I yearned to be Mad Hatter rather than angelic Alice

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It’s hard to believe that its 150 years since that little girl with the long blonde tresses and pale blue frock tumbled down a rabbit hole and took us all on a magical fantasy adventure.

Author Lewis Carroll’s classic book Alice In Wonderland was first published on November 26, 1865 and to celebrate this special anniversary The Royal Mail has brought out some beautiful commemorative stamps depicting various whimsical scenes from the much-loved tale.

I vividly remember having a Mad Hatter-themed birthday party

I simply can’t wait to get my hands on one of the newer versions of Alice’s adventures that Macmillan is releasing later this year, all of which will contain the enchanting colour prints from illustrator John MacFarlane (commissioned to create images for the first children’s editions back in 1927).

Originally, the story came about because Carroll, a young don at Oxford, befriended one of the children of the Dean, Alice Liddell.

Whilst on a boat trip one afternoon he was entertaining children with a tale and the youngster asked for it to be written down for her.

Some time later he presented it to her as a Christmas gift, complete with illustrations. The rest, as they say, is history.

The original handwritten manuscript from the British Library will travel to the US later this year to go on show, then return here to be displayed for fans.

I have always adored the tale of Alice and cherish my battered old, dog-eared copy that I was given as a child.

I vividly remember having a Mad Hatter-themed birthday party. My creative and talented mum hand-sewed a blue dress for me because I had to be Alice, although secretly I yearned to be the Mad Hatter himself.

Much more fun and more in line with my character than the angelic Miss Alice.

Books have always been a joy to me so I was delighted recently to be asked to be a book giver on World Book Night, which is on Tuesday April 23. The reads I have chosen are the quirky If God Was A Rabbit and the heartwarming A Streetcat Named Bob, about a homeless ex-drug addict selling The Big Issue who meets a feisty ginger Tom cat who changes his life. I’m really looking forward to being part of this great event.