Jeremy Hackett is a fashion designer and businessman, and is the co-founder of classic British menswear company Hackett. Hackett grew from a small boutique selling vintage clothing on the Kings Road to the international brand it is today, and Jeremy Hackett now serves as the company’s global ambassador.
Jeremy left school at the age of seventeen without any qualifications and began working at a local tailors shop, eventually moving to London and working on Savile Row before opening Hackett. Jeremy was born in Wiltshire to an unmarried mother who was forced to give him up and he spent his first six years in an orphanage, before being adopted. In the late nineties he traced his birth mother who now lives in Australia, and then tracked down his birth father, an American doctor. Already having two sisters, he now finds himself with eleven half brothers and sisters.
Jeremy has written articles for a number of fashion publications around the word. For several years, he wrote a column in the Independent on Sunday called Mr Classic, which was turned into a book published by Thames & Hudson in 2008.
Ed Burstell is the Managing Director of Liberty of London.
Formerly, Ed was a senior vice president at American luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman, and before that he was general manager of upscale fashion accessories boutique Henri Bendel. He started his career as a fragrance sprayer at Macy’s, a vast and well-established mid-range stalwart of the American retail industry.
Kate Sundara is a writer, performer and artist. Following her gypsy heart she spent a decade working her way around the world as a hunter-gatherer of stories. Indigenous threads of mystery and legend weave their way into the fabric of her stories. Slinging down the backpack, she settled in Bristol and balances a job in the wardrobe department of the UK’s touring musicals and runs a face and body painting company. She has a BA Hons in Drama and English from Exeter University.
She is currently working on her first novel, The United States of Us.
Alex was born and raised in Mykonos, Greece. He ran away from home at the age of 17 and, having travelled around Europe, settled in Britain when he was 18. He decided, in order to avoid army conscription, he might as well study law and economics and carved himself an accidental, but very promising career, in the civil service.
At the age of 35 a friend asked him to come along to some drama school auditions for moral support. Alex ended up being offered places and retrained as an actor at The Poor School. He has plied his new trade at the National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Manchester Royal Exchange, Liverpool Playhouse, Bath Royal and many other venues, as well as a couple of films, almost exclusively playing very, very bad people. In 2011 he started a blog, because he was really annoyed at the government, which has attracted over a million readers. He now writes serious things for The Guardian and The New Statesman, funny things for Radio 4 and runs a small critically acclaimed theatre company. He is in perpetual shock that anybody finds him any good at anything.
Alex is currently working on his first novel, detailing his experiences of a year of destitution, homelessness and depression.
Jem Lester lives in London. He was a journalist for nine years and saw the Berlin Wall fall in 1989 – and though there, he denies personal responsibility. He was also the last journalist to interview the legendary Fred Zinnemann, before the director died. He denies responsibility for that too. As Mister Lester, he taught English and Media studies at secondary schools for nine years. He has two children, one of whom is profoundly autistic and, for them, he accepts total responsibility.
Jem is working on his first novel, Shtum, for which he won the 2013 PFD/City University Prize for Fiction.
Kathryn was born and raised in Somerset, and lives in Weston-super-Mare with her husband. Coming from an artistic family, Kathryn has always felt in competition with her two (massively talented) older brothers, despite the fact that she can’t actually draw. She therefore expresses herself in writing instead, and has been creating stories and poems since she was small. Kathryn completed a BA (Hons) in Creative Arts in 2004 and has subsequently qualified as a secondary school teacher. After four years in the classroom, Kathryn decided to undertake a post-graduate course in SpLD Dyslexia, and has recently begun helping dyslexic and under-performing students with their English skills on a one-to-one basis.
Kathryn is currently working on her debut novel Quantum, a science-fiction adventure for young adults.
Louise Mangos grew up in rural north Hertfordshire. Her passion for writing was born from winning a poetry competition at the age of eleven and seeing her work published in the local newspaper. Louise studied Business Communications after leaving school, but the pull of travelling abroad was strong so she embarked on a series of global adventures. Even on the road she never stopped writing, and took on a variety of work to fund her passion, such as waiting tables, selling skis, translating manuscripts and organising sports and cultural activity programmes for a boarding school in the Alps. Louise studied several foundation art courses in Switzerland, then later spent some time in the Rockies where she studied journalism and creative writing at the University of Colorado. She is also an avid sportswoman and has participated in several marathons, triathlons, cycle and back-country ski races. She often incorporates elements of travel and sport into her writing. A series of creative and novel writing workshops spurred her ambition to publish a full-length work of fiction. She currently lives in central Switzerland with her Kiwi husband and two sons.
Louise’s first novel, the suspense BRIDGES, is the story of Alice, who while running near her home in central Switzerland, dissuades a man jumping from a notorious suicide bridge. Alice’s euphoric relief at having saved the victim is misinterpreted as blossoming affection, and he begins to stalk her.
Tony Edwards is a writer and broadcaster on science, technology and medicine. His articles have appeared in a wide range of newspapers and periodicals in the UK and USA. He is a former producer/director/writer at the BBC, where he spent most of his career making programmes for the science series Horizon and QED, and later for Channel 4 and Discovery.
He has made over 80 programmes on science and medicine. Six of his programmes received international awards, including the British Medical Association’s Medicine in the Media award.
Tony Edwards lives in Kent, UK. To Your Very Good Health is his first book.
Janet Todd was born in mid Wales and has led a wandering life. She attended numerous schools and has lived in many countries including Bermuda and Sri Lanka. She has worked in universities in England, Scotland, Ghana, the US, Puerto Rico, and India. She is the President of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, the only college in Europe solely for women over 21.
When many years ago she began her research there was little interest in early women writers and for much of her career she has worked with others to bring them back into cultural prominence. Her early books include The Sign of Angellica; Women, writing and fiction 1660-1800 and Women’s Friendship in Literature. After years of editing letters, plays and novels, she turned to biography. Her first was of Aphra Behn, Restoration spy, playwright, poet and novelist; then in a trio she told the lives of the enlightenment feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, her Irish pupil, Lady Mount Cashell (Rebel Daughters), and her children Fanny Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley (Death and the Maidens). She has also written reviews for the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and Times Higher Education Supplement and contributed to radio and television programmes.
Most recently she has returned to an early love, Jane Austen, editing and introducing her works, her latest book being Jane Austen, her life, her times her novels. She found it hard to resist spinning off and she made of an early Austen tale in letters her own novel Lady Susan Plays the Game, a Bloomsbury ebook. Having had the taste of fiction writing, she is finding it hard to desist.
Jamie Bartlett is the Head of the Violence and Extremism Programme and the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos, where he has researched and written extensively about radical political parties and movements across Europe. He is also technology blogger for the Telegraph, and writes frequently for several newspapers and magazines on how the internet is changing politics and society.
His book, The Dark Net, is an examination of the hidden corners of the internet and the strange subcultures and protagonists that inhabit it, from bitcoin miners to neo-Nazis. It will be published in Autumn 2014 by William Heinemann.
Please see here for his work on the Telegraph.
Janet Todd was born in mid Wales and has led a wandering life. She attended numerous schools and has lived in many countries including Bermuda and Sri Lanka. She has worked in universities in England, Scotland, Ghana, the US, Puerto Rico, and India. She is the President of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, the only college in Europe solely for women over 21.
When many years ago she began her research there was little interest in early women writers and for much of her career she has worked with others to bring them back into cultural prominence. Her early books include The Sign of Angellica; Women, Writing and Fiction 1660-1800 and Women’s Friendship in Literature. After years of editing letters, plays and novels, she turned to biography. Her first was of Aphra Behn, Restoration spy, playwright, poet and novelist; then in a trio she told the lives of the enlightenment feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, her Irish pupil, Lady Mount Cashell (Rebel Daughters), and her children Fanny Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley (Death and the Maidens). She has written reviews for the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and Times Higher Education Supplement and contributed to radio and television programmes
Most recently she has returned to an early love, Jane Austen, editing and introducing her works, her latest book being Jane Austen, her life, her times her novels. She found it hard to resist spinning off and she made of an early Austen tale in letters her own novel Lady Susan Plays the Game, a Bloomsbury ebook. Having had the taste of fiction writing, she is finding it hard to desist.
Natasha Garnett is an author and journalist based in London.
Having started her journalistic career on the Telegraph she then went freelance, writing features, interviews and social comment pieces for broad selection of publications including; The Spectator, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard, The Mail, Vogue, Tatler, Harpers Bazaar, The World of Interiors, Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, The New York Times’ supplement ‘T’ and The Art Review, where she acted as a contributing editor.
Natasha has ghost written twelve books to date including the actress Danniella Westbrook’s memoir The Other Side of Nowhere, (Hodder and Stoughton), which became a number one bestseller when it was published in 2006, Jason Donovan’s Between the Lines (Harper Collins) and the singer Pearl Lowe’s All That Glitters: Living On the Dark Side of Rock and Roll (Hodder and Stoughton).
She has worked on a treatment for a film on the life of Martha Gellhorn, which is in production, and is currently writing her first novel.
John Bromley-Davenport QC is a successful barrister, actor and public speaker. Alongside his legal career he has become well-known on both sides of the Atlantic for his solo adaptations of Dicken’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL and Jerome K.Jerome’s THREE MEN IN BOAT, both of which have been met with ongoing media acclaim over three decades. He has also contributed and published articles in various mainstream publications, including The Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.
Lara Silverstone was born in Glasgow and grew up in Hertfordshire. She has written plays, fiction, stand-up comedy, and radio. Her first play was nominated for The Guinness Ingenuity Award, hosted by the National Theatre.
Lara then spent a number of years performing as a stand-up comedienne. Highlights included winning a place in the finals of Avalon’s New Act competition and the Comedy Store Hooch Award, where she performed alongside some of her comedy heroes. After one too many low points, spent in her broken down mini, stranded on a motorway, where she’d been returning from a £50 gig in Manchester, Lara cashed in her dream of the ‘bright lights’ for one of good health, a mortgage and a functional relationship. In short, Lara Silverstone got a calling… to teach.
Working in schools led Lara to an exposure and subsequent addition to children’s literature. ‘Poached Egg Tits and Thunder Thighs’ is Lara’s first YA novel.
Kate Bevan is a writer and broadcaster who loves technology and lives in London. She has written for publications from Hello! magazine to the Financial Times, and pretty much everything in between, and is best known as a technology writer for the Guardian.
Kate has appeared on BBC TV and Radio as well as Sky News talking about technology, social media and the internet. She has a flat full of computers, tablets, mobile phones and vintage dresses and is not known for her cupcakes, meringues or early nights.
Kate is always interested in what people are talking about, reading, watching and listening to.
Author photograph © David Firn
Laura grew up in Woking and studied music at the University of Surrey, graduating with a First Class BMus (Hons) degree. She has since been working professionally in theatre and, in 2012, released a concept album for her latest musical, The In-Between. The album featured performances by nine leading West End stars and has subsequently been featured on BBC Radio 2′s Elaine Paige on Sunday, performed at West End Live in Trafalgar Square and received a strong following on social media.
Laura has also written music for the UK tours of plays The Haunting and The Perfect Murder, and her first musical, Faertyale, was showcased by the Guildford School of Acting at the Electric Theatre. As an arranger and orchestrator, Laura has been Musical Associate for The Night of 1000 Voices (2010, 2012), Kerry Ellis and Brian May’s Anthems: The Concert and The Wonderful World of Captain Beaky; all at the Royal Albert Hall. She was also an arranger for the Cantabile Christmas Cracker at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
Laura is currently working on her debut novel, Tainted Earth, the first in a young adult fantasy series. She has also begun writing her third musical.
Sarah Vincent was born and grew up in North London. Her first proper job after a disastrous fling as an au pair in Rome was as an assistant at the London Library. Writing from childhood, she has managed to juggle fiction over the years with a variety of day jobs as a cleaner, care assistant, school dinner lady, and museum tour guide.
Her short fiction has been published widely in literary magazines such as Mslexia, also in anthologies such as Best New Horror and broadcast on BBC radio. Her stories have won prizes and been short listed for the Asham Award. 2002 saw the publication of her Y/A trilogy for Random House.
In recent years she has worked as an editor for two leading Literary Consultancies, and also teaches Creative Writing online.
Sarah has two grown up children and lives with her husband in the South Shropshire countryside.
She is currently working on a psychological thriller – The Testament of Vida Tremayne.
Emily Chappell studied at Cambridge and SOAS, and since 2008 has worked as a cycle courier in London. In 2011 she set off to cycle round the world, and so far has covered Europe and Asia, with imminent plans to tackle the Americas.
Emily’s work has featured in The Guardian, The Ride Journal, Boneshaker, Oh Comely and Coven Magazine, and in 2012 she won Travel Blogger of the Year at the British Travel Press Awards, and a Jupiter’s Traveller Award from the Ted Simon Foundation.
Increasingly in demand as a speaker, she delivered her first lecture to the Royal Geographical Society in 2012.
She is currently working on her first book.
Nikki Owen is an award-winning freelance writer and columnist currently based in Gloucestershire.
She is working on her debut novel, The Spider in the Corner of the Room – a gripping, high-concept psychological conspiracy thriller, and the first in a trilogy.
James Miller was born in London in 1976 and educated at Oxford University, UCL and King’s College London where he took a PhD in African-American literature and civil rights. After teaching American literature at Kings’ College London he is currently senior lecturer in creative writing at Kingston University.
His debut novel, LOST BOYS, was published to great critical acclaim in 2008 and he was hailed by Time Out magazine as London’s ‘rising literary star’.
His second novel, SUNSHINE STATE, a dystopian climate-change thriller, was published in 2010. His short stories have been published in numerous anthologies, most recently in the award-winning Still (Neg-Press)and the best-selling Beacons: Stories for Our Not So Distant Future (Oneworld).
His interests include reggae music, meditating, drinking coffee and walking aimlessly around London
Born in Bromley, England, Helen attended Chatham Grammar School for Girls studied Russian at Leeds University but she opted initially for the acting profession.
After appearing on British TV and in films until the late 1980s Helen abandoned acting and embraced my second love – history and with it the insecurities of a writer’s life.
She started contributing to biographical and historical reference works for publishers such as Cassell, Reader’s Digest, Blackwell and Oxford University Press. Then worked as a freelance copy editor and proof reader for Blackwell and OUP and a researcher on all the flagship OUP quotations dictionaries. Helen later became a desk editor for Blackwell but then gave it all up to write full time in 1998.
Between 1999 and 2003 wrote she three books back-to-back for a leading US reference publisher:
2001: the award-winning An Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers
2007: first trade title No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War (Aurum Press, 2007).
2008: Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs (Hutchinson 2008), which became a best seller in the USA, published by St.Martin’s Press as The Last days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg.
2009: Conspirator: Lenin in Exile, (Hutchinson, 2009; Basic Books US, 2010).
2010: Beautiful for Ever: Madame Rachel of Bond Street - Cosmetician, Con-Artist and Blackmailerpublished by novelist Susan Hill’s imprint, Long Barn Books, 2010. Vintage paperback 2011
2011: Magnificent Obsession; Victoria, Albert and the Death that Changed the Monarchy (Hutchinson UK; St Martin’s Press US)
2013: Capturing the Light - a collaboration with Roger Watson on the birth of photography, published in the UK by PanMacmillan an in the US by St Martin’s Press (November 2013);
Four Sisters, (PanMAcmillan April 2014) about the tragic lives of the daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, to be published in the US by St Martin’s Press May 2014 as The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra
Her only foray into fiction, so far, has been a collaboration with William Horwood on a historical thriller, Dark Hearts of Chicago published by Hutchinson in April 2007 (an edited down version was published by Arrow as City of Dark Hearts under the pseudonym James Conan)
She is currently working on a project for the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 2017.
A fluent Russian speaker and a specialist in Russian history and 19th century women’s history, her great passion is to winkle out lost stories from the footnotes and to breathe new life and new perspectives into old subjects. Since the mid-70s Helen has also become well-known as a Russian translator in the theatre, working with British playwrights on new versions of Russian plays. She has translated all seven of Chekhov’s plays, including Ivanov for Tom Stoppard’s new version that was a huge critical success at the Donmar Season at Wyndham’s in 2008. In 2002 she was Russian consultant to the National Theatre’s Tom Stoppard trilogy, The Coast of Utopia.
A passionate Victorianist and Russianist, Helen is a member of Equity, the Victorian Society, the Society of Genealogists , the Society of Authors and The Biographers’ Club.
Gill Wyness grew up in Dundee. She has lived in a variety of cities, had a variety of careers, married and divorced, and at age 30 finally moved to London to study for a PhD in economics. She is currently working as an academic, researching poverty and educational attainment.
Gill is working on her first novel, Fights. Shy 14-year-old Chris is growing up in a tower block on a deprived estate in Dundee. Everything changes one night when a woman is raped on the stairs in Chris’ tower block, and the next day, Chris’ man-mad best friend Judy announces that she is having an affair with a 48-year-old man. Fights is an account of what follows, as the increasing chaos around her forces Chris to finally take control of her life.
Barney’s plays Fear of Music and At First Sight have been produced and toured around the UK and internationally. He is co-artistic director of Up In Arms theatre company, and works as a director and workshop leader with Up In Arms and several other theatres. His latest play, Visitors, will be performed at the Arcola Theatre in March 2014. He is the author of a small book of poems, Falling, and his first book, To Bodies Gone: The Theatre of Peter Gill, will be published by Seren in February 2014. He is currently working on his first novel.
For playwriting, Barney is represented by Julia Mills at Berlin Associates.
Richard Maher was born in Bristol in 1957 and graduated from Queens’ College Cambridge in 1979. His writing career has spanned the West End stage and radio drama as well as many scripts for television, including Relative Strangers, Thatcher – The Final Days, Pie In The Sky, Taggart, Rough Treatment, Llloyd and Hill and Making Waves. He is married to a criminal lawyer, has one daughter, and lives in London and Pembrokeshire.
His first novel, Dead Ahead, was published by Ashgrove Publishers, and the second in the series, Dead Reckoning – also featuring Ship’s Detective Danny Gamble – is due out next year
Vanessa earned her MFA in Creative Writing from HunterCollege where she received a Hertog Fellowship. An excerpt of her first novel, The Un-American, was published in Granta (118, Exit Strategies). Prior to writing, Vanessa trained in ballet at the North CarolinaSchool of the Arts and danced with the Charleston Ballet Theatre. She then returned to school to earn a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. from New YorkUniversity’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she focused on dance studies and cultural history. In addition to writing fiction, Vanessa writes about dance. She is the former Dance Editor of The Brooklyn Rail, and has written articles for Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher and The Aesthete. Originally from Brookfield, CT, Vanessa now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
The Un-American will be published in Spring 2014 by Penguin Press (US):
‘Beautifully written and deeply affecting… the story of a man stranded by history in a strange land, torn away by politics and paranoia from the people he loves. Manko ranges expertly between Russia, the USA and Mexico to weave her absorbing tale of emigration, deportation, desperation, paranoia, and finally, improbably, love. The novel reminds one, at times, of Kafka, Ondaatje, and even, in its powerful evocation of marooned isolation, Robinson Crusoe. A brilliant debut.’ - Salman Rushdie
Adam White has written about music and the music industry for more than 40 years. He was editor-in-chief of US trade magazine Billboard, and co-author of The Billboard Book Of No. 1 R&B Hits.
His liner notes for Heaven Must Have Sent You: The Holland/Dozier/Holland Story were Grammy-nominated in 2005, and he has scripted, presented and appeared in numerous music documentaries on both sides of the Atlantic. These include 1983’s Grammy-nominated The Motown Story and 2005’s The Motown Invasion.
