15th FEBUARY 2006
Fourteen-year-old Euan Macrae from Tain, Ross-shire, who lives with Ewing’s Sarcoma, had a fantastic day to remember last week (Wednesday 8th February) when his literary wish to meet celebrated best selling author Terry Pratchett was granted by Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, the charity that grants wishes to children and young people aged 3 to 17 living with life-threatening illnesses. Having read all 44 of Terry Pratchett’s fantasy fiction books, Euan is certainly a huge fan of the author and he was very excited to meet his hero during a special trip to London.
An excited Euan was accompanied to London by his parents, Karen and David Macrae. Make-A-Wish arranged for the family to stay at the Langham Hotel, and it was from there that they and Terry Pratchett, with his PA, Rob Wilkins, travelled by limo onto the Soho Hotel to attend a press conference. Euan, who wasn’t the least bit nervous, immediately began asking Terry questions about his books and instantly seemed to connect with his favourite writer.
Sky One and RHI Entertainment are to produce ‘Hogfather‘, one of Terry Pratchett’s best-sellers, starring David Jason and scheduled for transmission next Christmas. Euan and his parents attended the press conference where a full audience were treated to a presentation from the producer, director and Sky One’s drama commissioner. The room was then open to the media for questions about casting and location and Euan certainly joined in. During refreshments, several of the media at the press conference asked Euan questions about his extraordinary knowledge of Terry Pratchett’s books, evidently fascinated at the intelligence of this very bright and likeable young man.
After the press conference Euan and his parents were whisked off again in the limo, accompanied by Terry; his PA, Rob; agent, Colin Smythe; the producer, Rod Brown and director, Vadim Jean; who were all exceedingly helpful, to an exclusive visit to The Mob Film Company studios at Bow. During the limo journey Euan and Terry chatted non-stop like old friends. Terry was clearly impressed by Euan, especially when on several occasions Euan questioned various scenarios and even suggested different endings for some of his books!
When the party arrived at the studios, Euan became totally absorbed in everything on show, studying in detail the various drawings and scaled models of the castle that will be featured in the televised production of ‘Hogfather‘. As a token of his admiration, Euan presented Terry with a bottle of whiskey distilled locally in Scotland. To Euan’s astonishment, Terry then invited Euan to be his guest at the Discworld Convention to be held in Hinckley in August. For the first time that day, Euan was speechless!
During lunch Euan unsurprisingly managed to recover his conversational ability and couldn’t stop talking to Terry and asking questions, so powerful was his delight to be in the presence of his favourite writer. Before the goodbyes between Terry and Euan, there was one more surprise as Terry presented Euan with a big bag of Discworld goodies, contributed to by various friends and companies.
‘Our trip to London has been fabulous,’ says Karen Macrae. ‘It has been entirely stress free and meeting Terry Pratchett, who is so approachable, has been unbelievable for Euan.’ Beaming from his delightful day out, Euan couldn’t have agreed more, saying, ‘Terry is great, he’s really very witty!’
‘It was an absolute pleasure to meet such a remarkable young man as Euan,’ says Terry Pratchett. ‘We had a very enjoyable day together and I wish him all the very best for the future.’
Make-A-Wish Foundation UK is the leading UK wish granting charity with one simple aim - to turn the wishes of children and young people aged 3 to 17 living with life-threatening illnesses into reality. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, corporate, celebrity and individual sponsors around the country, Make-A-Wish has granted nearly 4,000 wishes since it began in 1986 and is currently granting as many as 10 wishes a week. Originally founded in America, Make-A-Wish Foundation is now established in 32 countries on five continents.