Occupation: Journalist, Presenter (ITV News)
Emmy and BAFTA award-winning journalist Mark Austin co-presents ITV News at 6.30pm with Mary Nightingale, having presented ITV News at Ten for 5 years.
Mark regularly presents on location, which has included the Israel/Gaza border, Afghanistan and Washington. Mark has regularly conducted news-making interviews for News at Ten, including Sir Jock Stirrup, Gordon Brown, Shimon Peres and Andrew Flintoff.
In 2010, Mark anchored News at Ten’s BAFTA-winning coverage of the Haiti earthquake and fronted a Tonight programme on the children of the quake. Later in 2010, Mark reported a series of Tonight reports profiling each of the main party leaders ahead of the General Election.
Mark also presented ITV News at Ten and ITV News at 6.30pm from South Africa to mark the start of the 2010 World Cup. His coverage included live anchoring and a series of interviews that included Desmond Tutu and Graca Michal.
Following numerous interviews and location anchoring in 2009, Mark was named newscaster of the year by TRIC (The Television and Radio Industries Club). Mark’s work in this year included covering the war in Gaza and Operation Panther’s Claw in Afghanistan.
In 2007, Mark anchored The Big Melt live from Antarctica - a week of special programming across ITV News bulletins to highlight the effects of climate change.
In October 2006, Mark Austin presented the ITV Evening News and News at Ten Thirty from across Beijing for a week for the “Welcome to China – Inside the World’s New Superpower” series. ITV News made broadcasting history when it became the first news programme to broadcast live from Tiananmen Square to mark the opening of its China bureau.
During the escalating hostilities between Israel and Lebanon in the summer of 2006, Mark and this team were the first and only TV News crew to anchor live from the ravaged town of Tyre at the epicentre of the fighting.
Previously Mark was Senior Correspondent for ITV News, covering major foreign and domestic stories. For fifteen years he was a foreign correspondent based in Africa and Asia and travelling all over the globe.
His reporting of the devastating floods in Mozambique in February 2000 won him an International Emmy award as well as a Gold Nymph at the 2000 Television Festival of Monte Carlo and Gold and Silver Medals at the New York Television Programming Awards.
Mark covered conflicts in several countries and in mid-1999 he played a key role in ITN's coverage of the war in Kosovo. Based on the Albanian border for much of the conflict, Mark reported on the refugee crisis caused by the war. On the day in June Nato troops finally entered Kosovo he was airlifted in with the Gurkhas, the first troops to enter the country, witnessing an early confrontation with Serb police.
Mark’s reporting of the war helped win ITN the coveted Gold Nymph at the 1999 Television Festival of Monte Carlo. He also covered the Bosnian war and the fall of Srebrenica in 1995. His reporting won him a joint Gold Medal, with fellow-correspondent Paul Davies, at the 1996 Film & Television Festival of New York.
While based in Asia, Mark reported from ITN's first ever bureau in China covering stories right across the country leading up to the handover of Hong Kong to Beijing in 1997 .
He also covered the riots that brought down President Suharto in Indonesia . He was ITN’s Africa Correspondent for four years, based in Johannesburg, witnessing the violence that preceded the historic transition to democracy in South Africa and Mandela's victory in the country's first real elections.
He also spent several weeks reporting on the appalling genocide in Rwanda and the civil war that followed. Mark was one of the first British journalists to report from the Gulf during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. From the start of the war early in 1991 he was in Bahrain, the base for many of the Tornado squadrons, sending back regular reports including those on the recapture from the Iraqis of the islands of Qaruh and Um-al-Maradin.
Mark joined ITN from the BBC in October 1986 in the role of Sports Correspondent. He was given his first assignment on day one - to cover England's successful Ashes tour of Australia as well as the America's Cup. He stayed in Australia for four months and during this time unexpectedly found himself reporting on the extraordinary "Spycatcher" trial.
Mark has covered all the major sporting events for ITN, including four Olympics, four World Cups, the British Open, Rugby internationals, football news and several England cricket tours. In 1993 he won top prize in the Sports News category at the Royal Television Society Sports Awards for his coverage of the drug scandal affecting three British sportsmen at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
In 1995 he was seconded to ITV to report from South Africa on the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Mark Austin started his career in the media as a general reporter on the Bournemouth Evening Echo (1977-1980). He then joined the BBC as a newsroom writer, becoming a reporter for BBC TV news at the age of 24. ...one of the youngest national reporters ever appointed by the BBC.
Occupation: Journalist, Presenter (TV/Radio)
Dear Diary: why, oh, why has it taken me this long to meet - TV’s Richard Arnold, national treasure? Jennifer Aniston
‘You’re my leading man. For today. - ’Barbra Streisand‘
Sure honey, put your hands where ever you like. ’Dolly Parton‘
Richard Arnold is Harry Styles for women over 45’Woman’s Own
A firmly established favourite on the breakfast TV sofa, popular Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Arnold celebrates 21 years on the small screen this year - seen daily on ITV’s early morning offering in his role as Entertainment Editor.
From Streisand to Gaga, Buble to Tony Bennett, Richard has interviewed many of the world’s biggest stars in recent years, as well as anchoring hours of live TV since he first appeared on BBC2’s youth TV offering The Sunday Show back in 1995.
After two series, he started his long tenure at ITV on GMTV in 1997 before leaving the breakfast station back in 2010. He returned the summer of 2012 by popular demand and following two years on Daybreak is now installed ever weekday with Piers Morgan, Susanna Reid, Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway.
During his long stint at GMTV, he hosted The Richard Arnold Show for two summers, presented ITV’s live tea-time celebrity cook-off Soapstar Superchef alongside Nicki Chapman and three series of Challenge TV’s highest rated original commission to date, quiz show Take It or Leave It from the makers of Deal or No Deal.
TV credits include competing in the 2012 series of Strictly Come Dancing where the grace and favour of the voting public took him all the way to Wembley. He was also a quarter finalist in the first series of Celebrity Masterchef and has taken part in Celebrity Mastermind where his specialist subject was Dallas, the TV series.
In 2003, Richard co-hosted Living’s daily magazine show Loose Lips with Melinda Messenger clocking up over 160 shows, Psychic Live (20 shows) and the Will On Will and Grace audience with star Eric McCormack.
Other TV appearances include The Chase, Pointless Celebrities, Countdown, Tipping Point, Stars In Their Eyes, The Paul O’Grady Show, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Celebrity Are You Smarter Than A Ten Year-old, 71 Degrees North, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here NOW! and competing in 2010’s Sports Relief ‘Let’s Dance…’ as Danny Zuko from Grease alongside Kate Garraway as Sandy during which they made that year’s final.
TV cameos ‘as Himself’ include ITV’s Footballers Wives and C4’s acclaimed drama Shameless. ITV’s Rock Rivals, BBC1’s Hustle and alongside Max Beesley in ITV drama Is This Love?
Films include 2011’s crime thriller Blitz with Jason Statham and David Morrissey - and this summer’s highly anticipated Ab Fab: The Movie - both as himself.
During his brief hiatus from morning TV from 2010/11, Richard hosted his own talk show on London’s LBC 97.3, taking him back to his roots in radio which began the early 90s as a contributor at BBC Radio Scotland, followed by three years at BBC Radio 5 Live alongside Eddie Mair. Richard also hosted his own daily and weekend radio shows on London station Liberty Radio for three years.
Richard writes weekly columns for Hello! (since 2010) and Woman’s Own magazine (since 2007) as well as contributing to The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Express, News of World and no end of magazine credits on matters TV, lifestyle and travel
He is a regular host of many charity events, fashion shows and awards ceremonies. His main corporate client is British Telecom, helping in recent years with their campaigns for Comic and Sport Relief, as well as hosting their Hyde Park Olympic coverage in 2012.
He lives in North London and has recently acquired a cockapoo called Clementine.
