The Great Snape Debate 1
John Nettleship, of Five Lanes, near Caerwent, was making a celebrity appearance at the Chepstow Bookshop, where J.K. Rowling is reputed to have visited as a teenager, in order to promote the launch of the seventh and final installment in the Harry Potter series. It has been said that the 67-year-old resembles the dastardly Severus Snape, Professor of Potions at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft. As reported by Daniel Lombard (2007) of the South Wales Argus, that may not be the most flattering comparison - ruling his class with a rod of iron, Snape is not well-liked by the apprentice wizards. Far from taking offence, Mr. Nettleship is proud to have been an inspiration to a series that has sold 345 million copies around the world. "The first I knew was when a reporter from a national newspaper knocked on the door seven years ago and said: 'You're Professor Snape aren't you'," said the former head of science.