Polly Samson

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Polly Samson
Born (1962-04-29) 29 April 1962 (age 52)
London, England, United Kingdom
Residence West Sussex, England
Nationality English
Spouse(s) David Gilmour
  • Charlie Gilmour
  • Joe Gilmour
  • Gabriel Gilmour
  • Romany Gilmour

Polly Samson (born 29 April 1962 in London, England) is a British novelist, songwriter and journalist.


Her father was Lance Samson, a newspaper editor[1] and diplomatic correspondent for the Morning Star[2] (died 4 February 2013[1]) and her mother was a writer of Chinese descent, Esther Cheo Ying, who wrote a memoir, Black Country Girl in Red China, about her time serving as a Major in Mao Zedong's Red Army. Following a troubled childhood, Polly joined the publishing industry, through which she met the writer Heathcote Williams, with whom she had her first son, Charlie.[3] Following his birth, Samson was left homeless by squatters and was taken in for a period by the journalist Cassandra Jardine.[4]

Following their split, Samson met Pink Floyd singer and guitarist David Gilmour, whom she married[5] in 1994 during Pink Floyd's Division Bell tour. They currently live in West Sussex. Her son Charlie was adopted by Gilmour[5] and they have three other children: Joe, Gabriel, and Romany.

She has also written short stories for BBC Radio 4 and has had a collection published Lying in Bed (Virago 1999) and a novel, Out of the Picture (Virago 2000),[3] as well as contributing pieces and stories to many other books and publications including Gas and Air (Bloomsbury 2003), Girls Night In (Harper Collins 2000), A Day in the Life (Black Swan 2003), and The Just When Stories (Beautiful Books 2010).

Samson is credited as a co-writer on seven of The Division Bell's 11 tracks,[6] and, with the retrospective credit given to Clare Torry for her vocals on "The Great Gig in the Sky",[6] she is one of only two female co-writers of any Pink Floyd songs. She also wrote lyrics for Gilmour's 2006 album, On an Island,[6] and made a guest appearance on piano and vocals.[6]

Samson's collection of stories, Perfect Lives, was published in November 2010 by Virago Press.

Her new novel, The Kindness, will be published by Bloomsbury in March 2015.



  1. ^ a b "Twitter". Mobile.twitter.com. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  2. ^ "Twitter". Mobile.twitter.com. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  3. ^ a b Drennan, John (11 June 2000). "Samson's delight". Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Polly Samson, et al "Cassandra Jardine: your friends and colleagues will all miss you", telegraph.co.uk, 29 May 2012
  5. ^ a b Cassandra Jardine "My fear for the Charlie I know", telegraph.co.uk, 19 July 2011
  6. ^ a b c d Mabbett, Andy (2010). Pink Floyd - The Music and the Mystery. London: Omnibus,. ISBN 978-1-84938-370-7. 

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