Occupation: Broadcaster, Entertainer, Poet
It was November 1975 when Pam Ayres made her first TV appearance on the TV talent show, Opportunity Knocks, the “Britain’s Got Talent” TV show of its day, and this proved to be the start of an incredible career for a unique entertainer.
Over 35 years later, writer, broadcaster, and entertainer Pam Ayres is still one of the biggest selling female comedians in the UK, selling out virtually every theatre that she plays. Pam’s most recent book of poems, published in 2006, has sold over ¼ million copies. Pam’s autobiography, THE NECESSARY APTITUDE, was published in hardback in 2011, and was the UK’s best-selling female autobiography of 2011. The paperback is published in September this year.
Pam is one of the few authors who has had bestsellers in the Sunday Times charts in every decade since the 1970s. Total sales of her books since the mid-1970s are now many millions.
On TV in recent years Pam has appeared on programmes including Paul O’Grady, The One Show, Gardeners’ World, QI, Countdown, Alan Titchmarsh and Celebrity Mastermind.
Pam is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 4, including Just A Minute, Loose Ends, Quote Unquote and Saturday Live, and she has also recorded four series of her own programme, Ayres on the Air, the most recent due for transmission in Autumn 2012.
Pam has toured Australia and New Zealand regularly over the past 35 years, the most recent tour being in 2011, and she is one of the few solo comediennes to have performed in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.
Pam has appeared three times for HM The Queen – at the Silver Jubilee Royal Variety Performance in 1977, at a Royal Gala Charity Reception at St. James Palace in 1996, when Pam, as the only entertainer, performed part of her solo stage show, and finally at Sandingham Women’s Institute in 2004, when the Queen attended a meeting of the local WI in her capacity as President of the local branch of the WI. Subsequently,
Pam was honoured to be awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2004. Pam and her husband live in Gloucestershire, on a smallholding, where Pam is a keen and knowledgeable bee-keeper and gardener. They also keep chickens, guinea fowl, cattle, sheep and pigs.
Emma Barnett is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster.
She is the new host of the BBC 5Live morning programme, 5Live Daily with Emma Barnett, which goes out Wednesday to Friday 10am-1pm.
The Wednesday edition is a politics special, coming live from Westminster. ‘Westminster Wednesdays’ sees Emma interview the great and good of politics - demanding answers to her listeners’ most pressing questions about life in Brexit Britain.
On Thursdays and Fridays Emma’s 5Live prime time programme takes live radio to places it wouldn’t normally go and uncovers news stories that surprise and inform her audience. She also creates a space where high profile guests and listeners alike can have conversations on air they would normally hold in private. Emma’s show also shares breaking news in a unique fashion, allowing her listeners to shape the day’s agenda.
On BBC 5Live she also presents The Hit List, a fast-paced innovative Sunday evening show which counts down the nation’s top 40 news stories, based on their digital reading habits. It has been praised for reflecting the “real people’s news agenda”.
Emma regularly presents BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour – a lifelong dream realised and is the youngest presenter in the programme’s history to do so. As part of her ongoing work for the show, she chairs the Woman’s Hour Power List – rewarding the UK’s top women every year for their achievements and records in-depth features. A stand-out project was her retracing of Sylvia Pankhurst’s footsteps for a special Woman’s Hour series covering the lives of working women in today’s Britain.v
She was previously the Sunday drive-time host on LBC, where she cut her radio teeth.
Emma is a columnist for The Sunday Times. Every week, in her aptly named column, Tough Love, she doles out ruthlessly honest advice to Sunday Times Magazine readers, who come to her with their deepest problems – from difficult children to even worse partners.
Television-wise, Emma is the co-host of The Pledge, a straight-talking weekly debate programme on Sky News. Nothing is off the table.
Previously Emma spent seven years at The Daily Telegraph – where she was the Women’s Editor and a top columnist. During her time at the paper, she created, launched and edited Telegraph Wonder Women – the “go-to site for young women in Britain” according to the British Press Awards. Covering news, politics, work, society, religion and relationships, Emma came up with the idea after feeling exasperated with the way ‘women’s issues’ were being covered by the mainstream media.
Prior to becoming The Telegraph’s Women’s Editor, she was the newspaper’s Digital Media Editor, breaking news about the fast-moving world of technology and media, interviewing Silicon Valley’s biggest hitters and penning a business column. She was named Digital Journalist of the Year twice by the Association of Online Publishers and the Online Media Awards.
Emma is thrilled to have had the opportunity to deliver a TEDx talk, prompting her to explore an issue close to her heart: female ambition. In her thought-provoking talk ‘The Secrets That Snails Can Teach Women About Success’, she explains how women are just as ambitious as men – but regularly end up “losing custody of their ambition, often without even realising it”.
She is a regular documentary maker for Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. Recent docs include: America’s Fan Club – a behind-the-scenes look at the Daughters of the American Revolution – one of the largest women-only groups in the world – who congregate once a year in ballgowns and white gloves in Washington. Emma has also investigated the rise of mindfulness; the march of military women to the front line; and in a highly personal piece – her hypocritical views of female rabbis.
She also enjoys chairing live events – hosting big ticket events such as ‘Telegraph Question Time’ at The Hay Festival; panels at the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival and evenings for the prestigious 30 Club. Emma regularly hosts evenings with top celebrities for the children’s rights charity Plan UK.
Emma is a proud long-time volunteer for Smartworks, a charity that helps disadvantaged women get back into the workplace through dressing and preparing them for job interviews. She also loves travelling, eating and cooking (but mainly eating) with her husband. Emma is currently learning how to draw and paint (badly)….
Telegraph columnist http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/emma-barnett/
Twitter handle @emmabarnett - https://twitter.com/Emmabarnett
Women on front line http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03c3dx1
Nicky Campbell has won 6 Sony Gold Radio Awards. He has presented network BBC programmes for 27 years now starting off his Radio career as a colleague of among others Kenny Everett, Alan Freeman and John Peel.
He has presented on various Television programmes over the years ranging from 'Top of the Pops' to 'Newsnight' and 'Panorama'. He fronted the BBC1 consumer show 'Watchdog' for 9 years.
Currently he presents ITV's multi-award-winning and ground-breaking 'Long Lost Family' with Davina McCall and the BBC's Sunday morning ethical and religious debate programme ‘The Big Questions’.
He has also presented a series on adoption for ITV, ‘Wanted: A Family of My Own’. He recently presented a documentary in ITV's Perspectives strand on one of his passions 'Great American Love Songs'.
On Radio he has presented the much awarded Five Live Breakfast show for 12 years with Shelagh Fogarty and now Rachel Burden. He has interviewed every Prime Minister and Chancellor since Margaret Thatcher.
Nicky's charity work is in Animal Conservation and Adoption. He campaigns against the illegal Ivory trade and he is Patron of The British Association of Adoption and Fostering and was himself adopted when three months old. His adoptive mother was a psychiatric social worker and his adoptive father a publisher of maps. In 2004 he wrote Blue-Eyed Son, Story of an Adoption, his account of tracing both his birth parents and his extended families in Ireland.
Nicky is also a professional song writer and composer. In 2009 he wrote the critically acclaimed swing album "Moonlights Back in Style" for Mark Moraghan on the famous Jazz label Linn Records. He currently writes songs with Kate Robbins and they have just signed a publishing deal with Long Lunch Music. His second album, We’re Just Passing Through, co-written with Kate Robbins launches in July.
Nicky's great loves are his wife Tina, his four daughters Breagha, Lilla, Kirsty and Isla, his dogs Maxwell and Misty, his guitar, his piano and his Ukulele.
Nicky was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours for services to adoption and fostering.
Pamela Cox is a social historian at the University of Essex. In 2012, she made her TV debut as the presenter of BBC2 series, Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs, working with leading directors, Hugo Macgregor and Paul Berczeller. The series uncovered the hidden history of domestic service in Britain from the 1840s to the 1940s.
