Entertainment & Arts

Philip Pullman set to name character after Grenfell Tower victim

Philip Pullman Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pullman first came to prominence with the trilogy, His Dark Materials

Author Philip Pullman is likely to name a character in his upcoming book after a 15-year-old girl believed to have died in the Grenfell Tower fire.

The writer is part of the Authors for Grenfell campaign, auctioning items to help raise money for those affected.

A teacher bid £1,500 to secure the name of his former pupil Nur Huda El-Wahabi in the book, who is believed to have died along with her family.

Other people have since added to his bid, which now stands at over £17,000.

'Pretty cool name'

Teacher James Clements wrote: "The real Nur Huda was an ex-pupil of mine who lived in Grenfell Tower and didn't make it out of the building that night.

"A life that was so full of promise has been cut short in the most terrible way. As well as raising some money, this would mean her name would live on. Plus, Nur Huda is a pretty cool name for a character.

He added: "Please outbid me by lots though - it's an important cause."

All subsequent bidders have supported Mr Clements's bid to see Nur Hada named in the second novel of Pullman's Book of Dust series.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Nur Huda (left) and her mother Fouzia are feared dead in the fire, along with Nur Huda's father and two siblings

Pullman wrote: "This book will follow the first part of The Book of Dust, La Belle Sauvage, which will be published in October this year.

"The second part (not yet titled) will follow next year. The right to name a character doesn't guarantee that he or she will be good, bad, beautiful or otherwise, but it will be a speaking role with a part to play in the plot."

Other lots up for grabs include an afternoon tea and book reading with David Walliams at Claridges and signed sketches of Radiohead at Glastonbury by author and illustrator Chris Riddell.

A signed copy of Judith Kerr's A Tiger Who Came to Tea and a prop from the TV show Black Mirror are also on offer.

Bidding ends on 27 June.

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