Catherine Chanter was born and raised in the West Country. She won a scholarship to read English Literature at Oxford and went on to work as a lobbyist, both in the UK and the USA. Somewhat disillusioned with the political process, she returned to England where she re-trained as a teacher and has since led provision for vulnerable and excluded young people in a wide range of settings. Most recently, Catherine has worked at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust in London and is currently leading on the delivery of education in an adolescent mental health in-patient service.
Catherine has written for Radio 4 and had short stories and poetry published in a wide range of anthologies and publications, including A Summary of Findings which was runner up in the Asham Award, A Boy’s Guide to Winning: No. 1 Hide and Seek which was runner up in the Bristol Short Story Prize and Photograph of a Tribesman, winner of the Yeovil Poetry Prize. Her novella and short story collection Rooms of the Mind was published by Cinnamon Press in 2011. She has a Masters, with Distinction , in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. She has just completed her first full length work of fiction, The Well, which won the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, 2013.
As of October 2013, The Well has been sold to Canongate and will be published in the UK in 2015 alongside Text Publishing in Australia. Atria of Simon and Schuster will publish it in the US, with foreign publishers so far confirmed as Fischer (Germany), Ambo Anthos (The Netherlands) and Brombergs (Sweden), Bazar (Norway) and Salamandra (Spain).
Deborah Meyler was born in Manchester, read English at Oxford University, and completed a Master of Philosophy thesis on American fiction at St. Andrews University. She eventually moved to New York, where she worked in a bookshop for six years, sold paintings, and had three children. She now lives in Cambridge.
Her first novel, The Bookstore, will be published simultaneously in August 2013 by Bloomsbury Reader (UK) and Gallery Books in the USA.
Andrew Zurcher was born and raised in New York City. He studied at Yale and is now a Fellow and Director of Studies in English at Queen’s College, Cambridge, specialising in sixteenth and seventeenth-century literature. He has written and contributed to a number of academic publications and has published a collection of poetry, Coming Home.
He is working on his first novel Twelve Nights, a magnificent allegorical fantasy about story-telling, story-tellers, and a girl’s quest to restore her lost father to himself and to his family.
Jake Maymudes is an American director and visual effects supervisor, based in L. A.
In 2001, Jake’s father, Victor Maymudes, Bob Dylan’s tour manager, close personal friend and confidant, sadly passed away, leaving behind an extraordinary 20 hours’ worth of audio tapes. These tapes, which Jake has transcribed and fashioned into a memoir, document Victor’s time as part of Dylan’s inner circle and allow a rare glimpse into a world only a few were privileged to be a part of.
Another Side of Bob Dylan will be published by St. Martin’s Press in autumn 2014.
Author of the worldwide no.1 bestsellers The World of Downton Abbey and its follow-up,The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, Jessica started as a journalist at the Mail on Sunday, going on to be the Deputy Editor of Country Life magazine, before deciding to focus on books. She has also co-written The Devil You Know: Looking Out for the Psycho in Your Life, with forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes, and Build A Business From Your Kitchen Table, ghostwritten for the founders of notonthehighstreet.com, Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker, which reached no. 1 of the Sunday Times Business Books bestseller list. Her first book was Mud & the City: Dos and Don’ts for Townies in the Country.
Jessica also writes for The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times Style, The Lady, Psychologies and The Times. In demand as a speaker, Jessica talks at literary festivals from Scarborough to Cheltenham and appears on numerous radio and TV programmes from BBC Breakfast to BBC4′s ‘Never Mind the Full Stops’ via Radio 5 Live. She was also the regular paper reviewer for Nick Ferrari’s LBC Breakfast Show for two years. In America, Jessica has given a series of talks for PBS stations in Florida and the University of Iowa. Forthcoming bookings are for the University of Central Florida, the Women Like Us Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, amongst others.
Jessica’s work for the Downton Abbey books means she has done in-depth research into the social history of the early 20th century, particularly the changes that women were experiencing then, as well as looking at the correlation between the great leaps in technology that were happening then and how similar it feels today.
Edward Young gained a first-class degree in history from Clare College, Cambridge and studied as a Mellon Scholar at Yale University. He has worked as a speechwriter for David Cameron and as Chief of Staff to the Conservative Party Chairman. He currently works at Brunswick Group LLP. His biography of DISRAELI written with Douglas Hurd was published by Orion in June 2013 and was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson prize.
Spela Strukelj was born in Slovenia where she read philosophy under Slavoj Žižek before coming to London and studying at Central Saint Martins.
Her thesis on design and superheroes led to a fascination with real-life superhumans: people modifying their bodies in an attempt to reach a higher level of evolution.
Along with David Varela she is currently co-writing Upgraded: Becoming Superhuman on a Budget, a book that explores the low-tech and high-tech ends of the body modification business.
The book will also feature a series of stunning portraits by internationally exhibited photographer and body mod, Raphael Duplay.
Michael Halperin has produced plays, wrote numerous episodes for long-running television series such as Quincy, Star Trek The Next Generation and The Fall Guy at 20th Century-Fox. He created the 1982 TV series MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and re-developed it in 2002 as HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE.
He also wrote some non-fiction such as WRITING GREAT CHARACTERS, WRITING THE KILLER TREATMENT, and co-wrote a young adult novel back in the ‘90s called JACOB’S RESCUE which is published by Doubleday.
He now is turning his hand to American gritty crime novels.
David Varela writes for an extremely broad range of media.
Over the past decade, he has written websites, speeches, musicals for cruise ships, ad campaigns, poetry, alternate reality games, apps, ebooks, plays, radio drama, articles, beer mats, billboards, feature films, short films, tweets, animations, brochures, script reports, treasure hunts and many other projects that defy categorisation.
In every medium his work examines the blurred boundaries between people and technology.
David is currently co-writing Upgraded: Becoming Superhuman on a Budget, a book that explores the low-tech and high-tech ends of the body modification business on a journey that will by turns entertain and enlighten.
The book will also feature a series of stunning portraits by internationally exhibited photographer and body mod, Raphael Duplay.
Jonathan Goodwin is something of a modern superhero, a professional dangerman .
He is currently starring in his own TV show The Incredible Mr Goodwin, featuring a variety of death defying stunts, which aired in the UK this spring to huge publicity, and is now sold to 167 territories.
The show will be launched in the US in Summer 2013.
He has also appeared on TV shows including Dirty Tricks, The Seven Stupidest Things to Escape From and Deathwish Live
He is currently writing The Art of the Skill Hacker which will teach readers how to master skill hacking and how to quickly become experts in any field. Interspersed with Jonathan’s revelations, research and advice the book will follow Jonathan’s story from a Houdini obsessed 7-year-old to an expert Skill Hacker.
Daniel was sous chef, course tutor and head baker for four years at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ in Devon, teaching a wide range of cookery skills, contributing to Hugh’s books and newspaper columns, and featuring on several TV series.
He is the author of the bestselling river cottage bread handbook, and is on the judging panel of the Young British Foodies awards.
He lives in Clapham, South London.
Eamonn Griffin lives in Lincolnshire, where he was born and raised. He’s worked as a stonemason, in a plastics factory, in a laboratory, in a computer games shop, and latterly in further and higher education. He is the programme leader of BA English Studies at Grimsby Institute and lectures in creative writing, film studies and media theory. Eamonn has recently finished a PhD in creative writing with the University of Lancaster, specialising in historical fiction, having previously completed both an MA in popular film and a BSc in sociology and politics via the Open University. Historical crime thriller The Prospect of This City is Eamonn’s first novel.
Gilly Macmillan grew up in Wiltshire, and was pleasantly surprised when her family moved to California when she was a teenager. She studied History of Art at Bristol University before doing an MA in Modern British Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her career path has included working at the Burlington Magazine, the Hayward Gallery and teaching photography at a sixth-form college in Swindon. Her favourite job was working in a café opposite Kepler’s bookshop in Menlo Park, CA. She currently lives in Bristol with her husband Julian and their three children.
Gilly is currently working on her first novel, Where is Benedict Finch? Ben Finch is eight years old. One Sunday afternoon, while walking in the woods with his mother, he disappears. This is Ben’s mother’s story. As a hunt for him is launched, she must endure the pain of his loss and the suspicions of others. Waiting for news, her dilemma is whether to rely passively on the official investigation to find him, or to believe in her own instincts and fight for what she believes to be the truth about his disappearance. Where is Benedict Finch? is a story about the power of motherhood, family, and the difficulty of holding onto those you love when nothing is certain.
Gaylene Gould has travelled the world finding and sharing stories. She’s unearthed cinematic gems in Zanzibar and along the Cannes croisette, staged live theatrical experiences in car parks, secretively interviewed sex workers in Amsterdam’s Red Light District and been published in several anthologies. Now she concentrates on what she loves and does best – writing, talking and listening. She writes short, long fiction and plays, presents documentaries and cultural reviews for Radio 4 and works as a creative coach with writers, artists and the trailblazing The School of Life. Her mission is to to excavate the quiet truths within ourselves and wider society.
The Sacrifice X-24 Unclassified anthology
13 Conversations about Art and Cultural Race Politics, Artexte,
The Stories Within The Songs, Creativity, Money, Love Anthology
Interior Dialogues – regular column Writers Hub
Key Broadcast Credits
BBC Radio – Front Row / The Film Show/The Strand
Modern Day Griots, Documentary BBC Radio 4 Presenter
Cousins, Documentary ITV Director
The White Job, Documentary VPRO TV Director
50 Films To See Before You Die – Presenter, Granada TV
Winner 2012 – Commonword Writing 4 Children
Selina Mills is an award winning writer and journalist. Educated at Brown University, USA, and Cambridge University, UK, she has been a reporter for Reuters in Rome, and for the Daily Telegraph in London. She was formerly a Producer for BBC Radio 4′s Today and World at One programmes. She has written widely for magazines and newspapers, where she has reviewed books and written features for The Observer, The Times, The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator, In 2009, she was awarded a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction. Her book, Life Unseen: The Story of Blindness, will be published by Tauris in 2013. It is the first accessible history of the subject written in over fifty years – an erudite investigation of how the physical state of not seeing has shaped our history and civilization. Mills writes with a uniquely personal slant (the author is losing her sight), investigating how the absence of vision has affected our lives, our senses and society from antiquity to the present. Combining her own experience with an examination of the history of blindness in the Western world, she shows that sightlessness has been an ‘active’ force in history, rather than the passive condition which is too readily assumed. She is currently contributing to the forthcoming BBC Radio 4 series, “A History of Disability”, (May 2013).
Arriving in Britain from the United States in 1977, Ruby Wax began her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She went on to write and perform in her own hugely popular television programmes for the BBC and Channel 4 and was Script Editor on all series of Absolutely Fabulous. Recently she has obtained a Masters degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University and spoke at TEDGlobal. She has become the poster girl for mental illness in the UK.
Sane New World: Taming The Mind, Ruby’s non-fiction work on mental health and mindfulness, was published by Hodder on June 6th 2013 and is a Sunday Times No. 1 Bestseller. The paperback is published 27th February 2014.
Ruby’s memoir How Do You Want Me? was published by Ebury Press in Autumn 2002.
Celia Imrie is an Olivier Award-winning British actress who has appeared in countless stage productions, films and TV programmes.
Celia’s memoir, The Happy Hoofer was published by Hodder in April 2011. She is currently working on her first novel, set in the south of France.
Richard Coles is an English musician, journalist and Church of England priest. He had three Top Ten hits with his band The Communards and now hosts Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4.
Richard is currently working on a memoir entitled Fathomless Riches.
Gareth Rubin read English Literature at St Andrews. Since then he has written for 14 national newspapers including The Observer, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and Time Out, worked as an actor and published a guide to Britain’s worst tourist attractions called CRAP DAYS OUT which was published by John Blake. He has also participated in two Guinness world records: writing for the satirical weekly Newsrevue, which holds the record for the longest-running comedy show; and as one of 6,000 people who set a record for the world’s biggest coconut orchestra. His is also a playwright, and his work has been performed in both the UK and Australia.
His next work of non fiction THE GREAT CAT MASSACRE: A HISTORY OF BRITAIN IN A HUNDRED MISTAKES will be published by John Blake.
Maxine Clark is a leading food stylist and writer as well as a gifted chef. She gained a Distinction when training as a chef at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London with the result that she was invited to become a teacher there after graduating. Maxine has been teaching gourmet cookery holidays for chef Alistair Little’s Tasting Places for more than 20 years both in Sicily and Tuscany. She is also guest chef at the Nick Nairn Cook School in Scotland, teaching Italian Masterclasses. Maxine’s work appears regularly in magazines such as BBC Good Food and Food and Travel. She teaches Food Innovation at the University of Abertay, Dundee.
Maxine is the author of several cookery books. Her most recent, Pies Glorious Pies was published by Ryland Peters & Small in September 2012.
After 35 years in which he established himself as one of the world’s bestselling horror authors, Graham Masterton has turned his hand to crime. Drawing on the five years in which he and his late wife Wiescka lived in Cork, in southern Ireland, he has created a series of novels featuring Katie Maguire, the first woman detective superintendent in An Garda Siochána, the Irish police force.
Graham was born in Edinburgh in 1946, the grandson of John Masterton, the chief inspector mines for Scotland, and Thomas Thorne Baker, a scientist who was the first man to send news pictures by radio. After joining his local newspaper at the age of 17 as a junior reporter, he was appointed deputy editor of Mayfair the men’s magazine at the age of 21. At 24 he became executive editor of Penthouse. His career at Penthouse led him to write a series of best-selling sexual advice books, including How To Drive Your Man Wild In Bed, which solid 2 million copies worldwide and 250,000 in Poland alone, where it is has recently been reprinted.
After leaving Penthouse he wrote The Manitou, a horror novel about the vengeful reincarnation of a Native American spirit, which was filmed with Tony Curtis in the lead role, and also starred Susan Strasberg, Burgess Meredith and Stella Stevens. Three of Graham’s horror stories were adapted by the late Tony Scott for his TV series The Hunger. Over the years he has published five collections of short stories, several of which have won awards.
Graham has also written historical sagas like Rich, Maiden Voyage and Solitaire, as well as thrillers and disaster novels such as Plague and Famine. The newest disaster novel Drought will be published in 2013. In 1989 Graham’s Polish wife Wiescka was instrumental in his becoming the first Western horror novelist to be published in Poland since World War Two, and his sex books have not only won popular success in Poland but acclaim from the medical profession. He was a regular contributor of humorous articles to the satire magazine Punch, as well as scores of articles on sexual happiness to American women’s magazines.
He has encouraged younger writers in several countries, including France, Germany and the Baltic States. For the past 13 years, he has given his name to the prestigious Prix Masterton, which is awarded annually for best French-language horror novel. He was the only non-French winner of Le Prix Julia Verlanger for best-selling horror novel and he has also been given recognition by Mystery Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and many others.
He edited an anthology of short stories by leading horror writers, Scare Care, in aid of children’s charities, and has been honoured by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for his fund-raising. He currently lives in Surrey, England.
Beryl Kingston has been a writer since she was seven when she started producing ‘poetry’. She was evacuated to Felpham at the start of WWII, igniting an interest in one time resident poet William Blake (which later inspired her novel The Gates of Paradise). She was a school teacher until 1985, but became a full-time writer when her debut novel became a bestseller. Kingston lives in west Sussex, and has three children, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
A Time to Love (1987)
Tuppenny Times (1989)
London Pride (1990)
Sixpenny Stalls (1990)
Fourpenny Flyer (1990)
Kisses and Ha’pennies (1991)
Hearts and Farthings (1991)
War Baby (1991)
Two Silver Crosses (1992)
Maggie’s Boy (1994)
Alive and Kicking (1995)
Laura’s Way (1996)
Gemma’s Journey (1997)
Avalanche of Daisies (1998)
Only Human (2001)
Only Young (2001)
Neptune’s Daughter (2005)
The Gates of Paradise (2006)
Octavia’s War (2009)
Girl on the Orlop Deck (2010)
Off the Rails (2011)
Buffalo Pictures is a small Independent Production Company owned by Martin Clunes and Philippa Braithwaite. Between them they have many years experience on and off screen. Credits include ‘Men Behaving Badly’, ‘Shakespeare in Love’, ‘Sliding Doors’, ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’, ‘Staggered’, ‘Hunting Venus’, ‘Men Down Under’, ‘The Russia House’ amongst many others. Buffalo Pictures has a very successful Factuals arm, recently producing ‘Horsepower’, ‘Man to Manta’ ‘Madagsacar’, ‘Islands of Britain’ and currently ‘Working Horses’. The company are currently developing a Julian Barnes novel for ITV , an adaptation of Clara Salaman’s novel ‘Shame on You’ and a feature film.
Since 2004 Buffalo have produced five series of the hugely successful television series, ‘Doc Martin’, seen by on average 10 million people in the UK and sold to 70 territories worldwide as well as the format being adapted in Spain, Germany, France, Poland, Russia, Greece and Holland. A new series of ‘Doc Martin’ is set for Autumn 2013.
The first novelisation of Buffalo’s television series, ‘Doc Martin’, entitled Doc Martin: Practice Makes Perfect by Sam North was published by Ebury Press 29th August 2013, with a second novel, Doc Martin: Mistletoe and Whine also by Sam North, to follow in November 2013.
Dr. Foyster is a lecturer in History, Fellow and Director of Studies at Clare College, Cambridge University. Her speciality is British social history from c.1600 to 1850. She has particular interests in the history of the family and gender history, and has publications on childhood, marriage and marriage breakdown, and masculinity.
Her fascination in the personal and emotional lives of ordinary women and men in the past, her love of gossip, and her nosey nature, has made all of these topics irresistible. More recently, she has written about child abduction, and has examined the letters that criminal prisoners wrote from eighteenth-century gaols. She has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to investigate the burden that faced families who cared for their mentally ill and disabled relatives in the eighteenth century.
She is currently working on a biography of the 3rd Earl of Portsmouth, who was declared insane in 1823.
David studied English Literature at Reading University and Education at Exeter before his taking his first job as an English and Literature teacher in Hertfordshire. After several years teaching English in the UK and Singapore, David worked briefly in publishing before joining an NGO to work with refugees on the Thai-Burmese border. He has also worked in Indonesia and South Korea either in education or in publishing. In 2011, David returned to the UK to take an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester.
His first novel, The Camp, explores the devastating consequences facing a Burmese refugee camp that has been placed under infectious disease quarantine. As death and desperation take their hold and a bitterly divided community reaches flashpoint, both refugees and the authorities trapped with them must make a choice between sacrifice and self-interest.
Xenobe Purvis graduated from Oxford University in 2011 with a degree in English Literature. She writes unrelentingly, and has published short stories, reviews and travel articles, both online and in print. The Rest Untold, Xenobe’s first novel, was scribbled into a notebook on a remote island in the South Pacific, where she spent six months volunteering in 2012. She now lives in London.
The Rest Untold is her first novel. It portrays a family living in modern-day suburbia, addressing, particularly, the struggles of their youngest son upon growing a pair of wings. Documenting the endeavours of the family to keep this feathered secret, The Rest Untold is a magical realist novel, written in the tradition of Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Márquez. A coming-of-age tale for the modern era, it engages with questions of language, disability, and identity.
Iman Verjee grew up in Kenya, studied and fell in love with Canada, then moved to London to pursue a MA in Creative Writing at City University. It was during her time there that she completed her first novel, In Between Dreams, a story about a taboo love affair and its inescapable consequences
Iman is the winner of the 2012 Peters Fraser &Dunlop/City University Prize for Fiction for her novel In Between Dreams which will be published by Oneworld Publications in 2014.
Jill grew up in Merseyside and now lives in Hertfordshire. She has a degree in English, a chequered career history including retail management, marketing, theatre, design and bookselling, and is now a magazine editor.
