BBC Interview

For as long as I can remember Tom Riddle has been my name. Recently it has become famous as the name of one of the major characters in the latest Harry Potter movie, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." Warner Brothers has had the nerve to copyright my name.

Touché, Warner Brothers, I had the name of Tom Riddle before you did, and you aren't taking it away!

In fact though I'm rather pleased that J.K. Rowling decided to use my name in her book and I like my character in the movie “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

I read somewhere that she found my name on a tombstone. That was, of course, and without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, my great, great, great uncle, Tom Riddle I. By chance, Ms Rowling will be happy to learn, there is a strong resemblance between my own self and the Tom Riddle described in the Harry Potter books and on the screen. I can confidently say that my great, great, great uncle, rest his soul, would be pleased as well.

So, go ahead, Warner Brothers, you have my permission to continue marketing my good name. I won't sue. But could you kindly give the Tom Riddle character a bigger part in the next Harry Potter movie?


In September of 2003, about a year after I wrote the above, the BBC, out of Bush House in London, England, telephoned me to ask how I felt about losing my name to Warner Brothers.

If you want to hear what I said, which takes about 90 seconds, and you have a MP3 player on your computer you can open

Tom_on_BBC.mp3 at half a megabyte.

If you have Windows Media Player 7 or higher, you can try

Tom_on_bbc.wma which weighs in at 173 kilobytes.

In my next interview I'll be sure to say something about the future of digital media or something equally profound. Until then I'll remain just another copyrighted name.