In the book Going Postal we read of a telecommunications company that has a new CEO who acts like a pirate (ie a Merchant Banker).

The book encompasses large parts of the horror of employees who see their once beloved company being carved off for profit. The amount of emotion and angst in this book makes it sound like a personal experience.

It is interesting that this was probably written slightly after the British privatisation of British Telecom, of whom Terry Pratchett could have been an employee.

My question is: Is there evidence to suggest (from Going Postal) that Terry Pratchett worked at BT during the privatisation?

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    Going Postal was written decades after BT was privatised.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 10:56
  • 1
    Wouldn't out-of-universe evidence be preferable here? Also, do we have reason to believe that Pratchett was in telecommunications during his writing career?
    – Adamant
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 10:56
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    You can draw plenty of inspiration from real-world events without actually having been in the middle of them.
    – Radhil
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 12:50
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    Bear in mind that the CEGB (where he did work) was also privatised. Although privatisation was some years after TP worked there, it was proposed in 1979/1980. The principle is similar so he may have drawn on that experience
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 13:09
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    Merchant bankers financed trade and exploration. They weren't pirates. Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 16:00

2 Answers 2


No, Terry Pratchett never worked for BT.

According to the extended biography on TerryPratchettBooks Sir Terry worked for several newspapers until 1979 when he became a Press Officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board. In 1983 he published 'The Colour of Magic' and became a full time author.

BT was not formed until 1981 and became a privatised entity in 1984, after Pratchett had quit working as anything other than as a writer.

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    And Going Postal was published in 2004, 20 years later. Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 12:33

Terry Pratchet worked as a journalist for several small newspapers. He had a job with the Central Electricity Board for some time before taking up writing full time. He never worked at BT.


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