She recently completed the Faber Academy ‘Writing A Novel’ course, supervised by Esther Freud, and is currently working on her first book.
With over 20 years of experience, Lisa Eldridge is one of the most highly regarded make-up artists on the international beauty and fashion circuits. Whether she’s called upon to create her signature look, best described as fresh and flawless or to work her magic for the catwalk or on editorial shoots, her understated, modern approach to beauty has made her indispensable to designers, magazine editors, art directors and celebrities alike. Through her online make-up tutorials, and her role as resident on-screen beauty expert for three seasons of Channel 4’s successful series ‘Ten Years Younger, Lisa has become one of the most recognised faces in the beauty industry, both in the UK and internationally.
Having previously lived and worked in Paris, New York and LA, Lisa is now based in London. Throughout her career, she has maintained a high editorial profile working with many of the world’s top fashion photographers including Regan Cameron, Solve Sundsbo, Patrick Demarchelier, Thomas Schenk, Paolo Roversi and Horst Dirkgerdes. Her masterful make-up artistry appeared on the pages of virtually every fashion magazine including British, Italian, Chinese and Japanese Vogue, Allure, Glamour, Elle, Numero, Pop and Lula.
In addition, Lisa has collaborated with many of the world’s top fashion houses on their advertising campaigns and fashion shows including Chloe, Alberta Ferretti, Prada, Donna Karan, Moschino and PPQ.
The list of celebrities she has made-up reads like a who’s who of the world’s most glamorous women including Kate Winslet, Katy Perry, Keira Knightley, Emma Watson, Eva Green, Cameron Diaz, Amanda Seyfried, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Cate Blanchet, Demi Moore and Salma Hayek.
Continually quoted on the pages of the glossiest magazines, Lisa’s expertise has become highly prized over the years. In 1998, her authority was officially recognised by industry giant, Japanese make-up and skin care company, Shiseido who approached Lisa to work on developing the concept for a new make-up line. Designed and developed with Shiseido, Lisa collaborated on everything from shade and texture formulation, to packaging and new product development. “The experience of working on my own make-up line really completed the circle of my career, and has lead me to fully understand make-up from the inside out having applied it, designed it and learnt how it is made and sold,” says Lisa.
This was followed by another coup, when Lisa was head-hunted by established British cosmetics brand, No.7, and appointed as their Creative Director in 2003, a post she still holds. Working on the re-design and re-launch of this cult brand, she was responsible for bringing No.7 cosmetics back into the limelight. Using her vast experience in product development, formulation, colour, design, consultant training and P.R., her role has been key in the brand’s reinvention and global expansion into Europe, the US and Far East. What sets Lisa apart from her peers is her innate ability to translate trends, and then to communicate them through her expert make-up tutorials (created in her own studio) and blog posts. The tutorials brought her to the attention of Chanel, who asked her to collaborate with their Creative Director, Peter Phillips on Chanel’s “Make-Up Confidential,” a monthly digital magazine for which Lisa creates content. Most recently, Lisa has been commissioned to write a monthly column for British ELLE, entitled “The Beauty Guru”, where she will sharing more of her aspirational and accessible make-up know-how with the readers.
Biography by Karena Callen
Bryony Gordon is one of The Telegraph’s best loved journalists columnist and features writer. She has been writing for The Telegraph for a number of years (having worked there on and off since 2000), and also freelances for various other publications including Grazia Magazine.
She has interviewed such eminent figures as Lord Heseltine, Ricky Gervais and Bryan Ferry. Her much loved column ‘How the Other Half Lives’ is a staple for any Sunday morning reader as she investigates and bemoans the absurdities, comic episodes and craziness of modern life.
Bryony is currently working on her first book which will showcase the writing she is best loved for: pithy observations about life, its triumphs and its pitfalls in the style she is known and best loved for. The Wrong Knickers will be published by Headline in Spring 2014, read more about this here.
J. Kent Messum was born in downtown Toronto in 1979, the product of a merger between a Cockney Lad and a Geordie Lass that resulted in a typical Aries who came out of the delivery room with a chip on his shoulder and an overactive imagination. During his early years his mother read fantastical stories to him every night, and his father frequently invented tales of witches and ghosts that both intrigued and terrified him. He was a frightened child growing up, convinced of a boogeyman in every closet and a monster under most beds. His stories are rooted in that same childhood fear, now evolved and molded by a mix of life experiences and a good deal of thinking outside the box.
Jamie graduated from York University’s Fine Arts Program and has worked as a session musician, freelance writer, producer, internet radio station disc jockey, bartender, office gopher, music teacher, movie grip, laborer, contractor, and a few other things he’d rather not admit. A glutton for punishment, Jamie has been involved heavily in both the music business and film business for well over a decade. He writes incessantly, putting on paper as many stories and ideas as his time will allow. The literary business is a welcome change, since he writes as if his life depended on it anyway.
Jamie’s debut novel, Bait, a dark psychological thriller about a group of strangers who find themselves stranded on a deserted island, was published by Plume (Penguin US) and Penguin Canada in August 2013, and was published in the UK by Michael Joseph (Penguin Random House) in September 2013.
Cath Bore was born in Chorley, Lancashire but escaped to Liverpool when she was nineteen.
She has worked as a radio station presenter and manager, tutor to disadvantaged young people and those in the youth offending system, music writer, civil servant – and cleaner in an old people’s home during her student days.
Cath has an MA from Liverpool John Moores University in creative writing.
She won Marie Claire Magazine’s Inspire & Mentor in Jan 2012 and also writes for Hello! Magazine on-line covering women’s body issues, The Liverpool Daily Post (shortlisted for the Online Media Awards 2012) covering politics, and appears on Liverpool’s City Talk 105.9 and Warrington’s Wire FM each week.
Cath has a short story in the ‘Off The Record 2’ anthology out later this year, in aid of the National Literacy Trust, which also features contributions from CWA Dagger in the Library 2012 winner Steve Mosby, CWA Chair Claire MacGowan, and crime writers Will Carver, Adrian McKinty and Stav Sherez.
She is jointly represented by Caroline Michel and Nelle Andrew
Poppy Campbell started cooking in highland lodges at the age of eighteen. While at Durham University, she continued working as a private chef in her holidays and, over the last nine years, she has cooked for an extraordinary array of clients – musicians, MPs, actors, city boys, Royals, students, and chefs – in the nooks and crannies of the British coastline, the deepest Welsh valleys, London townhouses, the Highlands of Scotland, Austrian and Swiss chalets, French chateaux and Tuscan palazzi.
In 2011, she started learning another aspect of her profession and became an apprentice food stylist, working alongside some of the industry’s finest professionals.
She is currently working on a cookbook entitled “Five Knives and a Suitcase” which is a collection of recipes for entertaining large and small parties wherever you are and whatever the season.
Robert Elms has been presenting the Robert Elms Show on BBC Radio London daily for eighteen years. Covering all aspects of life in the Capital, the programme has won three Sony awards and developed a dedicated following of half a million listeners a week, making it the most successful show on the station.
He is also Travel Editor of GQ Magazine, a travel writer for the Sunday Times, and a contributor to a number of other magazines, radio and TV Shows.
Robert has had three books published: “In Search of the Crack”, a novel published by Penguin; “Spain A Portrait After The General”, a non-fiction account of Spanish history, culture and politics; “The Way We Wore”, a best-selling memoir published by Picador, on the history of youth culture, fashion and Robert’s own many sartorial triumphs and disasters.
Robert lives with his wife and three kids in a painfully modernised Regency house in Camden Town and a 1000-year-old Moorish house in Andalucía. He likes QPR, jazz, Spain and things which look good.
He is currently working on a memoir of London, examining how it has changed in his lifetime and reflecting on the areas that have meant the most to him.
Cecilia Ekbäck was born in Sweden in a northern fishing town. Her parents come from Lapland. During her adolescence in Sweden she worked as a journalist for the local newspaper and radio. At 15 she won a short story competition in one of Sweden’s newspapers.
After university she specialised in marketing and worked for a multinational for fifteen years with postings in Russia, Germany, France, Portugal and the Middle East. In 2010 she finished Royal Holloway’s Master in Creative Writing under Andrew Motion. She is now 41 years old and lives in London with her husband David and twin daughters Anna and Maja, ‘returning home’ to the landscape and the characters of her childhood and adolescence in her writing. Wolf Winter is her first novel.
Wolf Winter was sold at auction to Kate Parkin, at Hodder. It will be released in July 2014, with German, Swedish, American and Canadian rights secured as well as interest in several other international countries:
Joanne Strasser was born in 1978. She grew up in the Midwestern United States where she attended a private, all-girls school. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in German and Russian languages and literature. After living in Berlin for several years, she moved to New York City to pursue a masters degree in Liberal Studies from The New School for Social Research, and was accepted into their doctoral program for Sociology. Joanne abandoned her doctoral studies to pursue creative writing and has since produced two novels, Occupied and The Year of My Fixation. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.
Matthew Specktor is a wonderful debut fiction writer whose debut novel American Dream Machine will be published by Tin House Press in the USA.
Jonathan Lethem (National Book Critic’s Circle Award for Motherless Brooklyn) described the novel as: This is one of the best new novels I’ve read in a long, long while, and probably the best I’ve ever been handed in manuscript. Beau Rosenwald is a character both unprecedented and completely persuasive…The allusive structure, the cornucopia of evocative, crystalline details, the assertion of the agency as a lens into American reality…all of it, tremendous.”
David Sheilds (New York Times bestselling novelist) said of the novel that it was: the definitive new-Hollywood novel. The tone, the pace, the details—everything is just amazingly right. The whole book is charged with the kind of necessity I almost never see in novels anymore. Thrilling
Matthew Specktor’s primary agency is The Agency Group in America. He is represented by Nelle Andrew in the UK and the novel has been bought by David Shelley at Little,Brown (UK).
John Gordon Sinclair was born in Glasgow, Scotland and now lives in Surrey with his family. An acclaimed actor as well as a writer, John’s first film won him a BAFTA nomination for ‘Best Newcomer to a Leading film Role’. His first outing in London’s West End won him an Olivier award for ‘Best Actor’ and he is soon to be starring opposite Brad Pitt in WORLD WAR Z, released in June 2013.
John’s first novel, Seventy Times Seven, is a crime thriller set in Ireland and Alabama. The hardback was published by Faber in September 2012 with the paperback following on 4th April 2013. He is currently working on the sequel which will be published in 2014.
Little is known of the enigmatic gentle author but every reader knows the gentle author is their intimate confidante and friend who reveals the candid stories of the remarkable people to be found in Spitalfields.
Brian Cathcart is professor of journalism at Kingston University London and was a founder of the Hacked Off campaign. He served as specialist adviser to the commons media select committee in 2008-10. Irish by background, he was a journalist at Reuters, the Independent papers and the New Statesman, and has written books about the murders of Stephen Lawrence and Jill Dando, as well as on the history of nuclear science.
Brian’s latest book, Everybody’s Hacked Off: Why We Don’t Have the Press We Deserve and What to Do About It, with an introduction by Hugh Grant, was published as a Penguin Special in September 2012.
Paul Conroy is a photojournalist and documentary maker, who began his career in the military. He has worked in warzones all over the world, taking photographs and making films for the BBC, Sky TV and the Sunday Times, amongst others.
Conroy was one of the first journalists to enter Libya when the uprising there began in 2011, and his talents meant he was soon teamed with the Sunday Times’ Marie Colvin, hailed as the greatest war reporter of his generation. The pair smuggled themselves into the besieged city of Misrata at a time when most of the foreign press corps had decided it was too dangerous to stay. They ended up covering the brutal shelling of the city for two months, longer than any other journalist team. He spent the next six months working in Libya with Colvin, before working together again in Syria in early 2012 to report on the atrocities being committed. It was to be the pair’s last assignment together. Colvin was killed in a rocket attack in Homs, Syria in February 2012.
Paul’s memoir, Under the Wire, was published by Quercus in June 2013.
Daisy Goodwin is an eminent British television producer, poetry anthologist and novelist. She is the owner of Silver River Productions (which has produced among many others the Supersizers Go….series with Giles Corden) and her debut novel My Last Duchess was published by Headline Review in 2010 in the UK and St Martin’s Press in the USA to rave reviews:
‘Sparkling and thoroughly engaging…the story of a poor little rich girl learning the hard way how to concentrate on the next step along the tightrope makes for a highly enjoyable and intelligent read’--The Sunday Times
A wonderful guilty pleasure of a read…the detailing is beautiful, the great phalanx of historical characters amusing and the relief of reading a novel that puts enjoyment first, so rare and gratifying that I am ready for a sequel’–Amanda Foreman, Sunday Telegraph
Her second novel is due to be published by Headline in 2013.
Michael Waterhouse has combined a business career with a lifelong passion for politics and the countryside, writing and producing a number of critically acclaimed books and radio shows, and becoming an authority on Sir Edward Grey. His latest book is a unique biography of Grey, who was Foreign Secretary in 1914, laying bare the contradictions between the sensitive naturalist and the tough political survivor who led Britain into the Great War.
Paula Weideger is an author and art journalist.
She has had five books published, including “Venetian Dreaming: Finding a foothold in an enchanted land”, published by Simon & Schuster UK in 2004, and, in 2012, a book celebrating 25 Years of TEFAF in Maastricht, the world’s largest art and antiques fair.
She regularly writes about art and the art market for a range of British and international publications, including The Independent, the Sunday New York Times, the Financial Times and the Economist.
She is currently working on, “The Fate of the Golden Lifeboat”, a book examining the importance and ramifications of art valuation.
Georgie Thompson is a broadcast journalist and television presenter for Sky Sports.
Thompson left Sky Sports News on 29 December 2011 in order to put her present Sky Sports F1′s Formula One coverage. From the 2012 season, Thompson has been presenting The F1 Show alongside pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz.
Her debut novel The Twitter Diaries co-written with Imogen Lloyd Webber will published on Bloomsbury Reader on the 21st May 2012.
Simon Schama CBE is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. He is the author of Patriots and Liberators, which won the Wolfson Prize for History, The Embarrassment of Riches, Citizens which won the 1990 NCR book award for non-fiction, Dead Certainties, Landscape and Memory which won the W H Smith Literary Award in 1995, and Rembrandt’s Eyes (1999).
His monumental History of Britain is published in three volumes by BBC Worldwide in the UK and Talk Miramax Books in the US. He was art critic of the New Yorker from 1995 to 1998 and was made CBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours list.
He is now writing the second volume of STORY OF THE JEWS for Bodley Head and Ecco to be published next autumn. He is also working on an ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF WORLD WAR I to be published by HarperCollins. After that, his collaborated book with the National Portrait Gallery, PORTRAIT OF A NATION, will be published by Penguin.
Peter Hain is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Welsh constituency of Neath since 1991, and has served in the Cabinets of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, firstly as Leader of the House of Commons under Blair and both Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Secretary of State for Wales under Brown. He is currently Shadow Welsh Secretary.
Dr. Augustus (Gus) Casely-Hayford is a curator and cultural historian. He is a research associate at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). In 2010, as part of the Wonderful Africa Season , he presented Lost Kingdoms of Africa, four 60-minute television programmes for BBC 2 and BBC 4. The TV tie-in book was published by Transworld and he was commissioned to present a second series in February 2012. He presented a study of Hogarth and the 18th Century for the television series The Genius of British Art, on Channel 4 in 2010.
Aoife studied Modern History at Oxford University, got married and spent her twenties reproducing. She loves children’s books and her shelves are coming down with childhood favourites which her three offspring would definitely appreciate if only they would sit still long enough to listen.
Lately, Aoife has combined her lifelong interests in literature and writing with a more enforced recent interest in actual children, and her first children’s novel, Look After Me, is published by Andersen Press in February 2014. She is currently working on her second novel.
Neal Street Productions is the UK based independent film and theatre production company set up in 2003 by Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling. Neal Street has a first look deal with Focus Features and currently has a range of film and theatre projects in development and production on both sides of the Atlantic.
One of Neal Street Productions’ recent successes is the hit BBC1 series Call the Midwife, created by Heidi Thomas. A drama set in London’s East End during the 1950s, the show is based on the bestselling memoirs of Jennifer Worth. The series tells the story of a newly qualified midwife beginning her career alongside an order of nursing nuns in post-war London. The first series aired in 2012, starring Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, Cliff Parisi, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Judy Parfitt and Vanessa Redgrave, and acheived critical and commercial success, with over 10 million viewers tuning in to each episode. A second series has been commissioned, and is expected to air in January 2013.
A tie-in book, The Life and Times of Call the Midwife, was published by HarperCollins in October 2012.
Michael Winner was a motion picture director and writer. With an Honours Degree in Law and Economics from Cambridge University, he spent over 50 years making films in Hollywood and England. He started in 1957 and went on to make many acclaimed pictures including the legendary Death Wish series. He directed actors such as Marlon Brando, Anthony Hopkins, Faye Dunaway, Sophia Loren, Charles Bronson, Robert Mitchum, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner and many more. His films have been shown as invited entries at the Cannes Film Festival, the San Francisco Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival and many others. He’s famous for a number of sayings one of which is “A team effort is a lot of people doing what I say”.
Michael Winner also performed a one man show which started in 1966 at the National Film Theatre and had since been adapted. In February 2011 he was given a three day tribute by the Los Angeles Cinematheque in Hollywood. John Patterson in the Guardian who saw one of his talks there said, “Michael Winner shows us how a real raconteur grabs his audience. He has us in the palm of his hand”.
Michael wrote 11 books including many restaurant review books often with other stories added. His autobiography Winner Takes All was a best seller. Lloyd Evans in the Spectator wrote, “This book is a gem . . .one of the books of the year.” He has also written a diet book, The Fat Pig Diet, showing how he lost 35lbs and kept it off. He wrote a weekly column in the Sunday Times called Winner’s Dinners about his life in restaurants and other places which ran for 16 years. He is also well known for a number of appearances on television including being the lead performer in Michael Winner’s Dining Stars for ITV. In 2006 he turned down the OBE which was twice offered to him.
Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband Simeon and their two boys Ben and Josh. All her novels share a common theme in that they are contemporary stories with love at their core, the main characters being ordinary women who are placed in extraordinary, current, gritty situations. Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…
Her novel Poppy Day will be published by Head of Zeus in November 2012 and her second novel Mrs. Bedmaker will be published in 2013.
David Heathcoat-Amory was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he worked for the British Electric Traction Co. and the British Technology Group. He served as the Conservative MP for Wells between 1983 and 2010. David was a Minister in the Departments of the Environment, Energy, the Whips Office, the Foreign Office, and the Treasury. In 1996, he was appointed Paymaster General and a member of the Privy Council, but resigned from the government over the issue of Europe. He was later a member of the Shadow Cabinet and a House of Commons delegate to the Convention on the Future of Europe.
Phil Hardy is an English film and music industry journalist. He was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire in 1945 and studied at the University of Sussex, 1964-1969, during which time he was a visiting student at the Berkeley campus of the University of California (1966-1967). At Sussex he started The Brighton Film Review. He worked as a freelance music and film writer, writing for Time Out, Variety and other publications while at the same time acting as a consultant on music business issues for bodies such as the Greater London Enterprise Board and the World Bank. In 1986 he travelled to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan to research and write the documentary film, Food Trucks & Rock’n'Roll about how the money raised by Band Aid was spent in Africa. He was the founding editor of Music and Copyright, a bi-weekly newsletter offering news and analysis on the international music industry. The newsletter was subsequently bought by the Informa Media Group and in 2008 Hardy left Music and Copyright to publish and edit the online newsletter theviewfromtheboundary (www.theviewfromtheboundary.com). He has written or edited several books on music and film, including Samuel Fuller (1970), The Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music (1990), and The BFI Companion to Crime (1997). He is also the chief editor and contributing writer of The Aurum Film Encyclopedia. In 2012, he self-published Dire Straits, an account of the 12 major music markets in 2010-2011, as a Kindle book. His account of the last 20 or so years of the record industry, Download!: How Digital Destroyed the Record Industry, was published in February 2013 in the UK and US by Omnibus Press. Currently he is writing a book about music publishing and the administration of copyright since 2000. Most of his back catalogue is being republished by Bloomsbury.