Pamela has written and co-written several books on social history and crime history. BAD GIRLS IN BRITAIN was published in paperback by Palgrave last year. It tracks the history of delinquent and destitute girls in the first half of the twentieth century. Thousands were sent to reform homes of different kinds where most were trained to work as servants.
Pamela is now working on a new three part series for BBC2 for 2014. Shopgirls will reveal what life was like working, and in some cases living, inside shops and departments stores from the 1860s to the 1970s. It is an engaging and significant story about class, sex and shopping – told from behind the counter of some of the nation’s favourite shops. Pamela is co-writing an accompanying book with executive producer, Annabel Hobley, to be published by Hutchinson.
Martin Davidson, head of commissioning, history and business at the BBC, says: “We were delighted with the success of Servants, which showcased Pamela Cox’s insightful take on Britain’s social history. Shopgirls will be a fascinating opportunity to examine a remarkable period of transformation through the lives of women who have shaped the world today.”
Pamela lives in Colchester with her partner and two children.
Lachlan Goudie is an Artist who exhibits regularly in London and New York. The scope of Lachlan’s work is broad, incorporating portraiture, still life and landscape painting. His canvasses have won numerous awards and in 2013 he was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Oil painters, in London.
Lachlan is the son of the Scottish artist Alexander Goudie. He was born and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, before studying English at Christ’s College, Cambridge and Fine Art at Camberwell College of Art in London.
In addition to painting, Lachlan is also a writer and Arts broadcaster. He regularly contributes to the BBC World Service radio programme, ‘From our own Correspondent’ and has written and presented two documentaries for BBC television – ‘The Art of Witchcraft’ (2013), ‘Stanley Spencer: The colours of the Clyde’ (2014). Earlier this year, Lachlan was one of two judges on the BBC1 series, Big Painting Challenge. Lachlan’s latest series “A History of Scottish Art” has recently been broadcast on BBC4.
Lachlan’s writing is informed by his experience of working as an artist. Schooled in painting by his father from an early age, Lachlan is a keen proselytiser for the value of technique, craft and tradition in contemporary art. Frequent painting trips abroad, during which he sketches in the open air whilst on the road, allow him to observe, document and celebrate the world around us.
The wonder of Art: its power to colour and change people’s lives fascinates Lachlan. It lies at the heart of his work as an artist, writer and broadcaster. You can follow Lachlan on Twitter @lachlangoudie
Michael Grade has a long and distinguished career in broadcasting, encompassing London Weekend Television, the BBC (as Controller of BBC-1) and over nine years as Chief Executive of Channel Four Television. In May 2004, he was appointed Chairman of the BBC, succeeding Gavyn Davies, resigning in November 2006 when his appointment as Executive Chairman of ITV was announced.
He stepped down from ITV at the end of 2009. He is non-executive Chairman of Pinewood and Shepperton Film Studios. He was non-executive chairman of Ocado, the online food retailer, from 2006 until 2013.
Michael has presented many television programmes for the BBC, most recently BBC4’s The Story of Tom Thumb and Goodbye from Television Centre. Documentaries include The World’s Oldest Joke, The Story of Variety, History of the Pantomime Dame, and The Story of Music Hall. He has also hosted BBC4's Don Black: A Life in Song and BBC2's Tim Rice: A Life in Song, the latter broadcast on Christmas Day 2014. He also presented a series reflecting his own view of television for BBC Radio 2, Michael Grade: On the Box. Michael’s series for BBC Radio 2 “Brits in Hollywood” has recently been broadcast
He is a passionate sailor, having sailed the Atlantic 3 times, most recently in December 2014. He was created a life peer in January 2011.
Born in London in 1960, Andrew Graham-Dixon is one of the leading art critics and presenters of arts television in the English-speaking world. He has presented many landmark series on art for the BBC, including the acclaimed A History of British Art, Renaissance, Art of Eternity, The Secret of Drawing, The Art of Spain, followed by The Art of Russia, The Art of Germany, The Art of America, The Art of China, The Art of Gothic, as well as numerous individual documentaries on art and artists. For more than twenty years he has published a weekly column on art, first in the Independent and, more recently, in the Sunday Telegraph. His most recent documentary “Secrets of Mona Lisa” was broadcast on BBC2 in December 2015 and his series “The Art of Scandinavia” will be broadcast shortly on BBC4.
He co-presented with Giorgio Locatelli one series of Sicily Unpacked and 3 series of Italy Unpacked where they explore the culture and cuisine of Italy together.
He has a long history of public service in the field of the visual arts, having judged the Turner Prize, the BP National Portrait Prize and the Annual British Animation Awards, among many other prizes. He has served on the Government Art Collection Committee, the Hayward Advisory Committee, and is currently a member of the board of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.
In the course of his career, Andrew has won numerous awards for writing and broadcasting and his achievements have been acclaimed by many of his most distinguished peers.
According to Robert Hughes, former art critic of Time magazine and writer of 'The Shock of the New': “Andrew Graham-Dixon is the most gifted art critic of his generation. Unsparing, witty and probing, with a supple style, a real passion for the concrete body of art and a clear sense of its social environment, he encourages you to think and feel”.
John Russell, long-time art critic of The New York Times, has written that “In fifty years’ experience as a fellow workman in the field, I have never known an art critic in London who responds so well, year in and year out, to the challenge of subjects that cover the whole range of Western art.”
Russell’s first television acting role was at the tender age of ten for BBC TV’s very successful Wednesday Play. He was then signed up by Richard Price, Head of LWT Entertainment and was cast in On The Buses, Please Sir!, The Fenn Street Gang, the Doctor series starring both Barry Evans and Robin Nedwell, and roles in programmes starring Hylda Baker and Yootha Joyce. He also played alongside Daniel Massey in The Roads to Freedom, and with Joss Ackland and Barbara Jefford in BBC 2’s Canterbury Tales.
Russell toured in Ivor Novello’s King’s Rhapsody and played Prince Chululongkorn in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I. He headed into his first West End show as Slogger Williams in the musical Tom Brown’s Schooldays (Cambridge Theatre). He then took to the stage of the London Palladium with Tommy Steele in Hans Andersen. Roles in Oh What A Lovely War! (Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury) and Oh Camille! (Arts Theatre, London) brought many more opportunities including many pantomime performances.
A great honour was singing songs from Disney’s musical Pinocchio, with Iain Sutherland’s BBC Concert Orchestra for Radio 2’s homage to 60 years of Walt Disney hosted by David Tomlinson at the Royal Albert Hall.
One of Russell’s most treasured moments was to be invited into the Royal Command Variety Performance at the Victoria Palace in front of their Majesties, the Queen and the Queen Mother and HRH Diana, Princess of Wales, where he performed with Angharad Rees in the Marilyn Monroe hit 'I Want To Be Loved By You'.
Playwright Paul Doust offered him the star-role in the London Evening Standard Award-Winning Probably Wanstead (Brighton Festival). Then heading up to the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s HQ in Scarborough,
Russell played a dual role, Floss and Peter, in a new work Soap with top soap stars Sue Twist (Brookside) and Hannah Waterman (Eastenders). Russell took the Narrator’s role in Rocky Horror Music Show (National tour) but it is as the director of the classic Dylan Thomas play Under Milk Wood and his performance as the Narrator that had the audience and critics shooting off superlatives.
In honour of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, Russell directed and starred as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A totally original production with Puck as a skinhead, complete with Thames Estuary accent.
Russell’s professional dream came true when given the opportunity to learn how to dance on the BBC’s top-rated series Strictly Come Dancing (2011). Russell was partnered with World Champion Latin dancer, Flavia Cacace. The popular couple won both critics and viewers hearts and were nominated for a BAFTA TV Highlight of the Year when Russell was shot out of a cannon as part of their Jive routine at the Wembley Arena.
Russell picked up the phone one day to hear Andrew Lloyd Webber asking him to star at the London Palladium in The Wizard of Oz. Before playing The Wizard, Russell returned to the West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Stephen Schwartz’s Children of Eden playing the Snake.
