The voice of the Shipping Forecast publishes latest fox storybook

Zeb Soanes and Gaspard the fox have become firm friends.

Zeb Soanes and Gaspard the fox have become firm friends. Picture: Courtesy of Mr Soanes - Credit: Courtesy of Mr Soanes

A broadcaster and newsreader, who grew up in Lowestoft, is set to have his latest children's book published about his friendship with a fox.

Zeb Soanes - a BBC Radio 4 newsreader and voice of the Shipping Forecast - will have the third in a series of children's books published on World Book Day, Thursday March 4.

The front cover of the new book Gaspard's Foxtrot, being published on March 4.

The front cover of the new book Gaspard's Foxtrot, being published on March 4. Picture: Courtesy of Mr Soanes - Credit: Courtesy of Mr Soanes

Mr Soanes, who returns to Suffolk whenever he can, befriended an urban fox named Gaspard when she - initially thought to be a 'he' - began appearing on the doorstep of his London home.

It inspired Mr Soanes to write a series of children's books about Gaspard's adventures, aimed at teaching younger readers about the life of an urban fox, as he collaborated with friend and illustrator James Mayhew, who was brought up in Blundeston.

Zeb Soanes and Gaspard the fox.

Zeb Soanes and Gaspard the fox. Picture: Courtesy of Mr Soanes - Credit: Courtesy of Mr Soanes

The best-selling first title in the Gaspard series - Gaspard the Fox - was released in May 2018 with Mr Soanes and Mr Mayhew visiting various schools and locations in Norfolk and Suffolk in that year, including Blundeston Primary School, to speak about the book.


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The second book - Gaspard: Best in Show - was published in August 2019, and now the latest Gaspard book - Gaspard’s Foxtrot - is being released on March 4.

The book has also been adapted as "a narrated orchestral adventure for children" by the British composer Jonathan Dove that will be premiered by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in May.

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Mr Soanes said: “The exciting thing about Gaspard’s Foxtrot was that it was conceived to be both a book and a concert, rather than the score being an afterthought to an existing story.

"So the challenge for me was to write in a way that inspired both James Mayhew’s illustrations and Jonathan Dove’s music."








"This is very much a musical adventure through the city and Jonathan has created an exhilarating tapestry of sound from the buzzing of bees and the the roar of traffic to scurrying tube mice and polka-dancing pigeons — and through it all Gaspard’s gentle curiosity at the fascinating sights he encounters.

"We are hugely proud to be sharing this world premiere with the Royal Scottish National
Orchestra who have pulled out all the stops to magically animate the concert-hall experience and bring this picture book to life.”

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