s group The Scaffold, has created seven short stories for his latest venture which will see the plates given away through Sainsbury's and Morrisons.

He was commissioned following a study of more than 2,000 British mothers in which half said teatime was the most stressful part of their day, and two-fifths said they struggled to get their children to the meal table.

McGough - whose tales follow the firm's mascot Clarence the Polar Bear - said: " I was delighted to take up the challenge offered by Birds Eye as it afforded an opportunity to take poetry out of the library, the classroom and the bookshop, and via the supermarket reach a wide audience of youngsters who may not read books. Meal times needn't be fractious, nor poetry boring. Poetry on plates? Eat up and read on."

The plates are available for three months from tomorrow and further information is at www.facebook.com/BirdsEye.