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PETER BARRON was born in Saltburn, on the Cleveland coast, in 1962. He spent his early years in the steel community of South Bank, near Middlesbrough, where his dad was a steelworker and his mum the local postlady. His first taste of being a successful writer came when he won a Blue Peter badge as a child for entering an "odd ode" competition with a poem about a giant blancmange. He went to St Peter's Comprehensive School, South Bank, before moving on to St Mary's Sixth Form College in Middlesbrough. He trained as a journalist at Darlington College of Technology, where he met his wife Heather, and got his first job as a trainee reporter on the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph after getting mixed up with another young applicant - who turned out to be Jeremy Clarkson. Peter joined The Northern Echo in 1984 and became UK Columnist of the Year in 1997, shortly before joining the Hartlepool Mail as editor. He rejoined The Northern Echo in 1999 as editor and continues in that role. Peter has four children, who started out as little monsters but are growing into quite nice human beings. He is the author of four books based on