Russell’s Teen Angel in the 20th anniversary number one theatre tour of Grease the musical has brought critical acclaim around the country. He left the show to concentrate on partnering Flavia Cacace to win the Strictly Come Dancing People’s Champion Glitterball on BBC 1 and took up residency on Strictly It Takes Two on BBC 2 for the rest of 2012.
For the first time in his career Russell headlined in pantomime at the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury in Peter Pan. The show was a big hit, with a record box office advance. During the run he presented Russell Grant’s Christmas Carols at the Royal Albert Hall and Bridgewater Hall, Manchester starring Russell Watson.
He returned to the West End January 28th 2013 when as special guest star in Midnight Tango at the Phoenix Theatre reunites him with Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone, his Strictly Come Dancing partner and friend. Once over a one-night-only appearance in toe-tapping 42nd Street at the London Palladium and then the launch of ‘Zalza’ with Flavia a new dance-fitness DVD which sold literally tens-of-thousands on the world-famous shopping channel, QVC. Russell appeared again with Flavia on Strictly Come Dancing where they won the People's Champion. He also appeared in the 2014 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.
Russell regularly contributes to ITV's This Morning.
Occupation: Broadcaster, TV Executive
From March 2009 to March 2012, Paul Jackson was CEO at Eyeworks UK. He subsequently continues to act as a consultant to the company. He is also now consulting generally in China, particularly with Hunan TV and has been involved in setting up a new network in Mongolia. He continues to executive produce entertainment and factual entertainment shows with Eyeworks UK. Until December 2008 he was ITV’s Director of Entertainment and Comedy, commissioning and overseeing shows such as Britain’s Got Talent, X Factor, Benidorm and Ladies of Letters. Before that he was working as Granada’s Chief Executive Officer in America (where he executive produced Hells Kitchen, Nanny 911 and Celebrity Fit Camp amongst others) and previously he worked in Australia as Chief Executive Officer of Granada Productions.
He went to Australia from the BBC where he held the role of Controller of Entertainment and Comedy, responsible for five entertainment and comedy departments working across television, radio and online.
In his production career, Paul produced and or directed a raft of entertainment and comedy shows for most UK Broadcasters, including Young Ones, Red Dwarf, Saturday Live, Girls on Top, The Generation Game and Blankety Blank.
He is the presenter of BBC Radio 4's long-running series Britain in a Box.
Occupation: Singer and Presenter
Aled Jones MBE has been a household name since the 1980's.
He will forever be remembered as one of the world's most successful boy sopranos. He made his professional debut as a twelve year old performing the role of the Angel in Handel's Oratorio ‘Jeptha’ on BBC2 and BBC Radio 3. The next four years were a whirlwind with TV performances galore (he holds the record for most appearances on the Wogan television show). He was invited to record three flagship TV programmes for the BBC from Israel. These programmes were huge hits and the resulting two album releases sold over a million copies. At one point both albums were in the top five Official UK Album Charts. It was only Bruce Springsteen's album 'Born in the USA' that kept him off the top spot! He performed countless concerts as a boy soprano all over the world including a spot at the Hollywood Bowl and sharing the stage with maestro Leonard Bernstein. Singing the 'Chichester Psalms' with the composer conducting was a huge highlight. Aled had already released twelve albums by the time “Walking in the Air”, the song from the animated film The Snowman, was released. The record reached number five in the UK charts in 1985. He also performed ten sell-out live 'Snowman' shows that year.
Jones’ recording career was temporarily halted when his voice broke age sixteen. By this time, he had recorded sixteen albums, sold more than six million albums, and sang for Pope John Paul II, the Queen and the Prince and Princess of Wales in a private recital, as well as presenting numerous children’s television programmes.
Between the age of sixteen and eighteen Aled toured Japan with the Vienna Woods Boy’s Choir. Aled's boy voice had gone, so instead he narrated live Humperdinck's opera ‘Hansel and Gretel’, in Japanese! He was mobbed everywhere he went in the country. During this period twelve albums were released selling in excess of two million copies.
He went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School before being asked to perform the role of Joseph in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’.
Aled was offered presenting roles on BBC Radio Wales (a show he still presents fifteen years on) as well as a TV role for the welsh-speaking channel S4C. He was also approached about a presenting role on the BBC’s ‘Songs of Praise’. In 2002, Songs of Praise asked Aled to sing on the programme. This led to the release of his first, real adult album entitled ‘Aled’ that went to number one in the Classical Charts.
The following year Aled was approached by 'Classic FM' radio and offered a two-hour Sunday morning programme which become a hugely popular show.
Aled released another album entitled ‘Higher’, which also topped the classical charts. He followed this up with an album of carols, which sold in excess of 400,000 copies. Aled was also the subject of the last ever ‘This is Your Life’ on the BBC and was surprised on stage at the Royal Albert Hall during the filming of the ‘Songs of Praise' Big Sing.
In 2004 Aled was a contestant on the second series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. He made it through to the semi-final of the competition and cites dancing a Samba to the Tom Jones hit 'It's Not Unusual' in Blackpool's famous Tower Ballroom as a real highlight!
Aled was approached to join BBC Radio 2 to present their live flagship Sunday programme ‘Good Morning Sunday’. He also became one of the main presenters of the legendary Radio 2 programme 'Friday Night is Music Night', as well as sitting in for regular daily presenters Terry Wogan, Ken Bruce and Steve Wright. In addition to this Aled was given his own BBC Wales chat show and also became the presenter of BBC Radio 3 Programme ‘The Choir’. Aled has since left BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 3 and has returned to Classic FM, where he presents his own Sunday morning' show from 9am to midday. With listening figures in excess of 1.1 million it's the most listened to single show on the network. He also stands in for regular weekday presenters John Suchet, Anne-Marie Minhall and Tim Lihoreau on 'Classic FM'.
In 2008 Aled took on the lead role of Caractacus Potts in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ in Cardiff to great acclaim and in 2009 he joined the cast of Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ in the starring role and played in Plymouth and Manchester. Aled returned to 'White Christmas' to star in London's West End at the end of 2014. The show was a sell-out.
Aled has also released two singles with Sir Terry Wogan in aid of the 'Children in Need' appeal. He currently has a total of thirty albums to his name – selling over seven million copies to date. Aled has written three books entitled ‘Aled’s Forty Favourite Hymns’ which was published towards the end of 2009 as well as a book on his 'Favourite Christmas Carols'. His autobiography called 'My Story' was re-published in 2013.
Aled has presented ‘Escape to the Country’ and ‘Cash in the Attic’ for the BBC and in 2012 Aled was asked to take on the co-presenting role with Lorraine Kelly on ITV's breakfast show 'Daybreak'. Aled left in 2014 to host his own TV show called 'Weekend' every Saturday and Sunday morning on ITV1.
He plans to be back in Australia next year and is working on a series of Christmas spectacular concerts for 2016.
Dr Kate Kennedy is a Research Fellow in English and Music at Girton College, Cambridge. She specialises in twentieth century music and literature, particularly of the First World War, and also works on Benjamin Britten. She studied both English and Music at Cambridge, continued her studies as a cellist at the Royal College of Music, before completing a masters in Biography at King’s College, London. Her PhD (at Cambridge) was on the songs and poems of First World War poet and composer Ivor Gurney.
Kate is currently completing a critical biography of Ivor Gurney, based on years of archival research. It has been commissioned by Oxford University Press, and will contain much that is groundbreaking work on the tragic life of this important but overlooked figure. Her collection of essays (co-edited with Dr Trudi Tate) THE SILENT MORNING: Culture, Memory and the Armistice, 1918 is currently in production with Manchester University Press, and will be published in 2013. LITERARY BRITTEN will be published by Oxford University Press in 2014. She has published widely on early twentieth century writers and composers in major international journals, and is a lecturer in the Music Faculty at Cambridge, and also teaches in the English Faculty.
