Famous children's author Michael Morpurgo describes the pandemic as a 'war time'

Michael Morpurgo speaking to ITV News about the past few months during the coronavirus pandemic

World famous author Michael Murpurgo who is arguably best known for War Horse has described the coronavirus pandemic as a 'war situation'.

The writer sat down with ITV News West Country ahead of the performance of his book Private Peaceful at the Barn theatre in Cirencester to discuss coronavirus, writing and the West Country.

He described the five months free of distraction as the perfect time to write, saying the time was 'wonderful'.

But went on to add, "The sad thing is that of course you know of people, and some quite close to you who are gone and others who have been through it and then there's the tension of whether they are going to come out the other side of it."

The Devon-based author has set many of his books across the West Country.

His book Why the Whales Came is set in the Scilly Isles, while some of his most well known children's novels are set further afield and around the time of the world wars.

The great-grandfather explained how he owes much of his life to parts of the South West.

Michael Morpurgo wrote all 130 books in his Devon home, but told ITV News he has only recently discovered the perfect way for him to put pen to paper.

He choses to write by hand, sitting down and propped up by cushions.

He said, "I've found my place, I found the way, finally, finally to do it.

"So I write by hand in a very relaxed sort of way."

When asked about ways to help children and adults through the stresses of the pandemic he explained that books are an incredible way to help.

"Books are a great help, because when you read a book, you can live the life of someone else, from another country, who has lived through this kind of thing before."

"Whether it's been war, or it's been pestilence, or starvation, if you read a book about it, you can at least understand that this does happen in this world, and it's terrible."