HE has covered some of the world's biggest news stories and now the former BBC correspondent has drawn on his experiences to pen a series of novels.

Bolton School old boy Jack Thompson has written three books based around a fictional British investigative journalist, Charlie Barrow, and the latest novel, Spain, Guard My Bones, has just been published.

Mr Thompson, who grew up in Bolton and went to Cambridge University, where he studied law, travelled the world after giving up teaching — he taught at the former Hayward School in Great Lever and Whitecroft School in Bolton — to work for the BBC and also a German broadcaster.

Stories he covered included being among the first journalists into Cambodia after the fall of the Pol Pot regime and witnessing the atrocities committed during his rule.

He said: "We saw the skulls and bones. We were asked to bring footballs for the orphans in an orphanage we visited.

"We gave them to the children and they thought they were in heaven, they had never had anything like that before."

He covered the terrorist attack on the underground in London and also the shooting of Charles Mendez.

Mr Thompson said: "It was when I was getting too old to run to incidents and especially away from police that I decided to retire from journalism.

"I enjoy the books of Andrea Camilleri who did not start writing until his 70s and I thought 'if he can do that' — I have now written three books."

There is some of Mr Thompson reflected in the protagonist, who comes from Bolton, attended a public school, which Mr Thompson did on a scholarship — where he was friends with the late Sir Harry Kroto, and is still in touch with Sir Ian McKellen.

Mr Thompson said: "Charlie Barrow is not far away from me, but he drinks a lot more than me. He goes around the world and, something which I never was, he had been in the army.

"I had applied to join the air force but was told that due to a medical issue I wouldn't be able to get through the army training.

"I was told to take up my place at Trinity College in Cambridge."

He added: “This is a political thriller, and would appeal to those who enjoy the works of John Le Carre, Ian Rankin and Robert Harris. Books which I enjoy.”

The latest book is set in Spain, a country and culture Mr Thompson is interested in. It centres on the row that divides Spaniards over the exhumation of the remains of Republicans slaughtered during and after the civil war in the 1930s. Wicked Device his first book is about 'The Movement', a neo-Nazi organisation with growing influence among the young in the former German Democratic Republic and Breaking the Cross focuses on corruption, racism and neo-fascism in post-communist Hungary

Although, the lead character maybe from Bolton, little is said about the town in the book, but Mr Thompson's idea for his next book is to set it in Bolton.

He said: “Charlie was sent away from Bolton and in the fourth book which I am working on he may come back to Bolton with the storyline based on the problems and issues happening in the world today.”

Mr Thompson still has fond memories of Bolton during which he played piano in various pubs and clubs around the town, and acted at Bolton Little Theatre. He wrote the music for the 1965 revue How I Stopped Worrying and Came to Love Bolton!

“I lived in Smithills, but like to say I was from Doffcocker," he said, "I was very lucky to have received a scholarship through the direct grant to attend Bolton School.

“We received a very high standard of education.

“I had a few classes with Ian McKellen in the sixth form.

“I remember getting a part of Cassio in Othello, and he was give the part of Roderigo, and he was jealous I had got the part of Cassio! He has since gone on to great things.”

Mr Thompson, who is a regular visitor to Bolton as his daughter Rachel lives in Egerton, added: “Bolton Wanderers is in my blood."

Spain, Guard My Bones is published by Austin Macauley Publishers of London and priced at £10.99.