Maria was born in Jarrow in the North East of England. She trained as a nurse in the 1980s and then moved to London to train as a midwife. In 1996 after 8 years in London she moved back to the North East to her roots, where she worked in both the hospital and the community as a midwife. Maria moved to Inverness in 2003 after meeting her husband, and they now have two children. Having two girls is a great delight after being brought up with three younger brothers. She is currently still working on the frontline of maternity services as a Senior Charge Midwife on the delivery suite at Raigmore Hospital.
Her memoir of her life as a midwife, entitled Tales of a Midwife, will be published by Headline in March 2012.
Kishwar Desai is a novelist, whose debut novel Witness the Night won the Costa Award for first novel in 2010. Before that she wrote a non fiction work Darlingji: The True Story of Nargis and Sunil Dutt published by HarperCollins India. As well as being a writer, Kishwar Desai has worked for over 20 years as a journalist, TV anchor and TV producer and worked with most major Indian networks. Her most recent role was as Vice President for Zee Telefilms. She divides her time between India and London.
Jesse Norman was educated at Oxford University (BA) and at University College London (MPhil, PhD). Among other things he has run an educational project in Communist Eastern Europe, been a director at Barclays, and taught philosophy at UCL and Birkbeck College. His books and pamphlets include The Achievement of Michael Oakeshott (ed.), After Euclid, Compassionate Conservatism and The Big Society.
He writes and blogs prolifically in the national press.
In 2010 Jesse was elected as the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, and as a member of the Treasury Select Committee.
In 2012 he was chosen as Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year, and as Backbencher of the Year. In 2013 he became a member of the Policy Board at 10 Downing Street.
His biography on Edmund Burke was published by HarperCollins in May 2013, and has been widely acclaimed.
As well as hosting BBC2’s flagship gardening show Gardeners’ World, Rachel co-hosts all major RHS gardening shows for the BBC including The Chelsea Flower Show, The Hampton Court Flower Show, Malvern Flower Show and BBC’s Gardeners World Live. For ITV1 Rachel travels the length and breadth of Britain for Countrywise and in addition she has fronted her own series Small Town Gardens and Gardening with the Experts.
In addition to her television and radio work, Rachel has written two gardening books; Small Town Gardens and Rachel de Thame’s Top 100 Star Plants, co-authored a third; Gardening with the Experts and contributed to Moving on Up.
As a journalist Rachel writes a regular gardening column for The Sunday Times. Contributions to other publications include the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, Gardeners’ World Magazine, Amateur Gardening Magazine and New Eden Magazine.
Tom Wilkinson is a writer and art historian specializing in architecture, photography, and German history. He is currently working on a PhD at University College London, where he also teaches a course on London’s modern architecture. He can often be found in Berlin, looking at buildings and pursuing his other loves, Wagner and techno.
Tom’s first book, Bricks and Mortals: The Story of Our Lives in Ten Buildings, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2014. He has also contributed chapters to Masters of Photography, which will be published by Carlton in 2013.
Sheena Byrom was born and brought up in north-west England, and has lived and worked there all her life. Sheena’s career spans thirty-five years. She has recently taken early retirement and is busy with midwife-related projects and teaching. She is married with four children, one of whom has followed her mother’s footsteps in becoming a midwife lecturer.
Her memoir of life as a midwife, entitled Catching Babies, was published by Headline in November 2011.
Hanna Jameson is 22, and is reading American History & Literature with Politics at the University of Sussex. Her first novel SOMETHING YOU ARE was published in December 2012 by Head of Zeus (UK), in German language by Suhrkamp and in Dutch by Luitingh-Sijthoff.
Hanna has been shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger Award for her debut novel Something You Are.
GIRL 7, the second novel in the London Underground series, will be published by Head of Zeus in April 2014
Carnival is one of the UK’s leading production companies. Over the last 30 years it has produced hundreds of hours of award-winning popular television for audiences worldwide from series such as Jeeves and Wooster, Poirot, Hotel Babylon and Whitechapel to powerful miniseries such as Any Human Heart, Traffik and The Grid. It has attracted more than 100 national and international awards and nominations, including Oscars, Emmys, BAFTAs, Royal Television Society, Oliviers and TONY Awards.
The company’s latest production is the multi-award winning Downton Abbey, the lavish period drama created and written by Julian Fellowes, that has taken the world by storm. With an all star cast including Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Penelope Wilton, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Phyllis Logan, Siobhan Finneran, Rob James-Collier, and Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey has achieved huge critical and ratings success. Winning 10 Emmys and achieving a place in the Guinness Book of Records for achieving the ‘highest critical review ratings for a TV show’, the show has been licensed in over 200 territories.
The #1 bestselling The World of Downton Abbey was written by Jessica Fellowes and published by Collins in September 2011, and the follow up companion to Series 2, The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, was published by Collins in September 2012. Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts Season 1 was published in December 2012, also by HarperCollins, with the script book of the second series to follow in November 2013.
Downton Abbey: Behind the Scenes was published by HarperCollins in September 2013, becoming an instant Sunday Times bestseller.
Harriet Sergeant an author, journalist and Fellow of the Centre For Policy Studies, an independent, right of centre Think Tank. She has written six reports for the CPS, including ‘Handle with Care – an investigation into the care system’ and ‘Wasted – the betrayal of white working class and black Caribbean boys.’ Her reports have been serialized in the Daily Mail and the Telegraph and received extensive press coverage. Five have made front page headlines in the Daily Mail. Apart from other journalism, she writes Comments for the Daily Mail and The Sunday Times and review for the Spectator. She has also appeared on The Moral Maze, the World Tonight, the Today Programme, Any Questions, the Big Question, News 24 and Sky News amongst others. She has also been invited to appear on Question Time.
Harriet’s previous books include Between the Lines: Conversations in South Africa (Cape, 1985), Shanghai – A History of Shanghai in the 1920s and 1930s (Cape, 1991) and The Old Sow in the Back Room: An Englishwoman in Japan (John Murray 1994).
Her latest book, Among the Hoods, the story of her three year friendship with a South London gang, was published by Faber in July 2012.
A celebrated motivational speaker and success coach, Michael is the international best-selling author of How To Be Brilliant, 5 Star Service, Brilliant Life and Flip It. His books have been translated into 18 languages and are available all around the world. His book Flip It had the distinction of becoming the No. 1 Best Selling Personal Development title in the UK of 2010.
Michael’s fifth book How To Save An Hour Every Day was published in May 2011. His most recent book, The Edge: How the Best Get Better, was published by Hodder in September 2012.
Captain David Blakeley was Second in Command of the elite British military unit the Pathfinders, also known as “The Ghost Platoon”. He led the most audacious mission of the Iraq War, commanding a patrol on a mission deep behind enemy lines – the subject of his first book, Pathfinder, which was published by Orion in May 2012, and was a Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and paperback. Prior to that he was amongst the first British soldiers operating in Afghanistan post 9/11, working with Afghan Warlords and irregular forces.
At 21 years of age David was promoted to be the youngest Captain in the British Army, going on to serve in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. He has taught and presented at military seminars, and was chosen as the British Army representative for a series of NATO ‘Partnership for Peace’ programmes. After a serious injury on a mission behind enemy lines he was told that he would be invalided out of the military, and began the long process of physical rehabilitation at Hedley Court. He left the military in 2006, but not before regaining full use of all his limbs and 100% physical fitness.
Since leaving the military he has worked as a consultant to TV and Film companies. He has also worked on a number of high profile computer games including the latest ‘Alien Verses Predator’. He has also fronted a number of masculine advertising campaigns including Harley Davidson. He is attached as the lead presenter to a number of TV format shows in development
David’s next book, Maverick One, the story of his selection into the Pathfinders and his missions in Afghanistan, was published by Orion in May 2013.
Kriss Russman studied music at Caius College, Cambridge where he received a doctorate. He worked as a producer and director for BBC Television’s music and arts department for ten years and his broadcasting achievements include an EMMY nomination, a US Cable Ace trophy, an award from Britain’s Royal Television Society and two awards from the Royal Philharmonic Society.
As a conductor and composer, he has performed with major European companies including the Hungarian National Opera and Prague State Opera and ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra. His opera ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’, about Marilyn Monroe’s love affair with President Kennedy, has a projected performance in the United States in 2013.
A distinguished elder statesman of British television news, having fronted programmes on all the major terrestrial channels, Peter Sissons has been a familiar face on British television for nearly 45 years.
Born in Liverpool, at various times he counted John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison among his schoolmates. He read Philosophy Politics and Economics at Oxford before joining ITN as a graduate trainee in 1964. He became a reporter when News at Ten was launched in 1967, and was badly wounded by gunfire the following year when covering the Biafran War. While continuing to appear on camera, he was appointed ITN News Editor in 1969, its Industrial Correspondent in 1970 and Industrial Editor in 1972.
Having been a regular stand-in newscaster for ten years, he made his full-time debut on ITN’s News at One in 1978. Four years later he became the first presenter of the ITN-produced Channel Four News. During his tenure, the programme won three consecutive BAFTAS, and Sissons himself won the highest award of the Royal Television Society, the Judges’ Award, in 1988.
In 1989, the BBC asked Sissons to present the Six o’Clock News and chair its political discussion programme Question Time, following the retirement of its founder Robin Day. Sissons held both positions for nearly five years, becoming presenter of the flagship Nine o’Clock News from January 1994 (the Ten o’Clock News from October 2000). He was also a key presenter of live general election coverage, in every general election since 1974 at ITN, and continuing at the BBC in the 1990s.
Sir Alistair Horne CBE was educated at Le Rosey, Switzerland, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He ended his war service with the rank of Captain in the Coldstream Guards attached to MI5 in the Middle East. From 1952 to 1955 he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. In 1969 he founded the Alistair Horne research fellowship in modern history at St Antony’s, Oxford. His numerous books on history and politics have been translated into over ten languages, and he was awarded the Hawthornden Prize (for THE PRICE OF GLORY) and the Wolfson Prize (for A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE). In 1992 he was awarded the CBE; in 1993 he received the French Légion d’honneur for his work on French history and a Litt.D. from Cambridge University. He was knighted in 2003 for services to Franco-British relations.
Alistair is currently working on BATTLES WHICH CHANGED THE WORLD for Weidenfeld and Random House.
Professor Hall received his Master’s (1957) and Ph.D. (1959) degrees in Geography from the University of Cambridge and has taught at the London School of Economics; at the University of Reading (1968‑88), where he was Dean of the Faculty of Urban and Regional Studies; and at the University of California at Berkeley (1980‑92), where he is Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning.
He is author or editor of nearly 40 books on urban and regional planning and related topics. He has received the Founder’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society for distinction in research, and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of the Academia Europea. He holds fourteen honorary doctorates from universities in the UK, Sweden and Canada. He was knighted in 1998 for services to the Town and Country Planning Association, and in 2003 was named by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a “Pioneer in the Life of the Nation” at a reception in Buckingham Palace. In 2003 he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the first to be awarded for twenty years. In 2005 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Deputy Prime Minister for his contributions to urban regeneration and planning. He received the 2005 Balzan Prize for work on the Social and Cultural History of Cities since the Beginning of the 16th Century. In 2008 he received the Sir Patrick Abercrombie Prize of the International Union of Architects.
Patricia le Roy was born in Liverpool and now lives in Paris. She worked for several years at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Previous novels include The Angels of Russia, Music at the Garden House, and The Glass Palace Chronicle. She has recently completed a novel based on the life of Anna Akhmatova.
Richard Foreman has worked in the book trade for over a decade, first as a bookseller and then as the founder of Chalke Authors, a freelance consultancy and publicity agency for authors. His clients have included, among others, Conn Iggulden, William Dalrymple and Simon Sebag Montefiore. He is also the director of a number of literary festivals and co-founder of The History Today Book Club.
Silvena Rowe is Chef Patron of The May Fair Hotel where, following a multimillion-pound refurbishment, her new flagship restaurant Quince opened its doors in June 2011. She is also an established and distinctive TV presence, making regular appearances on the hugely popular BBC programme Saturday Kitchen and ITV’s This Morning. She has recently filmed the pilot Time Machine Chefs for ABC in America, in which she will be one of the judges.
With a love of cooking instilled in her by her Turkish father and by her upbringing in the ancient city of Plovdiv, just 500km from the ancient Ottoman capital of Constantinople, Silvena is uniquely placed to enthuse the widest possible audience of food lovers and travellers with her passion for the best of the eastern Mediterranean kitchen.
Silvena was formerly the executive chef at the Baltic Group restaurants, including London’s Baltic, Chez Kristoff and Wodka restaurants, and her diverse experience with food ranges from working in conjunction with major brands such as Waitrose to writing for the Guardian, and to working on David Cronenberg’s film Eastern Promises. Silvena’s first book, Feasts, won a prestigious Glenfiddich Food and Drink award, and in 2010 Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume won the Gourmand award for the best book on Mediterranean cuisine. Her latest book Orient Express is published by Hutchinson.
The Patels run Prashad – a small family-run Indian vegetarian restaurant in Bradford, which reached the final of Channel 4’s ‘Ramsay’s Best Restaurant’. It offers a range of dishes, including Gujarati specialities and it is the only restaurant in Bradford with an AA rosette.
The business was established in 1992 by Mohan and Kaushy Patel, selling traditional Indian snacks and sweets. It has developed into an award-winning restaurant offering traditional Gujarati and Punjabi vegetarian cuisine with Mohan and Kaushy working alongside oldest son Bobby Patel and his wife Minal. The kitchen is the domain of Minal and Kaushy, who both began their love affairs with cooking back in India. Their husbands, Bobby and Mohan, run the front of house operation. Together Bobby and Kaushy led the team into the final of Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant in 2010. Their fantastic food wowed even the carnivorous Gordon Ramsey, but together the team work to ensure that their customers’ experience at Prashad is about much more than just the food.
The first Prashad cookbook, written by Kaushy and her family, was published by Saltyard Books in September 2012.
Wade Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Named by the NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.”
General Sir John Wilsey was commissioned into the Devon and Dorset Regiment. During his distinguished career he served in Northern Ireland in every rank bar one, culminating as the GOC from 1990-93. Now retired he wrote the acclaimed biography of Col H Johns VC – The Life and Death of an Unusual Hero (Hutchinson and Arrow (p/b).
Moore is best known for his architectural and interior photographic work. His photographs have been reproduced in numerous magazines (including Architectural Digest, Men’s Vogue and Nest), and he has published over a dozen books, notably Evening Raga’s, Notting Hill, A Gardener’s Life, Rooms, Inside The House of Lords, In House and, most recently, Great Gardens of Italy (with Monty Don).
In 1976, Moore travelled to India to photograph some of the palaces that seemed to him to have retained the atmosphere of another era. His photographs capture the fading splendour that, in post-colonial society, already spoke of a bygone world. Moore published his work from India in 1997 in Evening Ragas: A Photographer in India (John Murray, London). Exploring the light, the space, and the visual contrasts that inform a room and create its essential character is at the core of his vision. Joseph Holtzman, the founding editior of Nest, said regarding Moore’s illumination of the intricate interplay of columns and stairs in the Wankaner Palace in Gurjarat, “[Moore] captures the very air and space of a room, like a magician.”
Moore’s work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and The National Portrait Gallery, London as well as many private collections
Clive Aslet is an award-winning writer and journalist, acknowledged as a leading authority on Britain and its way of life. In 1977 he joined the magazine Country Life, was for 13 years its Editor and is now Editor at Large. He writes extensively for papers such as the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Sunday Times, and often broadcasts on television and radio. A well-known campaigner on the countryside and other issues, he has studied the debate about climate change since attending the Kyoto Protocol negotiations in 1997. He is on the candidates list for the Conservative Party and seeking a seat to fight.
Clive’s first book The Last Country Houses was published in 1982. Since then he has written on architecture in the United States, on British identity, on the countryside and on the House of Lords. Lady Antonia Fraser, reviewing Landmarks of Britain, published in 2005, called it ‘a brilliant, far-ranging enterprise’. Jenny Uglow wrote that his latest book, The English House, ‘is a thorough treat’: Clive is ‘the perfect guide’ to the subject, ‘combining long experience with a light touch.’ Clive’s most recent book is Villages of Britain, a history of the countryside, told through five hundred of its most noteworthy settlements.
Clive’s latest book, War Memorial: The Story of One Village’s Sacrifice from 1914 to 2003, was published by Penguin in October 2012 in hardback, with the paperback following in October 2013.
Aged 21, Harry was one of the youngest helicopter pilots to serve in the Falklands war. Following two tours as a Royal Navy pilot, Harry moved to Asia in 1988 with his wife Kate to work in finance and start a family. Surviving a marital crisis, he sold his share of a successful partnership and returned to the UK in 1997. After acquiring a 1st class degree in Psychology from Bristol University, he started what has become Britain’s most successful local relationship project, Bristol Community Family Trust, teaching practical relationship skills to thousands of couples. He has now been married 25 years and has six children.
His writing includes co-authoring two influential family policy papers for the Centre for Social Justice – Breakdown Britain and Breakthrough Britain – writing several high profile research papers, and editing an online international academic book What Works in Relationship Education. His two paperback books are Mentoring Marriages and Let’s Stick Together – The Relationship Book for New Parents, both published by Lion Hudson.
His latest book, Scram: The Untold Story of the Helicopter War in the Falklands, was published by Preface in March 2012.
Phil Campion is a veteran of military operations in just about every conflict-prone corner of the world. He served with the Royal Hampshires, passed through Commando and Parachute Regiment selection, before being badged with 22 SAS. He left the British Army in his early thirties, with the rank of Staff Sergeant, and started working on the private military circuit. He is a director of U-Tag Limited, the company that markets and owns the rights to the U-Tag digital dog tag. He lives in Southampton with his partner, Wendy, and three children. He is a fluent Spanish speaker and continues to work as an operator on the private military circuit.
Phil’s first book, Born Fearless: From SAS to Mercenary to Pirate Hunter – My Life as a Shadow Warrior, was published by Quercus in September 2011. His first novel, Desert Fire, following the exploits of ex-SAS operative Steve Range, was published by Quercus in September 2012, and the second in the Blackstone Six series, Killing Range, followed in May 2013.
Richard Charlton was born and educated in Britain, where he studied Classics at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. After spells teaching in India and Malawi, he began working in London and, more recently, Nairobi. He writes in his spare time and is currently working on his first novel, The Mobanju Gymnasium. Other interests include playing the piano and French horn and amateur attempts at cricket, golf and racquet sports.
Mark Dawson was born in Lowestoft in 1973. He has been an ice cream vendor in Chicago and a DJ at Manchester’s Hacienda. He has worked as a lawyer in city practice and at a boutique Soho firm where he sued newspapers on behalf of z-list celebrities. He is currently a film censor at the British Board of Film Classification, and has recently completed his first novel.
Lorraine is employed as Professor in Design Studies, in the School of Graphic and Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, London, where she has taught for over 15 years. She is also Director of Design Against Crime (DAC) at the University of the Arts London, which she set up in 1999, and which was validated as a new Research Centre by the University in 2005. She is currently Vice Chair of Designing Out Crime Association (DOCA), and a member of the Home Office’s 2007 Design and Technology Alliance (www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/crime-strategy-07).
She also works as an independent assessor for a variety of research councils.
