Actor - Comedian - Improviser - Writer - Composer - Illustrator - Teacher - Poet
Actor - Comedian - Improviser - Writer - Composer - Illustrator - Teacher - Poet

Flights of Fancy

Niall has written a series of poems based on unusual birds. They're sorted for children and yet not.


The idea arose live on air with Ian McMillan while recording an episode of The Verb for BBC Radio 3. Listeners wrote in suggesting 'undiscovered' birds - amongst them the Yawny Owl and the Forkbill - for whom Niall was asked to compose some verses.

He has since added to this strange avian collection with birds of his own: the thieving Halfinch and the portly Huffinana Puffin, along with Mudlarks and Stair-crows and the tell-tale Peeking Duck.


Furthermore Niall has recently added ink illustrations to these poems. Three examples appear below.


For more information simply use the contact details to other there on the left.  

The Peeking Duck

If your nose you pick

if your thumb you suck

if your new school shoes

get submerged in muck


Who sees it all?

Who sees it all?


if you hair uncomb

if you shirt untuck

if you lace untie

if you pebble chuck


Who's watching you? Who's watching you?


if you puddles splash

if you head get stuck

if you say rude words

like ones you shouldn't


Who tells your Mum? Who tells your Mum?


if your sweets are yum

but your dinner's yuk

if you let down tyres

on a diesel truck


then you're in big trouble

then you're out of luck

then you can't make excuses

and you can't pass the buck


Cos your mum

and your dad

and your teacher

and your friends

and your grandpa

and your grandma

and the driver of the truck -

They've all heard about it from the Peeking Duck.


Quack, quack, quack quack,

cluck, cluck, cluck


He sees it all, children,

he's the Peeking Duck!




The Lovey-Doves

"Darling you were marvellous!

Darling, look at you!

Aren't those feathers fabulous?

Mwa mwa! Coo coo coo.


"Darling you were quite the best

Gosh, the theatre's grand!

How the audience flocked to you!

How you're in demand!"


"Sweetheart you were quite divine

What a charming play!

All the lights were very nice!"

That's what the loveys say.


Then flying home to suburban roosts

In Teddington and Kew

The lovey-doves just cuddle-up

And coo-coo something new.


"Oh but she's a darling pigeon

I guess that there's a privilege in

Overacting just a smidgeon

It's all part of the fun


"The direction was a little weak

The set was just a little bleak

She's got that silly little beak

It's not what I'd have done


"I really don't care where or when

I ever see her face again

But if it ever happens then

I hope I've brought my gun!"


So if you're in Trafalgar Square

And lovey-doves coo-coo

Remember when they're in the air

What doves will do to you.

The Halfinch

He's a nicker, he's a cutpurse

He's a cheeky little thief

He's a tweeting little bleeder

and he wants to give you grief


He'll have the watch right off your wrist

and the glasses off your nose

he'll have the earrings out your ears

and the toe-rings off your toes


He'll have the wallet out your raincoat

and the shirt from off your back

he'll even nab your pressies

peeking out of Santa's sack


He'll have the cash the fairy left you

when that tooth fell out your head

He'll take the money, then the pillow,

then he'll take your flippin' bed


When you hear the halfinch whistle

Don't you dither, don't you pause,

Just you zip up all your pockets

Just you lock up all your doors


He's a nicker, he's a cutpurse

And you won’t get any peace:

If you see the little bleeder

Call the blinking police.




And here, a poem to celebrate the birth of Cedric Roberts, our godson (who's three now)

Ordinary Miracle


That your four fingers coil round my one

That my self-centred soul is undone

That my moon now revolves round your sun

That you’re here


That your cry calls this drudge her employ

That your eyes sing with brain-blinking joy

That you are so ineffably boy

That you’re here


That you’re helpless and whole in my grasp

That your morning song still makes me gasp

That I’d kill for this kindness I clasp


That you coo

When I do

That I’m more

Now that you’re

That you draw

All my dog-days anew


That these fingers will too quickly grow

Let the seconds tick by ever slow


Getting In Touch

Email Niall at 

Call Niall on

+44 7967 278882


His agent Kirsten Wright is at

Call Kirsten on

+44 20 7250 1760


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