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Football plus pirates = Lampard's first kids book

The first book, Frankie Versus The Pirate Pillagers, will be published in June. Credit: Little Brown.

Publishers Little Brown say the first installment in the series, Frankie versus the Pirate Pillagers, will hit bookshops in June this year.

Two more titles, Frankie versus the Rowdy Romans and Frankie versus the Mummy’s Menace are scheduled for 2013, with a further two slated for early 2014.

Editorial Director Samantha Smith said:

"It's crucial to get kids excited about reading at an early age and Frank's vision for a series about friendship, football and fun will do just that. We think it’s brilliant and we're sure readers - and parents - will agree."

Frank Lampard signs new deal...as an author

Frank Lampard. Credit: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Footballer Frank Lampard has signed a new deal - but unfortunately for Chelsea fans it is with a publisher to write children's books.

The midfielder is writing a series of five stories, based on the adventures of a school boy, his football-loving friends, and pet dog Max. Aimed at children aged five and over, the series with publishers Little Brown will be called "Frankie's Magic Football".

Lampard said the characters were "loosely based on friends and team mates" he's played with over the years.

He said: "I first had the idea of Frankie and his Magic Football when reading stories to my own children. Sport and reading are two essentials for us at home, so I decided to make up my own football stories and adventures."

Lampard is not the first footballer to turn author - Arsenal star Theo Walcott has written a series of children's books and former England manager, Terry Venables, co-wrote a series of crime novels.

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Time Out London to become freesheet

The London edition of Time Out is to be relaunched as a free title.

More than 300,000 copies of the weekly listings magazine will be given away in the capital every week in stations, museums, shops and bars.

Editor-in-chief Tim Arthur said: "We will leap from 50,000 circulation to over 300,000, taking Time Out's unique editorial expertise to a huge new audience. We hope to inspire tens of thousands of Londoners to make the most of their Time Out."

Other editions of the magazine, including Time Out Paris, will remain as paid-for publications.