Lorraine Gamman is currently co-directing several collaborative externally funded research projects on bag and bike theft. These aim to use research to create pragmatic design resources, as well as new designs against crime. Design innovation generated by DAC projects is user-tested, prototyped with industry and applied in the real world to prove efficacy, prior to being disseminated more broadly.
Gamman wrote her PhD on shoplifting at Middlesex University in 1999. She has published widely on design including articles on DAC as ‘socially responsive design’ (with Adam Thorpe). Her publications on crime include In the Bag: Get Smart Quick about bag theft, pick-pocketing and street crime, (2000 currently being revised for 2007 publication). Gone Shopping, the Story of Shirley Pitts, Queen of Thieves (Penguin 1996, film rights sold to Channel 4 in 1997). On visual culture publications include Female Fetishism: A New Look (with Dr. Merja Makinen, L&W Pubs 1994) and The Female Gaze: Women as Viewers of Popular Culture, (with Dr. Margaret Marshment TWP Pubs, 2000) and numerous articles. Her work has attracted research funding from the Design Council, the Home Office, Department of Health, British Transport Police and Transport for London (TfL), and more significantly from the Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as well as the Engineering Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC).
Gamman’s most recent publications include papers on Liberty Versus Security (co written with Adam Thorpe) presented to the European Academy of Design conference in Izmir, Turkey, 2007, and ‘Design Against Crime as Socially Responsive Innovation?’ – presented at the July 2007 ECCA conference and the international Crime Science conference (both at UCL).
Glenn Hayes is a translator and freelance writer who lives in Florence. He currently translates academic books for the Florence University and Italian history books for a Florentine publisher. He has recently completed his first novel.
John was born in Moscow in 1990. He was removed from his parents aged 18 months and sent to an orphanage, where he was classified as incurably disabled. Despite having a lively mind and fluent speech, he was consigned to a mental institution where he spent 10 months before being rescued.
In 1999 he was adopted and moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, taking the name John Lahutsky.
His memoir, The Boy From Baby House 10, was published by Phoenix in 2010.
Ebony McKenna lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and young son.
She has worked as a journalist, market researcher, website editor, and company director. She also waitressed and prepared food in her family’s restaurant when she was a teenager.
In high school McKenna excelled in English and Literature, earning herself a place in the journalism course at Melbourne’s RMIT University.
In the 1990s she worked as a journalist on many leading Melbourne newspapers. She won many awards – including scooping first and second place in the one night for best news report. By day she wrote other people’s stories, but by night she plotted epic adventures.
Now she writes novels for a living.
Lucy Lord is a journalist who has written for a number of publications (including the Times, Guardian, Independent, Evening Standard, Time Out and Arena) about some very important stuff (including a Glastonbury survival guide, the best beach bars in Ibiza and hangover cures). She hardly ever regrets her decision not to become a war correspondent. She lives in central London with her musician husband.
Revelry, her first novel, is the story of a hedonistic and glamorous group of friends as they flit from Glastonbury to London to Ibiza over one long, hot summer. The novel was published by HarperCollins in June 2012, the sequel Vanity was published in January 2013. The third and final installment, Treachery, will follow in 2014.
Peter Moore is a writer and journalist who has worked in Madrid and London. Born in Staffordshire in the early eighties, he read history and sociology at Durham University where he was arts editor of the student newspaper, Palatinate. He lives in London and teaches creative writing at City University.
Peter’s interest is historical conflict and the rapidly changing society of the early nineteenth century. His first book, Damn His Blood, is a reconstruction of a double murder in rural Worcestershire at the height of the Napoleonic Wars and was published Chatto in June 2012. Peter’s next book will be the story of the invention of the first weather forecasts, and will be published in May 2015 by Chatto (Random House) in the UK and by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux in North America.
Allison Pearson is a Welsh journalist and author, who was a prominent Daily Mail columnist and now writes for The Telegraph. Her novel I Don’t Know How She Does It, published in 2002, has sold four million copies and is being made into a film starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan. I Think Love You, her second novel, was published in 2010 by Chatto.
Mark is the author of the best-selling Jack Delaney crime series, published by Arrow. ‘Hard Evidence’ and ‘Blood Work’ were published in 2009, followed by the third in the series, ‘Death Row’, in July 2010, and the final book, ‘Murder Club’, in October 2011.
Mark is also the co-writer of ‘Private London’ with James Patterson. This is the first time Patterson has collaborated with a British author. ‘Private London’ is the second title in a new detective series in the Patterson stable called PRIVATE, and was published in hardback by Cornerstone on June 9th 2011. The book went straight in at number one in the Sunday Times bestseller lists and the paperback was published in January 2012.
In addition to his novel writing he has been a full time and multi-award nominated television scriptwriter, writing as Marc Peirson. He has fifteen years of experience on a variety of shows including DOCTORS, EMMERDALE and EASTENDERS. His nominations include Best Episode of the Year at the British Soap Awards, a Royal Television Society Award and a Golden Rose at the Rose D’Or Festival in Switzerland.
He has had pilot episodes commissioned by the BBC’s Comedy Department, BBC Drama and for Warren Cabral Productions. Marc’s screenplay, FUNNY THING LIFE was optioned by Granada Productions and he was shortlisted for TAPS Writer of the Year. He has also had a sitcom optioned and developed with Blue Heaven Productions and D.L. Taffner (UK) Ltd.
Mary Quant (OBE) is a fashion designer and British fashion icon, who was instrumental in the modV fashion movement. She was one of the designers who took credit for inventing the miniskirt and hot pants. Her instant success made traditionally cautious designers change their attitudes and make their designs appeal to the newly important youth market. Her memoir which she is currently writing will be published by Headline.
K.A.S Quinn otherwise known as Kimberly Quinn is an American journalist, commentator and latterly the publisher of The Spectator. She is now a children’s author. Her first novel in a series THE QUEEN MUST DIE was published by Atlantic Books in 2010.
Sarah Raven, writer, cook, broadcaster and teacher, is the expert on all things to grow, cut and eat from your garden. Her book Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook won the prestigious Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book of the Year 2008. Her Christmas cookbook called Sarah Raven’s Complete Christmas Food and Flowers was also published by Bloomsbury. She is currently working on a book called Sarah Raven’s Cookery Year.
Sarah has been a regular presenter on the BBC Gardeners’ World and has been a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and The Food Programme. She is also an inspirational and passionate teacher, running cooking, flower arranging and gardening courses at the school she set up in 1999 at her farm in East Sussex.
In 2008, a clip posted on YouTube featuring an emotional reunion between a young lion and his owners, John Rendall and Anthony ‘Ace’ Bourke, which became an internet sensation. Overnight people wanted to know more about what lay behind this clip. The told of story of how they came to buy Christian the lion from a London department store in the late 60s, how they lived with the lion whilst working in a furniture shop down the King’s Road and how they eventually came to introduce their lion into the wild under the watchful eye of lion expert, George Adamson. Through his work with Christian he developed a life long interest in conservation.
Mark Rice-Oxley is a news editor at the Guardian specialising in foreign news. He was born in Hampshire in 1969, educated at Portsmouth Grammar School, Exeter University and Voronezh University in the USSR. He joined the Guardian after 10 years reporting and writing from Moscow, Paris and Eastern Europe. His journalism has been published in scores of titles worldwide. He lives in Kingston with his wife and three children.
Mark’s first book, a memoir entitled Underneath the Lemon Tree, was published by Little, Brown in March 2012.
Geoffrey Robertson QC is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, the largest human rights practice in the UK. He has appeared in the courts of many countries as counsel in leading cases in constitutional, criminal and international law and served as the first President of the UN War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone, where he authored a landmark decision on the illegality of recruiting child soldiers. He defended in the last two cases brought for blasphemy in Britain (against Salman Rushdie and Gay News), represented Catholic lawyers and youth workers detained without trial by Lee Kwan Yew and was counsel in Bowman v United Kingdom, which established the right of Catholics to campaign effectively against abortion laws during elections. He sits as a recorder and as a master of Middle Temple and a visiting professor of human rights law at Queen Mary College. In 2008, he was appointed as a distinguished jurist member of the UN Justice Council. His books include Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice, a memoir, The Justice Game and The Tyrannicide Brief, an award winning study of the trial of Charles I.
Jill Shaw Ruddock grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She was educated in inner-city state schools before getting a degree in Politics from Bowdoin College (class of 1977) in Brunswick, Maine. She then moved to New York City and worked in advertising and, later, in publishing for Inc. magazine and The Atlantic Monthly. In 1983, Jill moved to London to co-head the consulting firm of The Government Research Corporation. In 1985, she joined the US investment bank Alex Brown & Sons and became the Managing Director of their London office in 1994. In 1999, she retired from finance and became involved in the theatre world, fundraising and sitting on the main boards of The Donmar Warehouse and The Mousetrap Theatre Projects. She was also a trustee of Bowdoin College for ten years. Jill is married with two teenage daughters and lives in London. This is her first book publication
Sean Ryan read modern languages at Oxford and trained on a local paper, the Evening Post in Reading, where he was health correspondent. At the Sunday Times, he was environment correspondent for five years. This included covering and contributing to debate on sustainable development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He has been foreign editor of the Sunday Times since 1997, running a highly regarded team which has won ‘foreign reporter of the year’ at the British Press Awards for eight of the last 10 years – mostly for coverage of conflicts in the developing world.
In 2008, he ghosted The Flying Carpet to Baghdad by Hala Jaber, a Lebanese war correspondent struggling with infertility who tried to adopt two orphan sisters injured in Iraq. This was published by Macmillan in the UK and Penguin (Riverhead) in the US, and has now been published in 11 other countries, to astonishing reviews.
Persian, a pinch of Sephardic and the rest is topped up with an English-Irish mix, she’s the genetic equivalent of a Molotov cocktail. Laura began her professional cooking career working for Justin de Blank at his National Gallery restaurant in London. Detouring slightly via friends met at the stove Laura was offered an opportunity to train with Lynne Franks at her eponymous PR firm. Some great years in PR followed after which Laura was invited by MTV Europe to launch their Pan European and Middle East Special Events division where she worked with international stars all over the world. Laura left the world of MTV to move to Milan where she worked as a freelance event producer, producing among other things Italy’s first ever music festival and a couple of children. In 2002 Laura returned to London to run her family’s restaurant SANTINI following her father’s retirement but stepped away in 2008 to pursue her writing, television and food consultancy work. Laura is the world’s first kitchen agony aunt.
“I have made the journey from boardroom to cold room and back several times in the last
twenty years, turning life’s ifs and and into pots and pans. Kitchens are about invention and
the bubble and squeak of reinvention. That is the alchemy of cooking”
It is the achievements of Laura Santtini over the past 12 months however that have set culinary tongues wagging. A “mistress of flavour” Laura has evolved from being a behind the scenes taste consultant and working mother into an award winning author, businesswoman and global marketing sensation. And it is a testament to Laura Santtini’s passion and belief that she sold her flat, moved into rented accommodation and invested all she had into her venture. From modest beginnings her pioneering range of food preparations has grown from a kitchen table idea into a singular global phenomenon. Having established herself as the world’s first Gastro Therapist for WFI, at the end of 2009 Laura published Easy Tasty Italian bringing a whole new dimension to cooking, earning Laura this year’s British Guild of Food Writers’ Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book. A brave first book, this contemporary and empowering study into transformational cooking and the relationship between emotions and cooking, chose words and illustrations as carefully as it did ingredients for the recipes:
“This book made the judges feel they were discovering something new.”
Guild of Food Writers
In the same year, the themes of culinary wizardry and intense flavour combinations that are central to the book, were translated into her innovative range of scratch cooking ingredients, Laura Santtini’s Spellbinding Flavours and in particular her successful and ground breaking embodiment of umami – the elusive fifth taste sensation -in her Taste #5 Umami Paste™. More than anything else it was Laura’s Taste #5 Umami Paste™ that catapulted her into the newspapers and taste consciousness of experts around the world. Laura’s eureka moment was to harness umami-packed natural ingredients from her Italian heritage and create the world’s first Umami Paste- a natural flavour bomb guaranteed to enhance any savoury dish. Laura Santtini makes food that makes global headlines. From the front page of the Daily Telegraph and the news pages of the Sun to BBC Breakfast news and Japanese TV, Taste #5 Umami Paste™ has indeed gone a long way but this is only one product within Laura Santtini’s Spellbinding Flavours range. Her Easy Tasty Magic collection with its Stardust Savoury Sprinkles, Culinary Elixirs, Latterday Rubs and Decorative Salts often use another of Laura’s culinary inspirations – “Food Bling” – edible noble metals such as gold and silver that enhance a cook’s creations, creating a feast for both the eyes and the palate. Laura’s Credit Crunch Chocolate made the front pages of the Wall Street Journal. Trend setters and taste makers Selfridges were the first to champion Laura Santtini’s Spellbinding Flavours. Before long Waitrose snapped up Taste # 5 Umami Paste™ too with one month’s supply selling out in two days and unprecedented waiting lists in store. The taste explosion continues – the US have welcomed Laura Santtini’s Spellbinding Flavours, Canada, Sweden and Denmark are selling Taste #5 Umami Paste™, several central European countries are already marketing it, a wholesale deal has been done so the top chefs in the land will soon be armed with the transformative paste and – perhaps most thrillingly of all, Japan, the home of Umami, takes delivery soon. Laura has emerged from being the food industry’s Cinderella, developing other people’s food flavours, into an astute business woman who has transformed an idea created from her kitchen in Battersea, London into a global food ingredient. Described by a top food industry expert as “Tracey Emin with a frying pan”, Laura continues to write and develop new products. She is currently My Daily’s new culinary agony aunt and her second book also to be published by Quadrille will reach the shelves in September 2011.
Laura lives in London.
Samantha has enjoyed a career in television and print and is currently working as a magazine Editor and journalist. She has written several lifestyle and TV tie-in books, such as ‘Property Ladder – Property For Profit’ with Sarah Beeny, ‘Jimmy’s Farm’ with Jimmy Docherty and ‘Build a New Life’ with George Clarke. Samantha’s first solo book, ‘At Home with the Makers of Style’, was published by Thames and Hudson in 2005.
Her first novel, I Do I Do I Do was published in August 2009 by Headline and the sequel The Final Hitch was published in June 2010.
An accomplished writer and philosopher, Roger is currently a Research Professor for the Institute for the Psychological Sciences where he teaches philosophy at their graduate school in both Washington and Oxford. He is a specialist in aesthetics with particular attention to music and architecture.
Roger has published more than 30 books and has written many articles and essays in various academic and non-academic journals. He also has written widely in the press on political and cultural issues.
Founded by Daisy Goodwin (2010′s Judge for the Orange Prize), in 2005 Silver River is a production company which has created award winning and high profile television shows ranging from documentaries to comedies, art programmes and dramas that have been viewed in over 20 countries. In the past year they have had series on the BBC, Channel 4, Sky 1, and Five featuring top talent that includes Kevin McCloud, Jeremy Paxman, Kevin McKidd, Giles Coren and Sue Perkins to name but a few
William Sitwell, 42, is the editor of Waitrose Kitchen Magazine. Sitwell makes frequent appearances on Masterchef – The Professionals (BBC2) and Britain’s Best Dish (ITV1) and is co-presenter of the forthcoming BBC2 series A Question of Taste. He has also made a number of documentaries including Michelin Stars – The Madness of Perfection (BBC2). He has been named Editor of the Year in awards from both the British Society of Magazine Editors and the Association of Publishing Agencies (APA). He lives in Northamptonshire with his two children and his wife Laura, who sells bespoke furniture for Linley, and works for the fashion brand Leon Max.
His first book ‘A History of Food in 100 Recipes’ was published by Harper Collins in April 2012
Helen has been a professional writer for fifteen years. She started out on Radio Four with more than ten Short Stories and two radio plays A Knotted String and Woody Strode and Touchwood, Tinderbox. She broke into mainstream tv fare in seasons Seven and Eight of the ITV drama Boon with Michael Elphick and Neil Morrissey. Helen has broadcast episodes of: EastEnders (BBC), Holby City (BBC), Down to Earth (BBC/Whistling Gypsy), Heartbeat (Yorkshire), Staying Alive (London Weekend), El Cid (Granada), House of Eliott (BBC), Boon (Carlton). Helen was responsible for four of the six episodes in season one of the BBC Sunday night drama Down to Earth starring Warren Clarke and Pauline Quirke, the other two being written by series deviser Ashley Pharaoh. Her short film The Fishmonger’s Daughter directed by Caroline Sax was selected for Sundance and won awards at several American Film Festivals. It was also selected for the London Film Festival. Her current feature length film work includes magical-realist drama Eye of the Storm with director Caroline Sax at Friday Night Films along with psychological thriller Hypnos and the sci-fi thriller Methodology with Cariad Pictures. Her current radio work includes the six-part comedy drama series A Lick and a Promise. Her first novel The Extra Large Medium was chosen as the winner in the Long Barn Books competition run by Susan Hill and is published by Simon & Schuster. .
Joan Smith is a novelist, columnist and human rights activist. She is the author of Misogynies, the Loretta Lawson series of detective novels, What Will Survive and several volumes of non-fiction. She chaired the PEN Writers in Prison Committee from 2000 to 2004, has advised the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on promoting free expression, and is currently President of the Creators’ Rights Alliance which campaigns to defend intellectual property. She is on the board of ALCS, an honorary associate of the National Secular Society and a supporter of Republic.
Her journalism appears in the Sunday Times, The Times, the Independent and the Independent on Sunday, and she is a frequent guest on BBC Woman’s Hour. She blogs at www.politicalblonde.com and you can follow her on Twitter @polblonde.
Legendary teacher, one time Thatcher adviser and frequently- controversial opinion maker, Norman Stone is a celebrated historian and was Professor of Modern History at Oxford University from 1984 to 1997. Outspoken and witty, he is currently Professor of History at Bilkent University in Ankara and divides his time between living in Turkey and Oxford.
John Sweeney is an award winning journalist currently working for BBC Panorama as their investigative journalist. His book ROONEY’S GOLD was published by Biteback in 2010.
Niall Williams was born in Dublin in 1958. He studied English and French literature at University College Dublin before graduating with a Master’s degree in Modern American Literature. He moved to New York in 1980 where he married Christine Breen, whom he had met while she was a Master’s student also at UCD, and took his first job opening boxes of books in Fox and Sutherland’s bookshop in Mount Kisco. He later worked as a copywriter for Avon Books in New York City before leaving America with Chris in 1985 to attempt to make a life as a writer. They moved on April 1st to the cottage in west Clare that Chris’s grandfather had left eighty years before to find his life in America. His first four books were co-written with Chris and tell of their life together in Kiltumper in west Clare. In 1991 Niall’s first play ‘The Murphy Initiative’ was staged at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin. His second play, ‘A Little Like Paradise’ was produced on the Peacock stage of The Abbey Theatre in 1995. His third play, ‘The Way You Look Tonight,’ was produced by Galway’s Druid Theatre Company in 1999.
Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester and raised in , Lancashire, by adoptive parents. She was raised in the Elim Pentecostal Church and, intending to become a Pentecostal Christian Missionary she began evangelising and writing sermons at age six. By age 16 Winterson left home. She soon after read for a degree in English at St Catherine’s College, Oxford.
After moving to London, her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published when she was 24 years old. It won the 1985 Whitbread Black for a First Novel, and was adapted by Winterson in 1990, which in turn won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama. She won the 1987 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for The Passion.
Winterson’s subsequent novels explore the boundaries of physicality and the imagination, gender polarities, and sexual identities, and have won several literary awards. Her stage adaptation of The PowerBook in 2002 opened at the Royal National Theatre, London. She also bought a house in Spitalfields east London, which she refurbished into a flat as a pied-a-terre and a ground-floor shop, Verde’s, to sell organic food.
