ROBIN Kingsland, who has been stepping out on stage in Bolton as one of Hollywood's famous hell-raising Rat Pack, spoke today of his other career -- as a children's writer.

Robin has been appearing in The Octagon's current production Rat Pack Confidential which ends its run on Saturday. In it he portrays the actor Peter Lawford who became part of the Rat Pack, which included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr and Joey Bishop.

Robin, who has also appeared in TV's Play School, said: "The Rat Pack part is a million miles away from the writing I do. But it has been great fun.

"There are great songs and a lovely script. It has also been a voyage of discovery for me. Peter was an interesting character who ended up a sad wreck, hung out to dry by everybody."

Robin trained as a teacher, but at college found himself drawn to drama. On leaving, he and others set up their own company in Birmingham.

He said: "I started writing plays for us to perform, because no one else wanted to do it. I found I could do it and moved to London and began writing for children's TV."

He eventually wrote a play for primary schools and progressed on to children's books -- some of which are stocked in Bolton's libraries.

Robin said: "I have always been able to combine the acting and writing. Writing is something you can do anytime and anywhere. In fact, while in Bolton I have been working on a book. I particularly enjoy children's books."