Kate has a busy career outside Cambridge, giving regular public lectures: most recently at the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Brighton International Festival, the QEH, and the Edinburgh Festival, and works regularly with the Britten Sinfonia and artists such as Sir Thomas Allen, Julius Drake, Iain Burnside, Mark Padmore, Alex Jennings, Simon Armitage and Andrew Kennedy, devising and presenting programmes and giving lectures and pre-concert talks. She specialises in constructing and writing innovative concert programmes, mixing literature and music, often using archival material. Her programmes include: Literary Britten, a combination of Britten and Auden, through music, letters and poetry, written for actor Alex Jennings, and performed at the Wigmore Hall in March 2013 The Dark Pastoral, a combination of lesser-known music and poetry of the First World War, which was recorded on CD with Altara Records by Simon Russell Beale, Andrew Kennedy and Julius Drake. A Music of Her Own: a look at Virginia Woolf's relationship to music, through her own words, for Fiona Shaw and Sarah Connolly (Wigmore Hall, 20 July, 2013). Her programmes have also been performed in King's Chapel, Cambridge, Machyntleth Festival, Lincoln Festival, Perth Festival, and Brighton International Festival.
She also appears regularly on Radio 3, in programmes such as the Literary Proms, Iain Burnsides’s Sunday Morning Show and Music Matters. She is grateful to have been awarded a Wingate Scholarship for her work on Gurney.
Suzy Klein was born in 1975 and grew up in Maida Vale in London. She went to South Hampstead High School and then to Oxford University, where she gained First Class Honours in Music.
Suzy began broadcasting while at Oxford, with a weekly live arts show on the radio station Oxygen FM. She also wrote and directed short films. She went on to take a postgraduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism at City University in London, winning the William Hardcastle Journalism Award and travelling to Canada to work as a presenter with CBC radio and TV.
Since then, Suzy has worked across a range of TV and radio programmes, as a director and producer. Production credits include Start the Week, Close Up, Loose Ends, Music Matters and Late Review, followed by several years spent writing and producing documentaries, drama-docs and live events for BBC Classical Music Television.
Suzy moved into presenting in 2005. Having spent ten years on the other side of the camera, she stood in at the last minute for someone who had dropped out of a screen-test audition. She was rewarded with a spot on the BBC4 Proms that summer.
Since then, she has anchored Proms coverage on both BBC2 and BBC4, as well as presenting music features and reviews for BBC2's Culture Show and The Review Show, winning acclaim as one of The Guardian's 25 up-and-coming cultural figures. She presents Sky Arts’ flagship performance programme, Greats at Eight and will be presenting the BBC’s coverage of this year’s Leeds Piano Competition. She has co-hosted the Young Musician of the Year Final live on BBC2 and presented operas for BBC Television.
Suzy was given her own weekly show – the only named show on Radio 3 – Suzy Klein’s Sunday Morning. She currently hosts their drivetime show In Tune. She has been one of their lead voices on Radio 3’s major celebrations, including the complete works of Mozart and Schubert. She is also a regular presenter of Radio 4's Saturday Live.
Suzy has done a broad range of voiceover work, from BBC1 primetime docs on Pink Floyd and The Carpenters to a three-part series on Brazil and an Arts TV series for BBC4. As well as a passion for music of all sorts, her interests include books, film and the visual arts. Since 2006, she has written for the New Statesman on everything from mobile ringtones to how a former Pogue has redefined contemporary music. She also writes features for BBC Music Magazine and The Guardian.
"What a Performance! Pioneers of Popular Entertainment”, a series that Suzy co-presented with Frank Skinner was broadcast in December 2015. Suzy is currently filming a series on 19th century music for BBC4, having already written and presented a series on !8th century music for BBC4.
Suzy has also co-authored a book with her sister, Jacky Klein, WHAT IS CONTEMPORARY ART?: A CHILDREN’S GUIDE, commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was published in October 2012 by Thames & Hudson.
Occupation: Author, Journalist, Presenter, Businessman
Martyn Lewis’s career is an unusual blend of the media, charitable and business worlds. During 32 years as a television journalist he anchored every mainstream national news programme on ITV & BBC (including News At Ten and the Six O'Clock News), and now works extensively in the voluntary sector.
He is currently serving a second term as Chairman of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), and is Chairman of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, President of United Response, Vice-President of Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) and Demelza Children’s Hospice. He is also Patron of The Patchwork Foundation, the Do-It Trust, the quarterly broadsheet “Positive News” and Dementia UK. He recently chaired an Inquiry into executive pay in the voluntary sector and its recommendations were welcomed by politicians of all main parties. A long-standing judge of the Lord Mayor of London’s Dragon Awards, he is now its permanent Deputy Chair.
He founded YouthNet, the award-winning charity which, since 1995, has been providing a comprehensive website (thesite.org) helping 16-25 year-olds, and which also created Do-It.org, the national volunteering database instantly linking people who want to volunteer with the right volunteering opportunity. He retired after 20 years as YouthNet’s Chairman in 2015, and remains an adviser to the charity.
He campaigns regularly for more coverage of the achievements of the voluntary sector in the national media, and, more generally, for "solutions-driven journalism". In 2014 he became a Director of IPSO (The Independent Press Standards Organisation which replaced the Press Complaints Commission). He is also a Director of the TS Elite Group and PL Education Ltd, pioneering new techniques for helping pupils to learn.
He continues to chair conferences and debates on a wide range of subjects – the most recent being an acclaimed one-hour interview with FW de Klerk and Sir John Major on world current events at the 10th anniversary dinner of the Global Leadership Foundation. In 2013 he returned to broadcasting to present a weekly interview programme called “Agenda” on “The Wireless”, a new radio station for the over-50s” created by the charity Age UK. In the 2010 and 2015 General Elections in the UK he presented a live closed-circuit interview programme for 1,000 guests at London’s Tate Gallery as the results came in.
He is the author of several books which have recently been republished on Kindle, including Reflections on Success – verbatim interviews with 67 famous people across a wide range of professions analysing their success.
He played himself in brief cameo roles in the TV series “The Vicar of Dibley” and “The Bill” and in the James Bond film “The World is Not Enough”. He appeared on archive footage in the films “The Queen”, “Argo”, “Senna” and “The James Bond Story”.
Martyn holds an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Ulster (1994) and is a Freeman of the City of London, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Member of the Garrick Club, the Pattenmakers Livery Company and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. He was awarded a CBE for “services to young people and the Hospice movement” in the Prime Minister’s Honours list of 1997 and a knighthood in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list.
Occupation: Broadcaster (BBC TV & Radio), Journalist
Dundee-born Eddie Mair has presented BBC Radio 4's nightly news and current affairs programme PM since 1998, garnering a slew of broadcasting awards. His interviews with newsmakers are often in the headlines. His weekly column in Radio Times takes a sideways look at radio and at life.
Eddie was launch presenter of Broadcasting House (BBC Radio 4), The Seven O'Clock News (BBC THREE) and of Time Commanders on BBC Two. Other credits include Eddie Mair Live (BBC Radio Scotland), Midday with Mair (BBC Radio Five Live) as well as occasional documentaries and presentation roles for BBC Four, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Two. He has presented Newsnight on BBC 2 and The Andrew Marr Show on BBC1.
Eddie and Robert Preston have recently presented a series of 6 interview programmes for Radio 4 The Robert Peston Interview Show (with Eddie Mair) with guests ranging from Dame Esher Rantzen to Julian Barnes to Denis Norden.
His main ambition is to have a more interesting CV.
The popular presenter of Flog It for 13 years lives in Wiltshire. Paul Martin regularly hosts the Flog It Valuation Days which take place around the UK throughout the year.
Paul Martin was discovered when he was interviewed about his passion for oak furniture by a team from BBC Bristol. This was the extent of his television experience! The team were so impressed by his natural confidence in front of the camera that he was signed up immediately to present the exciting BBC2 daytime antiques show.