Winterson was made an officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) at the 2006 New Year Honours.
Acclaimed cyber-law scholar, Professor Jonathan Zittrain holds the Chair in Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University and is also the Jack N. & Lillian R. Berkman Visiting Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. His recent research includes the study of internet filtering by national governments, the role of intermediaries as points of control in internet architecture, and the taxation of internet commerce.
Karl Miller was educated at the Royal High School of Edinburgh and Cambridge and Harvard Universities. He became literary editor of the Spectator and the New Statesman as well as editor of the Listener, and went on the found The London Review of Books, which he edited for many years. From 1974 to 1992 he served as Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College, London. His books include Cockburn’s Millenium, which received the James Tait Black Memorial Award, Doubles, Authors, and two volumes of Autobiography, Rebecca’s Vest and Dark Horses. A Life of James Hoggart, Electric Shepherd appeared in 2003.
Shireen Jilla is a journalist, who has written regularly for the Evening Standard and The Sunday Times. She has been an expat in Paris, Rome and New York. She now lives with her husband and three children in west London. Exiled is her first novel.
Simon Kelner is a British journalist and newspaper editor. Kelner was editor-in-chief of The Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers. He was appointed in May 1998 to succeed Andrew Marr and Rosie Boycott and ended his tenure in 2008. Simon has received considerable acclaim for his ground-breaking transformation of The Independent into a ‘compact’ format and the introduction of unique, innovative, single issue, front pages.
He has a strong background in Sports Journalism.
Deborah Mattinson advised Labour through the 1980s and the birth of New Labour. She then worked closely with Gordon Brown as he prepared to become PM, and after ‘transition’. She has a unique perspective on the New Labour years through the eyes of the voter. She began her career in advertising, working at McCann Erickson, then Ayer Barker. She left to set up Gould Mattinson with Labour strategist, Philip Gould, in 1985. Deborah co-founded Opinion Leader Research, now the UK’s top research and engagement consultancy, in 1992. She is currently forming a new company with the aim of bringing the public’s perspective to the debating table, connecting decision makers in business and government more closely with the national mood.
David Linley is a bespoke furniture maker and chairman of Christies UK, the international auction house. He is the son of Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon.
Twiggy was born in north London on September 19th, 1949. She was named “The Face of ’66″ by the Daily Express. In the mid 60′s at 16 years of age, Twiggy became internationally known as the world’s first supermodel, her photographic modelling success epitomising the age.
Twiggy went on to become a successful actress in film, stage and television, beginning her acting career by starring in Ken Russell’s film “The Boyfriend”, for which she won two Golden Globe awards; most promising newcomer and best actress in a musical. She has recorded many albums since, encompassing a variety of styles including pop, rock, disco, country and show tunes. Twiggy’s successful recordings have earned her two silver discs, two chart albums and hit singles.
Twiggy had considerable success with her own variety series for the BBC and her portrayal of Eliza Doolitle in Yorkshire TV’s production of “Pygmalion” was highly praised. She then had outstanding success in the Tony Award winning Gershwin musical “My One and Only”. The musical ran for nearly two years and she was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance.
Twiggy continued to act in film and TV in the U.S. and U.K. with parts in “The Doctor and the Devils”, “Club Paradise”, “The Blues Brothers”, “The Little Match Girl”, and “Young Charlie Chaplin” to name but a few. In 1988 Twiggy married British Actor/Director Leigh Lawson who starred with her and Shirley MacLaine in “Madame Sousatzka” directed by John Schlesinger.
The 90′s launched her into a career as TV presenter and interviewer with her own ITV series ‘Twiggy’s People’, interviewing amongst others, Dustin Hoffman, Lauren Bacall, Tom Jones, Joan Rivers, Eric Idle and Tim Curry. In 2001, Twiggy recorded a second TV series for the ITV network ‘Take Time With Twiggy’, interviewing such stars as Lulu, Ken Russell and Frederick Forsyth.
She co-produced and starred in the critically acclaimed, “If Love Were All” in New York directed by Leigh Lawson. Her autobiography, “Twiggy In Black and White” entered the bestseller list and her new album Midnight Blue was released to lauded reviews in the music press. Her timeless beauty transcends the decades and she continues to model, featuring on the cover of numerous magazines, “Vogue”, “Tatler” etc.
Twiggy is an ardent supporter of animal welfare through numerous societies – an anti fur campaigner, and is known also for her support of breast cancer research groups.
Since 2005 Twiggy has been part of the phenomenally successful Marks & Spencer advertising campaign. Twiggy has also been a guest judge on the top US reality show America’s Next Top Model opposite the shows creator Tyra Banks.
As a designer, Twiggy’s has her own successful clothing line featured in the Littlewoods catalogue. Twiggy also has recently launched her own range of bed linen.
Sir Barney White-Spunner KCB CBE has written extensively about country sports, as a correspondent for THE FIELD since 1992 and editor of BAILY’S HUNTING DIRECTORY, and its associated stable of publications, since 1994. In 1995 he was the Deputy Leader of the joint Chinese British Taklamakan Expedition, which made the first crossing of the Taklamakan desert from west to east, whilst revisiting many of the sites originally discovered by Sir Aurel Stein on the silk routes. A serving Major General in the British Army, he commanded the NATO operation to disarm the Albanian factions in Macedonia in 2001 and the Kabul Multi National Brigade, charged with security in Kabul following the fall of the Taliban, in 2002. He was also Chief of Staff of British Forces in the Middle East during the Iraq War, and ran the military relief operations for the Tsumami.
HORSE GUARDS, his history of the Household Cavalry, in which he has served since he was nineteen, is to be published by Pan Macmillan, and accompanies a BBC1 series of the same name.
Born in 1957, married to Moo who runs a chain of Montessori Schools, and with three children, he lives in Dorset.
He is currently writing THE SOLDIER’S WATERLOO, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in time for the anniversary in 2015.
Ion Trewin is a London publisher. Originally a journalist and Literary Editor of THE TIMES, 1972-9, he changed gear and into publishing in 1980. He was Alan Clark’s editor and publisher from 1992 until his death, and has since edited two further volumes of Alan Clark’s DIARIES. His edition of THE HUGO YOUNG PAPERS won the C4 2009 Political Book of the Year Award. Married with a son and daughter, he has since 2006 been literary director of the Man Booker prizes. He was chairman of the Cheltenham Literature Festival 1996-2007.
Simon King is a widely renowned wildlife filmmaker whose passion for the natural world is evident through his highly engaging and visually spectacular programmes. With over 30 years experience as a wildlife cameraman and presenter, Simon has developed a sound reputation as an expert in his field and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including EMMY, BAFTA and RTS.
Simon’s most recent area of focus has been Scotland’s dramatic Shetland Isles, and his newfound enthusiasm for the area has led him to relocate to the Isles for a year with his family. His move and exploration was documented in the programme ‘Simon King’s Shetland Diaries’ which was broadcasted at prime time on BBC2 in 2010.
Robert Skidelsky is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick. His three volume biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes (1983, 1992, 2000) received numerous prizes, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for International Relations and the Council on Foreign Relations Prize for International Relations. (‘This three-volume life of the British economist should be given a Nobel Prize for History if there was such a thing’ – Norman Stone.) He is the author of the The World After Communism (1995). He was made a life peer in 1991, and was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1994.
Sir Timothy Rice is a world famous lyricist, author and radio presenter who has won numerous awards including 12 Ivor Novello awards, 4 Tonys, and 3 Oscars.
Tim first teamed up with Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1968. Together they created Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat then Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita . He has also worked as a lyricist for Disney, on The Lion King and Aladdin. Tim has written countless pop songs for artists including David Essex, Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Elvis Presley.
He was knighted in 1994 and inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.
Tim was President of the MCC from October 2002-2003.
Christine is a writer, broadcaster and psychotherapist with a practice in Harley Street. Christine has published a total of eleven books. She has written for many of Britain’s national newspapers including The Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Express. She has been a columnist for numerous publications including The Scotsman and BBC Parenting and as an agony aunt in magazines including Woman and TV Times. Her latest book, Too Young To Get Old, was published in 2010, and her previous books include Get the Happiness Habit and How to Mend A Broken Heart which were published by Hodder.
Christopher Francis Patten CH was born in 1944. He was educated at St Benedict’s School, Ealing and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Modern History and was elected a Domus Exhibitioner. In 1965 he won a Coolidge Travelling Scholarship to the USA.
Lord Patten joined the Conservative Research Department in 1966. He was seconded to the Cabinet Office in 1970 and was personal assistant and political secretary to Lord Carrington and Lord Whitelaw when they were Chairmen of the Conservative Party from 1972-1974. In 1974 he was appointed the youngest ever Director of the Conservative Research Department, a post which he held until 1979.
Lord Patten was elected as Member of Parliament for Bath in May 1979, a seat he held until April 1992. In 1983 he wrote THE TORY CASE, a study of Conservatism.
Following the General Election of June 1983, Lord Patten was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office and in September 1985 Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science. In September 1986 he became Minister for Overseas Development at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1989 and was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1998. In July 1989 Patten became Secretary of State for the Environment. In November 1990 he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Chairman of the Conservative Party.
Lord Patten was appointed Governor of Hong Kong in April 1992, a position he held until 1997, overseeing the return of Hong Kong to China. He was Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland set up under the Good Friday Peace Agreement, which reported in 1999.
In September 1999 he was appointed European Commissioner for External Relations, a post he held until November 2004. On leaving office in Brussels he was made a life peer. Lord Patten is also Chancellor of Newcastle and Oxford Universities.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, and Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He was appointed Chancellor of Newcastle University in 1999, and elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003. He is currently Chairman of the BBC Trust.
Lord Patten married Lavender Thornton in 1971. They have three daughters, Kate (born in 1973), Laura (1974) and Alice (1979).
Lord Patten reads a lot and is keen on tennis and gardening. In 1998, he wrote EAST AND WEST, a book on Asia and its relations with the rest of the world. His latest book NOT QUITE THE DIPLOMAT was published in October 2005 by Penguin Books and comes out in the US from Henry Holt in January 2006 with the title COUSINS AND STRANGERS. He is at work on a further book THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS, which will follow in 2007.
Philip Norman was born in London and brought up on the Isle of Wight. He joined the Sunday Times at the age of twenty-two, soon gaining a reputation as Atticus columnist and for his profiles of figures as diverse as Elizabeth Taylor, P. G. Wodehouse, Little Richard and Colonel Gaddafi. In 1981 he published SHOUT! A ground-breaking biography of the Beatles that was a bestseller in both Britain and the US. He has also written the definitive lives of Sir Elton John, Buddy Holly, John Lennon and Mick Jagger. He is now writing a biography of Paul McCartney to be published by Orion in 2015.
Although he resists classification as a “rock biographer”, a musical theme pervades almost all of Philip Norman’s work. In 1983 he was named one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists for his autobiographical novel THE SKATER’S WALTZ. His shorter fiction includes SPRING SONATA, a novella set in an Edwardian music hall, and WORDS OF LOVE, about Buddy Holly’s last hours, which later became a successful television play. His journalism has been published in three collections, THE ROAD GOES ON FOREVER, TILT THE HOURGLASS AND BEGIN AGAIN, and THE AGE OF PARODY. He has also written BABYCHAM NIGHT, a memoir of his childhood on the Isle of Wight.
Author and Journalist, Michael Nicholson OBE is one of the world’s most decorated foreign correspondents. He has been reporting for ITN for over twenty-five years and in that time has covered more wars and conflicts than any other British newsman.
He has won numerous British and International awards. He was named Journalist of the Year by the Royal Television Society on three separate occasions, most recently in 1992 for his reports from Croatia and Bosnia.
He holds the Falklands and Gulf Campaign medals and was awarded an OBE in 1991.
Russell Miller is a prize-winning journalist and the author of eleven previous books. He was born in east London in 1938 and began his career in journalism at the age of sixteen. While under contract to the SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE he won four press awards and was voted Writer of the Year by the Society of British Magazine Editors. His book MAGNUM, on the legendary photo agency, was described by John Simpson as ‘the best book on photo-journalism I have ever read’, and his oral histories of D-Day, NOTHING LESS THAN VICTORY, and the SOE, BEHIND THE LINES were widely acclaimed, both in Britain and in the United States.
His authorised biography of Field Marshal Slim of Burma was published by Orion in August 2013. He is now writing TRENCHARD: THE AUTHORISED BIOGRAPHY OF THE FATHER OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE for Orion for publication in 2016 to tie-in with the centenary of the RAF.
Sunny Jacobs was wrongly accused of murder and sentenced to death in 1976, along with her partner at the time, Jesse Tafero. She spent five years on death row in solitary confinement in a cell the width of her arm span. In 1992 she was finally cleared, but two years too late for Jesse who died in a botched execution that caused outrage around the world. Her story, Stolen Time was published in 2007.
In 1980 Peter Pringle was wrongly accused, tried, convicted and sentenced to death for capital murder. He served almost 15 years in an Irish prison for a murder he did not commit.
The pair met in 1998 and began travelling together to share their stories with audiences around the world
Christopher’s sports career began as Captain of cricket at Marlborough followed by Captain of Cambridge University Crusaders for two years. He captained Fitzwilliam College Cricket Club (Winners of “Cuppers”); achieved two Rugby Fives half-blues; was a quarter finalist of the British University Fives Championships; played cricket for Surrey second XI and was a runner-up in the 1971 Surrey single-wicket championship.
After gaining a 2:1 Honours Degree in Modern History (Master of Arts) at Marlborough and Cambridge in 1967, he became Deputy Editor of The Cricketer magazine, free-lance sub-editor Daily Mail and free-lance BBC Sport reporter.
In 1970 Christopher became a Sports Broadcaster for the BBC and eventually in 1974 became their Cricket Correspondent. Since 1981 he has been the editor of The Cricketer magazine and a freelance BBC Radio and television Cricket commentator. In 1984 he resumed his appointment as BBC Cricket correspondent whilst continuing as Editor of the Cricketer.
He has written a number of books including: Testing Time – MCC in West Indies 1974; Assault On The Ashes – MCC in Australia 1974/5; MCC in India – 1966/7; The Jubilee Tests – 1977; England in Australia 1978/9; In Defence of The Ashes 1979/80; The Complete Who’s Who of Test Cricketers 1980; the Wisden Book of County Cricket 1981; Bedside Cricket 1981; Twenty Years On 1984; the Cricketer Book of Disasters and Bizarre Records (Editor) 1984 and The Cricketer Book of Cricketer Eccentrics and Eccentric Behaviour 1985. His memoirs were published by Simon & Schuster in 2012.
Christopher Martin-Jenkins died at the end of 2012.
Fiona MacCarthy is a British biographer and cultural historian best known for her studies of 19th and 20th century arts, crafts and design.She is art critic for Observer & Guardian and a regular contributor to TLS, NY Review of Books and BBC Radio arts programmes. Previous works include biographies of Eric Gill, William Morris, Stanley Spencer and Byron.
She is writing a biography of Walter Gropius, the architect and Bauhaus School founder, for Faber and Harvard University Press.
Tony Lewis was born in Swansea in 1938 and was educated at Neath Grammar School and Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he took a degree in Modern Languages and won Blues in rugby and cricket. He played top-class rugby for Neath, Gloucester, and Pontypool. His first-class cricket career, from 1955 to 1974, saw him captain Glamorgan to only their second ever county-championship title in 1969, and win nine caps for England, eight as captain.
On retiring from the game through injury, he became the Sunday Telegraph’s cricket correspondent from 1975 to 1993, and spent more than twenty years broadcasting on sport for the BBC, where he was the inaugural presenter of SPORT ON FOUR. He was President of MCC from 1998 to 2000. For eight years he chaired the Wales Tourist Board, and was Chairman of the successful Welsh Ryder Cup bid and now leads the on-going work for the event in 2010.
He lives in mid-Glamorgan with his wife Joan. Their two daughters, Joanna and Annabel, both work in sport.
A highly successful writer, Angela Huth has published several novels, one of the most famous being Land Girls, which was adapted into a feature film in 1998. The sequel to this Once a Land Girl was published this year by Constable and Robinson.
A well known journalist, critic and broadcaster she also writes plays for radio, TV and the stage.
Born in 1984, Annabel grew up in the shadow of history: under the protective walls of Castle Rising Castle – a Norman keep a few miles from the Wash, East Anglia. Inspired by stories of Roman settlers and French Monarchs, she followed her interests to Europe, settling to live and work in Rome after graduating with a first class degree in the history of art from Oxford University (Christ Church). As well as writing she teaches and works as a guide, from Venice all the way down to Sicily. She is currently based in London.
Martin Langfield has been Foreign Correspondent and Bureau Chief for Reuters since 1987, working mostly in the Americas. He has reported from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, Cuba, Madrid, Miami, London and New York. He also worked as an English teacher in Paris. Martin read French and Spanish at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University and played drums in the Footlights band. His interests include music, alternative medicine and comparative religion. He was born 1962 in Peterborough, Cambs, UK and lives in NY with wife Amy. He has one son, Christopher.
Harriet Harvey Wood studied mediaeval languages and literature at Edinburgh University and worked as an orchestral manager before joining the British Council, where she was head of its Literature Department for 14 years. She has published editions of poetry and letters, has collaborated with Peter Porter on a collection of banned poetry for Index on Censorship in 1987 and, with A. S. Byatt, edited an anthology on memory. She was appointed OBE in 1992.
Professor Henry Kamen has taught and lectured at universities throughout the UK, USA and Spain and was most recently Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. His books include The Spanish Inquisition, The Phoenix and the Flame: Catalonia and the Counter-Reformation and Philip V of Spain. He lives in Barcelona.
Random House UK will partner with Hammer Films to create the new Hammer imprint. The new imprint plans to publish six titles annually starting in the Spring 2011 season. The types of books will fall under the following categories: “novelizations of new front list film releases, novelizations of backlist classics – to bring them to a whole new market with a modern and sophisticated twist – and new novellas by established authors whose oeuvre does not necessarily encompass the horror genre.”
Douglas Hurd CH CBE retired as Foreign Secretary in July 1995, after a distinguished career in Government spanning sixteen years.
After positions as Minister of State in the Foreign Office and the Home Office, he served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1984 to 1985, Home Secretary from 1985 to 1989 and Foreign Secretary from 1989 to 1995.
Douglas Hurd was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he obtained a first class degree in history.
After joining the Diplomatic Service, he went on to serve at the Foreign Office in Peking, New York (UN) and Rome.
He ran Edward Heath’s private office from 1968 to 1970 and acted as his Political Secretary at 10 Downing Street from 1970 to 1974.
He was MP for Mid-Oxfordshire (later Witney) from 1974 to 1997. He was created a Life Peer in 1997.
Lord Hurd has held a number of important posts such as Deputy Chairman of NatWest Markets and Coutts & Co. He is Chairman of the Prison Reform Trust Charity.
He was Chairman of the judging panel of the 1998 Booker Prize for Fiction.
His other pursuits include writing, walking and reading. He wrote The Search for Peace (with the 1997 BBC TV series), The Shape of Ice (a novel), Ten Minutes to Turn the Devil (a collection of short stories, 1999) and a political thriller, Image in the Water (2001). His memoirs were published in October 2003. Orion published his biography of Robert Peel in 2007 and CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS on British Foreign Secretaries in 2010.
His biography of DISRAELI written with Ed Young was published by Orion in June 2013 and was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson prize.
Susan Greenfield (CBE) is a British scientist, writer, broadcaster and member of the House of Lords. Her speciality is the physiology of the brain and in particular with regards to the research in Parkinsons and Alzheimer’s disease.
Her first novel will be published by Head of Zeus in 2012 and her non fiction work Mind Change which will concentrate on the influence of technology and the internet on the development and growth of the brain will be published by Random House US in 2013.
