Author Jacqueline Wilson has publicly said she is in a same-sex relationship.

Wilson, a former children’s laureate and widely known for her work on Tracy Beaker, told The Guardian she had been living “very happily” with a woman called Trish for 18 years.

The 74-year-old said the revelation would not come as a surprise to those close to her, telling the paper: “I’ve never really been in any kind of closet.

“It would be such old news for anybody that has ever known anything much about me. Even the vaguest acquaintance knows perfectly well that we are a couple.”

Wilson met Trish, a bookseller, at a party after the breakdown of her marriage in her 50s, and has looked at the issue of same-sex relationships in her latest book Love Frankie.

She added girls struggling with acknowledging their sexuality could find “much more glamorous examples” than her.

“I don’t think that girls would ever have wanted a grey-haired, wrinkly writer as a role model if they were wanting to feel good about maybe being gay,” she said.