Paul Martin owned an antique shop specialising in 17th & 18th century English and Welsh oak furniture until his television commitments meant that he could not give the business enough of his time. He’s a romantic man who cares deeply about life and people; a charismatic person endowed with youthful enthusiasm. He is obsessed with beautiful furniture and is most eloquent when talking about the look, the feel and the smell of wood.
Paul was educated at Falmouth Grammar School in Cornwall and studied art and woodwork at Falmouth College. He spent two years as a scenic painter on film sets at Pinewood Studios. From the age of 25 he ran a pitch on Portobello Road and participated in various shop-share schemes. Later Paul worked as an antiques props stylist for magazines like Marie Claire and New Woman, and designed antique sets for TV shoots for the Clothes Show and Granada TV. Paul enjoys drumming and in the early 90’s played in rock bands like `The Quire Boys’ and the ‘Dogs D’Amour’. He still loves to play in local jazz and blues bands. He enjoys still life drawing and walking his dog Bluebell but his passion is restoring antique country furniture.
Paul travels around the UK filming Flog It which means he is in and out of auction houses and meeting craftsmen day-in and day-out. He says “I have learned so much. Meeting people in the antiques trade or people who make their living by skills learned over tens of years is always a treat.”
He presented two series of the BBC1 prime-time series Britain’s Hidden Heritage, The Manor Reborn also for BBC1, and Paul Martin’s Handmade Revolution - a search for Britain’s brightest and best amateur designer-makers - for BBC2. A History of Wallpaper for BBC4 was broadcast in 2012 and most recently, Paul presented the ITV series I Never Knew That About Britain.
Sir Trevor McDonald OBE was born and educated in Trinidad in the West Indies where his career in the media began, first as a radio reporter, news presenter and sports journalist. On his first major assignment there, he was sent to London (1962) to report on talks at Malborough House which culminated in setting a date for Trinidad's Independence.
Sir Trevor came to London in August 1969 to work as a Producer in the BBC Overseas Regional Service at Bush House in the Aldwych. He went on to produce Current Affairs programmes for the BBC World Service and in that capacity worked on the initiation of a number of shows like The World Today which are still part of the BBC World Service schedule.
In 1973 he joined ITN as a General Reporter. His first major assignment was in Northern Ireland where he covered the Province's 'troubles' for more than a decade. He also reported from Dublin, Rome, Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg on negotiations about the terms of Britain's membership and earliest days of the then Common Market - now the EU.
Covering sport and politics Sir Trevor travelled to Argentina, Australia and the West Indies before becoming Diplomatic Correspondent and Presenter of Channel Four News in 1982. In that capacity he reported from every Continent, covering events and conducting interviews in Egypt, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, India, Pakistan, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, the Soviet Union and Hong Kong. During this time he also worked extensively in the United States reporting on the unfolding events at the United Nations during the Falklands War, from New York and from Washington, as well as covering a number of Presidential and Congressional Campaigns. Sir Trevor reported on Soviet Communist Party Conferences from the time of President Brezhnev and returned to Moscow and to Washington to report on East West Summit meetings, prominently among them... those between Reagan and Gorbachev. His coverage of the ' people power ' Philippine Elections in 1985 won a BAFTA Award for Channel Four News.
When not working abroad, Sir Trevor began his career as an ITN Presenter. He anchored every ITN News programme - from what used to be the News at One, the News at 5.40 and 6.30 to the flagship and award winning News At Ten. And not just from London, but from news locations around the world.
He became Diplomatic Editor in 1982 and in February 1990, after several visits to Southern Africa, went back to Johannesburg to report on Nelson Mandela's release and to do the first British Television interview with the ANC leader for ITN. In November of that same year, just before the start of the first Gulf War, he did the first and still the only British television interview with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
In the ensuing years at ITN, Sir Trevor conducted the most important television interviews of his time: with Libyan President Colonel Gaddafi, with the former PLO leader Yasser Arafat, with President Bill Clinton, and Secretary of State Colin Powell along with a number of American Presidential candidates and Congressional leaders.
Sir Trevor became the first sole Presenter of News At Ten in 1992 and anchored the Late Evening News until December 2005. By then he had received more awards than any other news broadcaster in Britain. His awards include the Richard Dimbleby Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television from BAFTA, the Royal Television Society Gold Medal for his Outstanding Contribution to Television News (1998), the National Television Award for Outstanding Commitment to Television (2003) presented to him on live television by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the Royal Television Society’s Judges’ Award (2005). He was named Newscaster of the year in 1993, 1997 and 1999 and has regularly topped the polls as the most authoritative and trustworthy news presenter. He has received Honorary Degrees from at least eight Universities.
From 1999 to December 2007 Sir Trevor presented ITV's bi weekly flagship Current Affairs programme, Tonight, during which time he interviewed President Bush on two occasions and political figures like Tony Blair, Secretary of State Rice, Hilary Clinton and other senior politicians.
In January 2008 Sir Trevor returned to ITV News, for one year, to co-present the re-launched News at Ten.
More recently he has presented a number of documentaries for ITV1; including Secret Caribbean, Secret Mediterranean, The Mighty Mississippi, Inside Death Row, Women Behind Bars, The Mafia with Trevor McDonald and most recently Las Vegas with Trevor McDonald.
Sir Trevor has done charitable work for the Prince's Trust, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Playing Fields Association, Sight Savers, the Royal National Institute for the Blind, the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Deaf (which became know later as Sound Seekers), Macmillan Cancer Research and the Leukaemia Trust. He serves as Patron, Chairman, President or Vice President in a number of other charitable organisations including National Children's Homes, the Shooting Star Children's Hospice, the Friends of Barnes Hospital and De Paul Trust. He has also helped to promote the work of St John Ambulance, and organisations dealing with awareness of the problems surrounding Sickle Cell, Autism and homelessness among young people.
He travelled to many parts of the country to speak in his capacity as Chairman of the Better English Campaign under the last Conservative Government, was co chair of a Nuffield Foundation Inquiry into the Teaching of Foreign Languages in British Schools for which he was honoured by the French and German Governments, has been involved in a number of campaigns to encourage young children to read more widely, and speaks regularly to schools and colleges. He has also held the position of Chancellor of London South Bank University.
Sir Trevor was awarded the OBE in 1992 and was awarded a Knighthood in 1999.
Occupation: Journalist, Author, Broadcasters
According to the Henry Hitchings in the TLS, "Jonathan Meades has been compared favourably to Rabelais and flatteringly to Swift. The truth is that he outstrips both in the gaudiness of his imagination."
He was born in Salisbury and educated there and in the west of England. He subsequently went to RADA. When he left, the Principal, Hugh Crutwell, told him: "You'll be a very successful character actor - when you're middle aged." Expecting to be out of work for a couple of decades he began writing. Many years later Crutwell said "I was right - all I didn't know was that the character would be called Jonathan Meades."
He is the author of several books including three works of fiction – FILTHY ENGLISH, POMPEY and THE FOWLER FAMILY BUSINESS - and two anthologies of journalism PETER KNOWS WHAT DICK LIKES and INCEST AND MORRIS DANCING. His next book, published by Unbound, is a collection of essays entitled MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS. He is currently working on a book entitled AN ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF MYSELF.
He has written and performed in some sixty television shows on predominantly topographical subjects such as self-built shacks, the utopian avoidance of right angles, the lure of vertigo, the deleterious effects of garden cities, the buildings occasioned by beer, Birmingham’s appeal, megastructures, Worcestershire, the everyday surrealism of Belgium: certain of these are available on The Jonathan Meades Collection DVD.
Magnetic North (2008) - a journey from Flanders to Helsinki - was described by Robert Hanks in the Independent as having ‘a sweep, an intellectual confidence and a sense of mischief you won’t find anywhere else on TV. Meades is an artist of television.’
The 2009 series Off Kilter was described by Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph as ‘a masterpiece’. He has been described by Will Buckley in The Observer as ‘by furlongs the most erudite broadcaster of the age’ and by Time Out as ‘a heavily sedated Sir Geoffrey Howe.’