Author of the highly successful Ursula’s Story, Sandra Howard has written on a variety of subjects, including food, travel, fashion and political life.
Sandra was a prominent fashion model in the 1960s, when she was known by her maiden name Sandra Paul.
She is married to the former Conservative Party Leader, Michael Howard.
Sandra is currently working on a new novel for Simon & Schuster.
Philip Hook is senior director of Sotheby’s and appears regularly as pictures expert on BBC TV’s The Antiques Roadshow. He has the unusual distinction of also having been a director of Christie’s, which he joined in 1973 straight from Cambridge University, where he read History of Art and won a soccer blue. In between working at the two auction houses he founded London art dealers the St. James’s Art Group.
His next book is BREAKFAST AT SOTHEBY’S: AN A TO Z OF THE ART WORLD which Penguin will publish in November 2013.
Lynda Gratton is Professor of Management Practice at London Business School and is the founder of the Hot Spots Movement. She has written seven books and numerous academic articles and is considered one of the world’s authorities on people in organizations.
In 2011 she has been ranked by The Times as one of the top 15 Business Thinkers in the world today and in 2008 The Financial Times selected her as the business thinker most likely to make a real difference over the next decade. She was also in the top two of the Human Resources Magazine’s “HR Top 100: Most Influential” poll, and Lynda was number one of Human Resources Magazine’s “Top 25 HR Most Influential UK Thinkers 2011” poll.
Professor Gratton’s book Living Strategy, originally published in 2000, has been translated into more than 15 languages and rated by US CEOs as one of the most important books of the year. Her book, The Democratic Enterprise, was described by Financial Times as a work of important scholarship and has provided a fascinating insight into how companies will change over the coming decades.
Lynda has received a number of awards for her research and writing. For example, in 2002, her article “Integrating the Enterprise,” which examined cooperative strategies, was awarded the MIT Sloan Management Review best article of the year. Her 2005 case study of BP’s peer assist integration practices won the ECCH Best Strategy Case of the year award and went on to win the best case of the year. Her book, published in 2007 is Hot Spots – why some teams, workplaces and organizations buzz with energy and others don’t, focused on bringing innovation and energy to organizations. The book has already been translated into more than 10 languages and the Financial Times rated it as one of the most important business books of 2007; and her book for 2009 was Glow: how to bring energy and innovation to your life. Her latest book The Shift - about the future of work was published in 2011 and her highly anticipated new book The Key will be published in 2014.
Lynda actively advises companies around the world and sits on a number of advisory boards. Lynda sits on the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards panel, the FT Business Book of the Year panel and chairs the World Economic Forum council on the future models of leadership. In 2006 she founded the Hot Spots Movement. Since that time the Hot Spots Movement has become the focus of a global community of many thousands of people all of whom share a passion for bringing energy and innovation to people at work. The movement has engaged with many companies including ARM, BT, Fujitsu, Generali, Philips and Unilever. Lynda is currently engaged with her colleagues on research commissioned by the Singapore Government to examine innovation and team performance across 10 companies in the country and to draw up recommendations for the government.
Professor Gratton was appointed a Senior Fellow of the UK’s Advanced Institute of Management Practice in 2004. In 2006 she was the founding director of the Lehman Centre for Women in Business at the London Business School and as such directed a number of important research programs on work, life balance; women’s routes to the top and the attitudes and aspirations of Gen Y. Now, in 2010 Lynda was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.
Over the last twenty years Professor Gratton has directed six consortia that bring together academics and corporations. The topics have ranged from women in business, strategic HR, cooperation and the future of work. The cooperation theme was funded in part by the Singapore Government and explored innovative capability in complex teams. The current consortium on the Future of Work is now in its fourth year and has engaged executives from more than 60 companies around the world to examine fundamental changes in working life. As part of this, Professor Gratton and her team have developed one of the most advanced collaborative platforms capable of bringing together more than 5,000 people in virtual FoWlab ‘jams’ to focus on a theme. These themes have included Gen Y, talent, corporate agility, and business and society.
You can follow the progress on www.lyndagrattonfutureofwork.com
Her website can be visited at: www.lyndagratton.com
Visit www.hotspotsmovement.com for further information about the Hot Spots Movement.
Peter Florence, MBE is a British festival director, most notable for founding the Hay Festival with his father, Norman Florence. He was educated at Ipswich School, Jesus College, Cambridge and the University of Paris and has an MA in Modern and Medieval Literatures. He holds honorary doctorates from The Open University and The University of Glamorgan, and is a Fellow of Hereford College of Arts, The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the British-American Project, and is Creative Fellow at the University of Bangor.
He was made a “Colombiano de Corazon” by President Alvaro Uribe for his work in Colombia
His reporting highlights include the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in East Germany, Hungary and Romania. After reporting on India since the assassination of Indira Gandhi and riots in India in 1984, he later returned to succeed Mark Tully as the BBC Correspondent in Delhi.He has spent long periods travelling with guerrilla forces including separatists in Kashmir and Sri Lanka, Maoists in India and Nepal, and the Taliban in Afghanistan since their origins in the mid-90s. He was the only foreign correspondent with the Taliban when they took Kabul in 1996, and returned to spend time behind enemy lines reporting with the Taliban in Helmand in October 2006. He had several assignments in Iraq, including a two-month embed with US Marines during the invasion in 2003, and had several embeds with British forces, including the deployment of the Black Watch to Camp Dogwood in October 2004.
Sgt Mike Dowling enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 2001, having dropped out of university. He was assigned the role of Military Policeman (MP). Whilst at MP school he realized that he had the chance to train as a Military Dog Handler (MDH). He graduated top of his class, and entered a K9 training school. Upon completion of his training, he was assigned to the Military Working Dog Unit (MWDU) at the Marine Corps Camp Pendleton Base. He deployed to Iraq in March 2004, and was awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his and Rex’s Iraq operations. His Medal Citation states: “From May to November 2004 he participated in 36 Combat Mission in Iraq, provided 350 hours of Explosive Detection Support, and performed over 200 Vehicle Searches in direct support of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. Corporal Dowling performed these tasks many times at great personal risk as the lead element of his unit.”
Mike left the US military in the fall of 2010. His first book, Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog, written with Damien Lewis, was published by Atria in the US in December 2011.
After leaving Oxford University, Max Hastings became a foreign correspondent, and reported from more than sixty countries and eleven wars for BBC TV and the London Evening Standard.
Among his bestselling books Bomber Command won the Somerset Maugham Prize, and both Overlord and The Battle for the Falklands won the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Prize.
After ten years as editor and then editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, he became editor of the Evening Standard in 1996. He has won many awards for his journalism, including Journalist of The Year and What the Papers Say Reporter of the Year for his work in the South Atlantic in 1982, and Editor of the Year in 1988.
He stood down as editor of the Evening Standard in 2001 and was knighted in 2002. His monumental work of military history, Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-1945 was published in 2005. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
CATASTROPHE: EUROPE GOES TO WAR 1914 was published in September 2013 by HarperCollins and Knopf to tie in with the anniversary of the outbreak of WWI.
Anthony Raymond Fitzjohn, OBE is a conservationist who has worked extensively with George Adamson at Kora in Africa.The years at the Kora National Reserve proved an invaluable learning experience for Fitzjohn which helped him build the Mkomazi Game Reserve. Kora made Fitzjohn an expert in capturing, collaring and radio-tracking Africa’s top predators, as well as raising and returning them to the wild. He lectures at the Royal Geographical Society, schools, zoos, wildlife parks, and talks to diverse groups of supporters. He has also testified on wildlife issues on behalf of the Tanzanian government at a Congressional Sub-Committee hearing in Washington, DC. His memoir THE LION KING is due to be published by Penguin in the UK, Penguin Canada and Harmony Books in the USA.
He has been the Member of Parliament for Richmond, Yorkshire since 1989. He is currently Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State.
Whilst in Government William Hague was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Norman Lamont MP, from 1990-93; Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Social Security from 1993-94; and Minister of State, DSS (with responsibility for Social Security and Disabled People) from 1994-95. He joined the Cabinet in 1995 as Secretary of State for Wales.
He was Leader of the Conservative Party from June 1997 to June 2001. He has also been elected Chairman of the International Democrat Union, the global alliance of Conservative, Christian Democrat and like-minded parties.
Before entering Parliament William worked for Shell UK and McKinsey & Co.
He married Ffion Jenkins in December 1997.
He enjoys reading, walking in the Yorkshire Dales, cross-country ski-ing and judo. He has just started playing the piano.
William has recently been appointed an adviser to the JCB Group, as well as joining AES Engineering as a non-executive Director and joining the Political Council of Terra Firma Capital Partners.
Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world, chiefly as a TV journalist but also writing for the quality press. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fictional books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. He was recently chosen as one of Britain’s ‘twenty favourite authors’ for the Government’s World Book Day, and his books have won a number of prestigious awards. Two of his books are being made into feature films, with a number of others presently under development, and one of his books is being produced as a stage play.
This year, his book Zero Six Bravo, published by Quercus in March 2013, was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller. His latest book, War Dog: The No-Man’s Land Puppy Who Took to the Skies, will be published by Little, Brown in September 2013.
Ffion Hague spent six years in the Civil Service Fast Stream and began conducting board appraisals when working on evaluating the performance of NDPBs and Next Step Agencies. Since leaving the public sector in 1997 she has worked as a director of Arts & Business, a national business charity, and has sat on many major non-profit boards including The British Council, Action on Addiction, The Voices Foundation, the London Symphony Orchestra Advisory Board and she is a former trustee of the Outward Bound Trust.
In 2000 Ffion became a headhunter, working at board level across all sectors and specialising in non-executive appointments. Between 2003 and 2008 she was a director and shareholder at Hanson Green, a top-level non-executive search company, where she built up the board evaluation practice alongside her search activities. Since 2008, Ffion has focused exclusively on board evaluation in the UK corporate market, running her own practice, Independent Board Evaluation.
Ffion has been a trustee of English National Opera. In 2008 Ffion published her first major book, “The Pain and the Privilege”, a biography of the women in David Lloyd George’s life which has given rise to many broadcasting projects, including the BAFTA Wales-winning documentary “The Two Wives of Lloyd George” (2009). In 2010, Ffion was elected an Honorary Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford.
Ilana Fox has worked for a variety of national newspapers and websites, including the Daily Mail, the Sun and ASOS.com. She lives in London with her clothes, shoes, bags, kittens and boyfriend. She is curently writing a new novel for Orion.
Karen Dolby is the author of 12 books. She has two teenage children and lives with her husband.
After the war Foot taught at Oxford University for eight years before becoming Professor of Modern History at Manchester University. He was made a CBE in 2000. M.R.D.Foot died in 2012.
‘It is impossible to imagine M.R.D. Foot’s position as the pre-eminent historian of SOE ever being challenged’ Antony Beevor.
Louise Mensch is the author of fifteen novels under the name Louise Bagshawe and has been a top ten bestseller. She has also been published in more than eight languages. Her new novel, BEAUTY, is written as Louise Mensch, the name for which she became known in the UK as an MP for the Conservative Party. She is an active user of social media, runs a blog and is the mother of three children. She now lives with her husband, Peter Mensch, in New York.
Her latest book BEAUTY was published by Headline in January 2014 under her married name Louise Mensch.
She is also a freelance journalist, writing under the name Louise Mensch.
Paddy Ashdown GCMG KBE is one of the country’s best known and most respected political figures.
Born in New Delhi, Ashdown spent his childhood between India and Britain. He joined the Royal Marines in 1959, and became a member of the Special Boat Service. He went on to study Mandarin at Hong Kong University, and then spent five years as a British diplomat.
He entered the House of Commons in 1983 when he became Liberal MP for Yeovil, and in 1988 he became the first leader of the merged Liberal and Social Democratic Party, a post he held for 11 years.
He received a knighthood in 2000, and entered the House of Lords a year later. During the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Paddy was one of the leading advocates for decisive action by the international community. He became High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from May 2002 until January 2006.
A BRILLIANT LITTLE OPERATION, his account of the Cockleshell Heroes, was published by Aurum in September 2012 to tie in with his BBC documentary. He is now working on a new book A TERRIBLE VICTORY marking the 70th anniversary of the Vercors Tragedy in 1944 to be published by HarperCollins in 2014.
Charlie Ellingworth has a History degree from Oxford and a business career spread over the last thirty years. His book Silent Night has been sold to Quartet. He is now reducing his other activities to focus on writing and is currently working on a play and a third novel. He lives on a farm in Somerset with his wife and numerous animals – including three teenage boys.
Rowan Walker writes for the Observer. She has also written for the Daily Mail, Guardian, Guardian Unlimited and Men’s Health.
Mark runs Otter Farm, the UK’s only climate change farm, home to orchards of pecans, peaches, almonds, szechuan pepper, apricots and a vineyard. He hopes to revolutionise the British larder by growing delicious food normally sourced from overseas. His idea is not only pioneering, it is also beautifully sustainable – taking advantage of climate change to grow low carbon food helps arrest its acceleration. It also means he’s lucky enough to spend most of his time eating, growing, writing and talking about food. His book A Taste of the Unexpected was published by Quadrille in September 2010. He was named Garden Columnist of the Year at the Garden Media Awards 2010.
Mark also leads the Garden Team at River Cottage, appearing in the TV series, running courses and events at River Cottage HQ. He wrote Veg Patch: River Cottage Handbook No. 4 which was published by Bloomsbury in March 2009 which won Best Practical Garden Book at the Garden Media Awards that year, where Mark also won Book Photographer of the Year. Fruit: River Cottage Handbook No. 9 was published by Bloomsbury in August 2011.
Maria Eitel is the founding President of the Nike Foundation where she works to unleash the girl effect, the powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have opportunity. She leads the Foundation’s efforts to put girls on the global agenda and drive resources to them with the goal of eradicating global poverty. The work of the Nike Foundation is supported by Nike, Inc. and the NoVo Foundation, a collaboration which has enabled exponential impact of the Girl Effect.
Prior to the Foundation, Ms. Eitel served as NIKE, Inc.’s first Vice President of Corporate Responsibility working on the development and implementation of its first corporate responsibility agenda. Before Nike, she served at the White House, the Microsoft Corporation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and MCI Communications Corporation .Early in her career, she was a reporter and producer in commercial and public broadcasting. She holds degrees from McGill University (BS) and Georgetown University (MSFS), and Stanford University (SEP).
Ms. Eitel serves on a variety of boards, committees and advisory councils including the, Initiative for Global Development Leadership Council, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on HIV/AIDS, Millennium Promise, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Lakeside School in Seattle, Wash, Young Presidents Organization International and the Acumen Fund. She is a regular speaker at local, national and global forums on corporate responsibility, governance, human and labor rights, sustainable development, philanthropy and social entrepreneurism.
E B Peirse qualified as a barrister after an academic background in Philosophy and English and latterly in Ecology and Economics. She has worked in Brussels, Paris and London and currently lives between London and the countryside. ‘After the Coup’ is her first book, based in the secretive world of London hedge funds in the heady days of power and money before the 2007 crash. Her second novel, ‘Star Dust’, set over three decades between Paris and London, continues the theme of infidelity, femme fatales and the fragility of success.
After a brief career as a professional singer, Roland Vernon settled in the countryside, dividing his time between writing and managing his own small rural business. He is the author of several biographical books about musicians, and Star in the East, a biography of the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. His début novel, A Dark Enchantment, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and is published by Transworld. He lives in Somerset with his wife and three sons. His most recent novel, The Maestro’s Voice, was published by Transworld on 15th April 2010. A historical novel set in New York in 1926 it tells the tale of a famous tenor, Rocco Campobello, who rejects his glittering career to return to his home city of Naples, to confront his past.
His latest novel, The Good Wife’s Castle, was published by Transworld in April 2012.
Maureen Lindley was born in Berkshire and grew up in Scotland. Having worked as a photographer, antique dealer and dress designer, she eventually trained as a psychotherapist. She has one daughter and lives in the Wye valley on the Welsh borders with her husband.
Her first novel, The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel, was published by Bloomsbury in 2008 to critical acclaim.
Her new novel, A Girl Like You, will be published by Bloomsbury on 4th June 2013.
He was educated at St Hugh’s Preparatory School, Bishop Wordsworth Grammar School, Oxford University (Lincoln College), and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, which he left last summer – since which time several people have actually paid him to act. In between acting, he has worked as a childrens’ entertainer, a receptionist, and a flyerer.
At Oxford he was President of the Oxford Revue, editor of Isis Magazine, a deeply ineffectual member of OUDS (Oxford University Drama Society), and a columnist for The Cherwell. The internet is, depressingly, littered with images of his wet face portraying Dorian Gray at the Oxford Playhouse in his third year. He got a 2:1.
Between the ages of 4 and 5 he refused to leave the house unless dressed as a jockey. He likes whisky, cookery, rock and roll, and falconry. He lives in Peckham. He is five foot seven. Which is the same height as Tom Cruise. But much taller than Prince. In your face, Prince! P.S. – not really, Prince rules – he can be whatever height he pleases.
Leander Deeny also works as an actor. He graduated from LAMDA in 2006. He is represented by Roxane Vacca Management.
David joined the Football Association in 1994 and became its Executive Director and Director of International Development from 2003 to 2006. Before that he worked as a BBC correspondent and presenter for 22 years. David was awarded the OBE in 2007 for services to sport.
Matthew d’Ancona is a British journalist. A former deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph, he was appointed editor of The Spectator in February 2006, a post he retained until August 2009. He is also the author of two books on early Christian theology, The Jesus Papyrus and The Quest for the True Cross. He has written three novels, Going East, Tabatha’s Code and Nothing to Fear and is currently a columnist with The Sunday Telegraph.
After studying Japanese and English Language at university, Xanthe backpacked through China, Arabia and South America before settling into a more conventional life as a cookery bookseller in London. Already passionate to the point of obsession with food, she found herself in the city at a time when it was emerging as the world’s gastronomic mecca. She worked her way from book launch to book launch sampling the canapés from the best restaurants in the capital.When this came to an end Xanthe signed up to train at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, and discovered that there were other people who, like her, were happy to talk all day and all night about food.
Starting at a pub in a Wiltshire pub, she went on to become the only chef at a trendy wine bar in Bath where speed and fresh ingredients were paramount. Meanwhile, Xanthe also offered private catering for dinner parties and functions. Watching the British eat, from pub to party, restaurant to dining room, made Xanthe wonder how relevant contemporary food writing really was to the home cook. In 1999 Xanthe contacted the Daily Telegraph, proposing that readers send in recipes for a new column. The idea was a success and she was asked to test the recipes and write features.
Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO is a British diplomat. From 2009 to 2010 the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, he is now BAE Systems’ international business development director, focusing on the Middle East and south-east Asia.
His first book CABLES FROM KABUL was published by HarperCollins this year and his second book TELEGRAMS: A LIFE IN DISPATCHES will be published by HarperCollins in 2013
Hugh Cornwell was the lead singer and songwriter of the new wave groupThe Stranglers which went on to become one of the best selling UK new wave groups in the 70s. He is also a successful solo artist in his own right having released several albums and has had three non fiction books published, the last of which was his autobiography A Multitude of Sins. His forthcoming novel WINDOW ON THE WORLD will be published by Quartet on the 13th of June 2011.
Marianne Curley was born in Australia, and lived on a property hugging the Hawkesbury River until a flood washed away the family home when she was five. Her family then moved to a farm on the outskirts of Sydney, and with no close neighbours, Marianne soon discovered her love of books. Marianne has worked as a legal stenographer and teacher of adult education. She undertook writing courses, experimenting with different styles and techniques. She soon found writing for young adults the most challenging and satisfying. Today she lives on a mountain surrounded by rainforests and though her children are all grown and left home, they still inspire her writing and are the first to offer their invaluable critiques.