Meades On France (BBC4, 2012) comprised three shows on: French nationalism; France's debt to the USA; the francophone imperium.
More recent documentaries include The Joy of Essex in 2013 and Bunkers, Brutalism and Bloodymindedness in 2014.
Clive James wrote in the Daily Telegraph that "It became evident that this would be a landmark series from the moment Meades began to speak...Quite the most attractively written commentary I have heard on television in years."
Tom Sutcliffe in the Independent described Meades as "One of the few really distinctive stylists we have left on television."
Leo Robson in the FT described it as "A remarkable piece of television." He also chose MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS as a book of the year in the New Statesman.
Paul Lay, editor of History Today, wrote in the Literary Review that " Meades's documentaries have for years been the best history programmes on television...a marriage of Borges, Betjeman and Bronowski."
MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS (Unbound 2012) is a collection of essays, scripts and squibs on urbanistic, topographical and architectural subjects. It was chosen as a book of the year by...
Nigel Jones in the Sunday Telegraph: "Meades is a national treasure - original, quirky, fearless and often quite right."
...And by Anthony Quinn in Metro "Sceptical, forthright, unbiddable and seriously droll." In the RIBA Journal Douglas Murphy described Meades as "One of the best writers on architecture this island has produced."
Jonathan Glancey in Architectural Review praised its "Highly charged rants underpinned by a dazzling display of wordplay."
Rowan Moore wrote in the Observer that "The idea is not just to describe actual places, but to invent, to create out of observed reality imagined realms that did not previously exist."
In the Guardian Andy Beckett wrote:"The sentences zigzag between the lordly and the thuggish, between high culture and low, between grand assertion and intricate description." He lives in Marseille.
An Encyclopaedia Of Myself (Fourth Estate, 2014)
Winner of Best Memoir in the Spear's Book Awards 2014 'Nothing wilfully invented. Memory invents unbidden.' The 1950s were not grey. In Jonathan Meades’s detailed, petit-point memoir they are luridly polychromatic. They were peopled by embittered grotesques, bogus majors, vicious spinsters, reckless bohos, pompous boors, suicides. Death went dogging everywhere. Salisbury, where he was brought up, had two industries: God and the Cold War, both of which provided a cast of adults for the child to scrutinise – desiccated God-botherers on the one hand, gung-ho chemical warriors on the other. The title is grossly inaccurate. This book is, rather, a portrait of a disappeared provincial England, a time and place unpeeled with gruesome relish. Buy it here. Read extracts here and here. What the reviewers say: 'I loved this book. Meades is a very great prose stylist, with a dandy's delight in the sound and feel of words, and we are lucky to have him.' Ian Thomson, Spectator 'Pathologically observant, his memoir is quite the most brilliant, bracing but hairshirtless social history of mid-20th century provincial England that I have yet and, likely, will ever read.' Caroline Jackson, Country Life 'The richness of the vocabulary is as pleasurable as his honesty is bald... what can appear as isolated jottings in the end come together in a pointillist canvas to form by far the best picture of the 1950s I have read.' George Walden, The Times
'A symphonic poem about post-war England and Englishness...a masterpiece.' Roger Lewis, Financial Times 'Sulphurously opinionated... a dazzling confection of grown-up sophistication and schoolboy intensity of feeling.' Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph
'Meades has an endless curiosity about people and what becomes of them; his writing gives the everyday world of 1950s Britain a full colour, respiring immediacy... It's a true literary achievement.' Simon Heffer, Literary Review.
SUBSCRIBE NOW : Unbound.co.uk/books/the-plagiarist-in-the-kitchen
Franny Moyle has a degree in English and History of Art from St John’s College, Cambridge.
She is a key figure in cultural television programming. She left a very senior role at the BBC a year ago to pursue her own publishing and television projects, and is currently a freelance executive producer, handling some of the BBC’s and other terrestrial channels’ major cultural series. Her first book, DESPERATE ROMANTICS: THE PRIVATE LIVES OF THE PRE-RAPHAELITES was published by John Murray in January 2009.
From June 2000 until April 2005, Franny Moyle influenced arts programming, first as the Creative Director of the BBC’s main arts production department, London Arts, and since 2002 as the corporation’s first Commissioner of Arts and Culture for BBC TV across its four main channels – a role which includes responsibility for £55 million worth of programming over well over 600 hours of airtime annually.
In the last half of the 1990’s, Franny Moyle’s name was more widely associated with leisure programming. She was the editor who transformed the success of Home Front by converting the half-hour magazine show to a formidably successful hour-long strand. Following this, she became the BBC’s Executive Editor for Leisure Programmes, responsible not only for titles generated by London but also BBC Birmingham.
She is a Director of the Hackney Empire, a venue close to her home in East London. She is married to the film writer and director Richard Curson, and has three children.
Occupation: Author, Broadcaster, Journalist
Jeremy Paxman is an award-winning journalist, author and television presenter. Beginning his career covering The Troubles in Northern Ireland for three years, he then spent 8 years reporting from around the world for the BBC, before becoming anchorman of the BBC’s nightly news analysis programme, Newsnight in 1989, a post he held for 25 years. He has been chairman of University Challenge since 1994. He is the author of numerous documentaries and documentary series – on the history of the British Empire, on the poet Wilfred Owen, on Victorian art, on Churchill’s funeral and on the effect of the First World War on Great Britain.
In March 2015, he interviewed David Cameron and Ed Miliband in the run-up to the General Election which he anchored for Channel 4.
His 2014 one-man show PAXO at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was a critically acclaimed sell-out.
Jeremy Paxman was born in Yorkshire in 1950, educated at Malvern College in Worcestershire and received his degree (in English) from St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He is an honorary fellow there, and a Fellow by Special Election at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He holds honorary doctorates from Leeds, Bradford and the Open University.
He is the author of ten books, including The English - Portrait of a People; The Political Animal; On Royalty; The Victorians; Empire - What Ruling the World Did to the British. Great Britain’s Great War was published in October 2013.
He is a contributing editor at the Financial Times.
His charitable interests include homelessness, mental health and education.
In his spare time, he goes fly-fishing and is the editor of Fish, Fishing and the Meaning of Life.
Occupation: Author, Broadcaster, Writer
Tim Rice's first new show for ten years, From Here To Eternity, with music by newcomer Stuart Brayson, co-produced with Lee Menzies, directed by Tamara Harvey, and with book by Bill Oakes, opens in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre in October 2013.
Tim Rice was born in 1944. He began songwriting in 1965 in which year the first song he wrote, ‘That’s My Story’ (tune as well as words) was recorded by a rock group called The Nightshift whose career never recovered.
That same year he met fellow budding songwriter Andrew Lloyd Webber whose musical ambitions were in theatre rather than rock or pop. They teamed up and wrote four musicals together from 1965 to 1978. The first, The Likes of Us (1965-66), was performed for the first time in 2005 and became available on CD a mere 40 years after its creation. The other three, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1969-71) and Evita (1976-78) were more immediate successes.
Feeling certain that they could never top this lot, the pair went their separate ways in the early eighties, whereupon ALW immediately topped that lot with Cats. TR then wrote Blondel (1983), a mediaeval romp, with Stephen Oliver, which ran for a year in London. This was followed in 1986 by Chess, in collaboration with ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. Chess had a healthy run in the West End but flopped on Broadway in 1988, the New York Times bloke (since replaced) being particularly forceful in his disapproval. There have been countless productions worldwide since then, with wide variations in quality and indeed storyline. A notable recent production was in concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2008 starring Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal and Marti Pellow. In 1989 Tim translated the famous French musical Starmania (by Michel Berger and Luc Plamondon) into English, which merely resulted in a hit album – in France.