Marianne’s children’s novels, Old Magic and the Guardians of Time trilogy, have been published in the UK, USA, Australia and translated into more than a dozen foreign languages. Marianne is currently working on her new YA series, the Avena trilogy, the first installment of which entitled Hidden will be published by Bloomsbury in 2012.
Francis or F.G. Cottam was born and brought up in Southport in Lancashire, attending the University of Kent at Canterbury where he took a degree in history before embarking on a career in journalism in London. He lived for 20 years in North Lambeth and during the 1990s was prominent in the lad-mag revolution, launch editing FHM, inventing Total Sport magazine and then launching the UK edition of Men’s Health. He is the father of a young son and baby daughter and now lives in Kingston upon Thames. His fiction is thought up over daily runs along the towpath between Kingston and Hampton Court Bridges.
Liz Jones is one of Britain’s best known and highly rated female journalists. She writes three weekly columns: “Fashion Addict” in the Daily Mail, her op-ed column in the Mail on Sunday, and “Liz Jones’ Diary” in the Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine, for which she recently won BSME’s Columnist of the Year. Liz also writes high profile interviews for the magazine and extensively on women and related topics for Femail in the Daily Mail. Her articles are widely discussed and she has regularly appeared on ITV’s “This Morning” and BBC Radio 4’s “Woman’s Hour”.
Liz is the author of several books. Liz Jones’ Diary was published by Quadrille in 2005, while The Exmoor Files, detailing her move from London to a farm in Somerset, was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in August 2009. Her memoir, Girl Least Likely To: 30 Years of fashion, fasting & Fleet Street , was published by Simon & Schuster on 4th July 2013, with the paperback edition released January 2014.
Formerly, Liz was the Editor of Marie Claire and Features Editor for the London Evening Standard.
Jackie is well known as an actress, writer, comedienne and radio broadcaster. Her recent credits include the role of Violet Newstead in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, Donna in the international tour of Mamma Mia! and the role of Mrs Wilkinson in the West End production of Billy Elliot.
Her non-fiction book, Extreme Motherhood: The Triplet Diaries was published in May 2006 by Pan Macmillan. Her first novel, Man of the Month Club, was published in the US by Penguin Putnam in August 2006, and in the UK by Quercus in September 2007.
Jackie’s journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, The Independent, the Daily Mail Femail, the Mail on Sunday, The Sun, Fabulous magazine and Grazia magazine. She often contributes to Woman’s Hour and Front Row.
Jonathan Franklin is an award-winning journalist published in 30 languages around the world. He regularly reports for the Guardian, Washington Post, Dagbladet, Der Spiegel, Jerusalem Post, Sydney Morning Herald and Rolling Stone magazine, among many others. His investigative reporting has been used by CBS 60 Minutes, A&E TV, The BBC and numerous documentary productions worldwide. Franklin lives with his wife Toty Garfe and their six daughters in Santiago, Chile. His coverage of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground attracted worldwide attention and his non-fiction book on the subject, The 33, was published to great acclaim in 2011.
Before becoming a novelist, Paul was a multi-award winning copywriter and wrote some of Britain’s best-loved TV commercials, including campaigns for Barclaycard, PG Tips, Volkswagen and Budweiser.
He has written for, among others, The Guardian, Tatler and The Sunday Times. His four novels to date – Father Frank, Untorn Tickets, The Man Who Fell in Love With His Wife and The Life of Reilly – are published by Hodder & Stoughton. The Film and TV rights are available.
As a screenwriter, Paul has just completed “Break a Leg”, a major new three-part TV comedy drama.
Nick Weston grew up in the Ashdown Forest in Sussex and spent much of his youth grubbing about in the woods, fishing, shooting and building camps. After studying Archaeology, specialising in Hunter-Gatherer Societies, he decided to forego digging holes for a living and headed to London to work in the events industry as both a set designer and chef. In 2007, Nick spent three months in the Cook Islands as the resident ‘survival expert’ for the Channel 4 series Shipwrecked, where he passed on his skills to his fellow islanders. In 2009, longing to quit the London rat race, he headed to the Sussex countryside and began work on his home for the next six months: a treehouse. The aim was to live as self-sufficiently as possible, completely off-grid as a 21st century hunter-gatherer. As a result of this experience, Nick wrote his first book, The Tree House Diaries: How to Live Wild in the Woods, which was published by Anova Books in 2010. He has also written a column for Reader’s Digest, featured in his tree house on numerous news broadcasts and radio shows and been interviewed by national newspapers.
His foraging & Cookery school ‘Hunter Gather Cook’ was established in March 2011 with the construction of the HQ. Nick’s vision was to create a ‘Hunter-Gatherer’ school that blended a mixture of foraging, animal butchery, outdoor cookery techniques and bushcraft with an emphasis in living comfortably in the great outdoors and creating high-end dishes using wild produce. Hunter Gather Cook runs a huge range of seasonal and specialist courses from deer in day and mushroom hunting to home brewing and wild cocktails- they received glowing reviews for their workshops at Wilderness Festival in 2013.
Nick is also sponsored by Element, the biggest skatebrand in the world, and is involved with their advocate program teaching wilderness skills on skatecamps across Europe and consulting on all things wild.
Aged 42, Stuart Tootal was commissioned into the Queen’s Own Highlanders from Sandhurst in 1988. He initially served in Germany during the Cold War and completed several emergency tours of Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’. He saw active service as a reconnaissance platoon commander in the 1991 Gulf War and as the chief of staff of 1 PARA during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He has also completed two MOD staff appointments. First as a Major in the Army’s strategic planning department and then as the Lieutenant Colonel military assistant to the Assistant Chief of the General Staff, a role for which he was awarded the OBE.
He was selected to command the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) in 2005. This included commanding the first UK Battle Group of 1200 soldiers to be sent to Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan in 2006, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. The fighting 3 PARA participated in during their six month tour of duty in Afghanistan has been described as the most intense combat the British Army has experienced since the Korean War. It involved 498 engagements with the Taliban and the expenditure of over 479,000 rounds of ammunition. Fifteen members of the Battle Group were killed in action and another 46 were wounded in combat. The numerous gallantry awards for the Battle Group included a posthumous Victoria Cross and George Cross. On returning to the UK, he set up the 3 PARA Afghan Trust charity. The charity provides support to the seriously wounded soldiers and the next of kin of those members of 3 PARA that were killed in the fighting.
Following promotion to full Colonel in 2007, he resigned from the Army and is pursuing a career in corporate banking security. He is also a media defence and security commentator and has lectured regularly on leadership in complex environments to a number of business organisations. He is a trustee of the 3 PARA Afghan Trust and remains active in raising funds for Armed Forces charities.
He is a graduate of the Joint Services Command and Staff College. He also holds a Master in Philosophy in International Relations from Cambridge University and an MA in Defence Studies from London University. He completed a six month visiting research fellowship at King’s College London University in 2004, where he wrote a thesis on the post-9/11 strategic security environment.
Danger Close, Col. Stuart Tootal’s first book, was published in 2009 by John Murray. A Sunday Times Bestseller, Danger Close has received widespread praise. His second book, The Manner of Men: 9 PARA’s Heroic D-Day Mission, was published by John Murray in May 2013.
Alec Russell is the World News Editor of the Financial Times. He started his career as a journalist in Romania in the aftermath of the December 1989 revolution. He was in Bosnia and Croatia during the war from 1991 to 1993 and then spent five years based in South Africa as the Daily Telegraph’s correspondent. He then became the paper’s foreign editor for the Iraq War. In 2007 he returned to South Africa for the Financial Times for a second stint. Alec’s books include, Prejudice and Plum Brandy published by Michael Joseph in 1993, about his time in the Balkans and Big Men, Little Men, published by Macmillan in 1999 and NYU Press in 2000, a reflection on his time in South Africa in the mid 1990s. His writing has won several awards and his dispatches from southern Africa have earned him nominations for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and for British foreign correspondent of the year.
Alec’s latest book, After Mandela: The Battle for the Soul of South Africa, was published by Hutchinson in 2009.
Glyn Prysor was educated at Oxford University, where he completed a doctorate and taught modern history. He lives in Sussex.
His first book, Citizen Sailors, the story of the Royal Navy during World War II, was published in August 2011 by Penguin.
Pauline lives on the outskirts of Hull, not far from where she grew up, and where her husband John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, has been a Labour MP since the 1970s. Born in 1940, and likened to the glamorous Elizabeth Taylor, she trained as a hairdresser and it was her wages that supported them during John’s eight years of university and growing political ambition. She is her husband’s biggest champion, even canvassing with him when eight months pregnant. Her loyalty and family values are just as strong today. Pauline recently appeared alongside her husband in a two-part documentary called Prescott – The Class System and Me which won the Channel 4 Political Award for best political documentary. Her autobiography, Smile Though Your Heart is Breaking, was published in 2010.
His memoir, Homeland, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010.
Brian was for many years a foreign correspondent and latterly European Editor of The Sunday Times. He has written a dozen books since his first, the best-selling Airport International. They include The Claws of the Bear, The Russian Century, The Faith: A History of Christianity and If God Spare My Life, a biography of William Tyndale.
His latest book, Leningrad: Seige and Symphony, charting the terrible winter in Leningrad in 1941-2 and the progress of Shostakovich and his score, will be published in November 2013 by Quercus.
Adrian Fort was educated at Oxford where he was a Clarendon Fellow from 2001-2003. He practised as a barrister and was involved in politics before pursuing a career in finance. He won the Daily Mail / Biographers’ Club prize in 2001. He is married with two children and lives in Oxfordshire.
His most recent book, Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor, was published by Jonathan Cape in October 2012 in the UK and by St Martins Press in the US in January 2013.
Sebastian Coe’s experience spans sport, business and politics. Having set 12 world records during his career, the two time Olympic Gold medallist retired from competitive athletics in 1990. He went on to become a Conservative MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then leader of the Tories, William Hague. More recently, Lord Coe led the winning bid for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and is now Chairman of the London Organising Committee for 2012. Sebastian’s business book, The Winning Mind (working title), was published by Headline in 2009.
His memoir will be published by Hodder to coincide with the Olympics and its aftermath next year.
Evgenia Citkowitz was born in New York and educated at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in London, later returning to the US to attend Barnard. Her short stories have been published in various UK magazines. Her screenplay of The House in Paris based on Elizabeth Bowen’s novel is currently in development with Hit and Run Productions. She has also written a short story collection, Ether, to be published by FSG, and her adaptation of Van der Jagt’s The Story of My Baldness has been taken on by the same producers for the Oscar winning motion picture Juno.
Juliet Stevenson will be reading one of her stories at the Latitude Festival and the story will be available online on the 24th July .
Caroline Charles began in the world of fashion art school followed by a couture apprenticeship and a stint as a photographer’s assistant; she then worked for Mary Quant and was inspired by couturiers as well as the youth quake of the early 60′s in London. Her first collections were kooky and fresh and included a white cotton dress made from a bedspread!
Caroline Charles was one of the original designers to join what was later to become British Fashion Week.
Her clothes were quickly snapped up by celebrities, which over the years have ranged from Lulu, Marianne Faithful and Cilla Black as well as special suits being made for Mick Jagger and Ringo Star. Princes Diana became a regular client as well as Emma Thompson who wore a Caroline Charles design to receive an Oscar.
Caroline Charles has been invited over the years to be a design consultant to major Brands such as Burberry and Marks and Spencer as well as having design collaborations with major accessories and textile companies.
In the 90′s Caroline Charles designed the official scarf to mark the 40th anniversary of the accession of the Queen.
As she celebrated her own 40th anniversary, Caroline Charles was awarded an OBE for services to the British Fashion Industry. Celebrations followed at the Victoria & Albert Museum with another award from the British Fashion Council.
Emma Calder was born in London. She studied Graphic design at The Royal College of Art. Whilst at the RCA she began making animated films, including the cult 80’s classic MADAME POTATOE. After college she set up a studio producing Graphic design, illustration for magazines and work for pop videos and commercials. She co-founded Pearly Oyster Productions making many successful and award winning animated films and commercials, including THE QUEEN’S MONASTERY (BBC). She also collaborated with the author Carolyn Hink on four books for children which she will design and illustrate. The first book MISS LOUISE GOES TO PARIS was published by Quercus Books. Her next book MOODY STICKER BOOK was published by Thames and Hudson and PAPER ANGELS was published in October 2010 by Bloomsbury. She lives in Brixton with her partner and two children.
Rosie Boycott is a journalist and publisher. From 1992-96, she was editor of the men’s magazine Esquire. Boycott was the first female editor of two national broadsheets, heading The Independent and its sister publication the Independent on Sunday. Later, she edited the Daily Express. She has sat on judging panels for literary contests, notably chairing the panel judging the 2001 Orange Prize for Fiction. She is also a media advisor for the Council of Europe.
Pattie Boyd is an English model and photographer, and the former wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
Peter Bowles is an eminent TV and stage actor who starred in such programmes as TO THE MANOR BORN. He continues to work regularly in theatre, including London’s West End In November 2010, he starred at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket opposite Penelope Keith in Sheridan’s The Rivals.
Kay Burley is an English televison newsreader, presenter and journalist. She currently anchors Afternoon Live on Sky News. Her first novel FIRST LADIES was published by Harper Collins in May 2011. Her second novel BETRAYAL is due out on the 24th May 2012.
Richard Attenborough is an English actor, director, producer and entrepeneur. He has won two Academy Awards, several Baftas and Golden Globes. His Book ENTIRELY UP TO YOU MY DARLING which he co-authored with Diana Hawkins was published by Arrow in 2009.
Sarah Winman attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to act in theatre, film and television.
When God was a Rabbit is her debut novel and was published by Headline in March 2011. It was number 5 in the Sunday Times Bestseller List and winner of 2011 Newton First Book Award. It was also a lead title in Richard and Judy’s summer Book Club and one of the titles in the Waterstones 11 list, the pick of debut novels in 2011.
When God Was a Rabbit has currently been sold in a total of twenty two territories, sixteen European, as well as in the US (Bloomsbury US), China, Indonesia, Brazil, Korea and Israel.
Sarah lives in London and is currently working on her next novel.
Marius began his career in journalism at The Evening Standard in 1985, becoming their first photo-journalist. After a number of positions on the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday he went up to read English at Oxford only to find himself writing a weekly column chronicling undergraduate life in The Cherwell. On graduation he went to work for The Sunday Times before becoming Science Editor for the Sunday Express.
Marius’ parallel career in the arts started at 19 when his first play Frikzhan, won the 1985 National Youth Theatre/Texaco Most Promising Playwright Award; his radio play sLaughter In The Dark won the 1991 BBC Young Writers Festival and he wrote the subsequent popular comedy series for Radio 4 broadcast in 1995; the script for his short film, Diary of a Surreal Killer starring Paula Hamilton and A.A. Gill was nominated for the 1997 BAFTA Carl Foreman Award and selected for the London Raindance Festival. He has written a number of television documentaries – which include the award winning BBC/A&E series Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America. Marius has written and directed a number of internet commercials, including the viral ad for his novel Making Love which was shortlisted for the 2006 Nokia Shorts Film Festival.
Marius’ first novel, Making Love, published by Doubleday, is a comic romantic literary spy thriller which garnered critical acclaim and was a W.H. Smith Book of The Month. How to Forget, Marius’ second novel, is a comic romantic literary sting thriller set in the world of conjuring tricks and confidence tricksters, mind magicians and neuroscience, and was published by Doubleday in August 2011.
Alan was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1985, but was allowed back to Moscow after the collapse of communism.
After a hectic decade with Reuters, he moved in 1990 to The Sunday Correspondent, a UK weekly publication, and then to The Daily Telegraph, the leading British broadsheet, where he worked as Moscow correspondent (1994-98) and Middle East Correspondent (1998-2003), ending up as foreign editor (2003-2006).
He is currently working as London-based Associate Editor of The National, a new English-language newspaper published in the UAE, while contributing articles on Russian and Middle Eastern themes to a variety of outlets, including the Guardian, the Evening Standard and the First Post. Alan studied Arabic and Persian at Oxford University, and speaks fluent Russian and French. His first book, The Boy From Baby House 10, was published in 2010.
Bear Grylls has become known around the world as one of the most recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure. His journey to this acclaim started in the UK on the Isle of Wight, where his late father taught him to climb and sail. Trained from a young age in martial arts, Bear went on to spend three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, serving with 21 SAS. It was here that he perfected many of the skills that his fans all over the world enjoy: watching him pit against mother-nature.
Despite a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa, where he broke his back in three places, and after enduring months in military rehabilitation, Bear went on to become one of the youngest ever climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Bear went on to star in the Channel 4 series: Escape to the Legion and seven series of the Discovery Channel’s Emmy nominated TV show Man Vs Wild and Born Survivor, which has become one of the most watched shows on the planet, reaching an estimated 1.2 billion viewers.
Off screen, Bear has lead record-breaking expeditions, from Antarctica to the Arctic, which in turn have raised over $2.5million for children around the world. In recognition for his expertise and service, Bear was appointed as the youngest ever Chief Scout to over half a million scouts in the UK, was awarded an honorary commission as a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy and as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the notoriously tough Royal Marines Commandos.
He has authored 15 books, including the No 1 Bestseller: Mud Sweat & Tears which was voted the most influential book in China for 2012. Other titles include: A Survival Guide For Life, Born Survivor, Living Wild, Great Outdoor Adventures, Facing Up, Facing the Frozen Ocean, To My Sons and seven children’s fiction novels titled Mission: Survival.
Summer 2013 saw Bear’s new US TV series: Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls running on NBC and voted the No 1 new network reality show in the 18-49 age category. The show is currently running worldwide on Discovery Channel alongside a further series: Bear Grylls: Escape from Hell and Bear Grylls: Extreme Survival Caught on Camera.
Stay tuned for more Wild Weekends and The Ultimate Survival Experiment; Island of Lost Blokes all coming soon to Channel 4.
Life is always an adventure with this man!
Patrick Bishop spent twenty-five years as a foreign correspondent covering conflicts around the world. He is the author of two hugely acclaimed books about the Royal Air Force during WWII, Fighter Boys and Bomber Boys. 3 Para, an epic account of the British deployment to Afghanistan, was published in the summer of 2006. His first novel, A Good War, was published by Hodder and Stoughton in May 2008 and the follow-up to 3 Para, Ground Truth: 3 Para Return to Afghanistan, was published in May 2009 by HarperPress. His most recent novel, Follow Me Home, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2011.
Target Tirpitz, the story of the sinking of Hitler’s prize battleship, was published to great acclaim by HarperPress in February 2012. Patrick’s latest book, Wings, a history of the RAF, was published by Atlantic in October 2012 in hardback and June 2013 in paperback.
Jimmy Burns Maranon was born in Madrid in 1953 to Anglo-Spanish parents. His mother, Mabel, was the daughter of the doctor and writer Gregorio Maranon and his father, Tom Burns, was a publisher, journalist and diplomat. Jimmy Burns was a journalist for the Financial Times for thirty years, working as a foreign correspondent and specialist in intelligence. He is now a full time author and freelance journalist, with expertise in security, espionage, Latin America and Spanish football among other things.
His previous books include The Land That Lost Its Heroes, winner of the Somerset Maugham prize for non-fiction, Papa Spy, Barca, When Beckham went to Spain, Beyond the Silver River, and the internationally acclaimed Hand Of God: The Life Of Diego Maradona. His most recent book, La Roja, a history of Spanish national football, was published by Simon and Schuster in the UK and Nation Books in the US in May 2012.
Jimmy’s next book, Francis: Pope of Good Promise, the story of Pope Francis I’s first year in office, will be published by Constable & Robinson in 2015.