In the 1990s he worked primarily and happily with the Disney empire, contributing lyrics to the movies Aladdin (music Alan Menken) and The Lion King (music Elton John and Hans Zimmer) and to the stage shows Beauty and the Beast and King David (both Alan Menken), The Lion King and Aida (both Sir Elton). Between Disney commitments he wrote the words for Sir Cliff Richard’s theatrical blockbuster Heathcliff (music John Farrar), which toured the UK in 1995-96. For Dreamworks, he and Sir Elton joined forces yet again to write the score for the 2000 animated film The Road to El Dorado.
In early 2011 Tim contributed four new lyrics to music by his old partner Andrew Lloyd Webber for Andrew's new production of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. The show ran there for over year and then moved on to Toronto.
He has won a variety of awards, mainly for the wrong things, or for simply turning up. These include a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, three Oscars, four Tonys, five or six Grammys and 13 Ivor Novellos.
Tim broadcasts regularly for the BBC and independent radio and television networks, most recently BBC Radio 2's TIM RICE'S AMERICAN PIE, a series exploring the music and musicians of each American state
He is a former president of the Marylebone Cricket Club and was chairman of the UK charitable Foundation for Sport and the Arts for the entire 21 years of its existence (1991-2012). Tim lives in London, Cornwall and on the motorway between the two, has three children, his own cricket team and a knighthood. The first volume of his autobiography, Oh What a Circus, was published in September 1999. If his publishers ask, he is currently working on part 2, due out five years ago.
For further info (as if the above wasn’t enough) please go to www.timrice.co.uk
Gerry began his career in 1965 in the cost office of Lesney Products, (Matchbox Toys) after leaving St Mary’s Seminary at Castlehead. During his time at Lesney he progressed through various accounting roles to become Chief Management Accountant in 1974. He also, during that time, qualified as an ACMA.
In 1974 he moved to Lex Service Group as the Management Accountant for Lex's Volvo network. By 1980 he had become Financial Controller and Finance Director of Lex Industrial Distribution and Hire. He left Lex in 1980 to become Finance Director of Grand Metropolitan's UK Coca Cola business. A year later he became its Sales & Marketing Director and then its Managing Director.
In 1983 he was appointed Managing Director of Grand Metropolitan's troubled International Services business and went on to become Chief Executive of the whole Contract Services division which in that year had lost some £10.5m. In 1987 he led the UK's then largest management buy-out with the £163m purchase of the Division, subsequently renamed the Compass Group. The Compass Group was later floated on the London market.
He joined Granada in October 1991 as Chief Executive and was Chairman from 1996 until 2001. He has also been Chairman of BSkyB PLC, ITN, Arts Council England and Allied Domecq PLC. Gerry is currently Chairman of Moto Hospitality Ltd.
His first television series was for the BBC, I’ll Show Them Who’s Boss; he wrote a book of the same title on business leadership. He has more recently presented a series for BBC2 titled Can Gerry Robinson Fix the NHS?; he returned a year later for a sequel: Can Gerry Robinson Fix the NHS? One Year On. In 2009, he presented Gerry’s Big Decision for Channel 4 and in 2010 for BBC 2 Can’t Take It With You, a series helping people write their wills.
Gerry was awarded a Knighthood in the 2003 New Year’s Honours for Services to the Arts and Business.
Stuart Rose has spent all his career in retail joining Marks & Spencer plc in 1971. He left to join the Burton Group in 1989, becoming a director in 1993. Following the Group’s demerger in 1997 he became Chief Executive of Argos plc during the bid by GUS. In 1998 he became Chief Executive of Booker plc which was merged with the Iceland Group in 2000. He then became Chief Executive of Arcadia Group plc in November 2000 and left in December 2002 following its sale to Sir Philip Green. He was named Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer plc in May 2004 and became Chairman in 2008, standing down in January 2011. He was Chairman of The British Fashion Council from 2004 – 2008, Chairman of Business in the Community from 2008 – 2010 and a Non-Executive Director of Land Securities from 2003-2013. He is Chairman of Ocado, Fat Face, Oasis Healthcare Group and a Non-Executive Director of Woolworths (South Africa). He is also Chairman of The Healing Foundation, a medical charity.
Stuart was knighted in 2008 for services to the retail industry and corporate social responsibility and made a life peer, Baron Rose of Monewden in September 2014.
Occupation: Author, Broadcaster, Journalist
John Sergeant is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster, as well as a much talked-about contestant on STRICTLY COME DANCING, a regular contributor to the BBC's ONE SHOW, the first host of the comedy panel game ARGUMENTAL on the Dave Channel, and presenter of the ITV series JOHN SERGEANT'S TOURIST TRAIL and the BBC’s series on the history of the Indian Railways TRACKS OF EMPIRE. John was the voice of ITV’s popular GRIMEFIGHTER series, presented a mock documentary for BBC2 JOHN SERGEANT MEETS RAB C NESBITT, and an ITV documentary on Father Christmas, THE SANTA FILES. In 2011 John presented a programme in which he flew a Spitfire, BRITAIN'S FLYING PAST, and also a documentary on the only Vulcan bomber still airborne in the BBC's BRITAIN’S HIDDEN HERITAGE.
In 2012, John presented the BBC2 series BRITAIN'S FIRST PHOTO ALBUM, based on the photographs of Francis Frith, the great Victorian photographer. More recent documentaries, for ITV, include SERGEANT ON SPIKE, a celebrating the genius of Spike Milligan, and a profile of the new royal borough of Greenwich ROYAL GREENWICH. He also presented 3 documentaries for BBC2’s BRITAIN’S FLYING PAST about the Spitfire, the Sea King helicopter and the Lancaster Bomber. He narrated ITV's BOMBER BOYS documentary about the WW2 bombing campaign and was invited to read a poem at the ceremony to unveil the Bomber Command memorial in London. John was also one of the few BBC commentators on the Jubilee River Pageant not to be criticised.
In 2014, he presented BARGING THROUGH BRITAIN for ITV, a series about Britain's canals. He is currently filming the second series.
John appeared in a three-part series based on a sailing trip along the Scottish sea lochs. He took part in the TV version of JUST A MINUTE and was the host for the return of a new series of YES PRIME MINISTER.
A guest on a wide range of radio and TV programmes, including HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU, ROOM 101, QI, QUESTION TIME, and ANY QUESTIONS, John is also a frequent after dinner speaker and host of awards ceremonies. He spent six years touring his one-man show "An Evening with John Sergeant".
John has written two books which made it to the best seller lists: his memoirs, GIVE ME TEN SECONDS and an account of the last part of Baroness Thatcher’s career, “MAGGIE: HER FATAL LEGACY.
John’s first BBC television appearance was in 1966 a few months after graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford where he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He took part in Alan Bennett’s comedy series, ON THE MARGIN which won a Royal Television Society award for Comedy of the Year. John then became a journalist, training on the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo before joining the BBC staff in 1970. He reported from 25 countries and he covered a number of conflicts, including the Vietnam War and the troubles in Northern Ireland, before settling down at Westminster. He was chief political correspondent of the BBC for 12 years. His most famous broadcast was with Margaret Thatcher outside the British Embassy in Paris in 1990 when she heard the devastating result of the leadership contest with Michael Heseltine which would lead to her resignation as prime minister two days later. After thirty years with the corporation, he moved to ITV where he was political editor of ITN from 2000 to 2003. Since then he has worked as a freelance, taking on a variety of roles, including becoming president of the Johnson Society of Lichfield.
John has been married for over 40 years and lives with his wife, Mary, in Ealing. They have two grown up sons, both of whom work in television.
Occupation: Journalist, Presenter (ITV News)
Alastair Stewart presents a range of news and current affairs programmes on the ITV network including “THE ITV EVENING NEWS” , "THE ITV LUNCHTIME NEWS" and "NEWS AT TEN". In April 2010, he moderated the first ever live TV debate between the Party Leaders, ahead of the General Election.
His career started in 1976 with ITV's Southern Television, in Southampton. He was a reporter, industrial correspondent, presenter and documentary maker. He recorded one of the last interviews with Lord Mountbatten, and even spent six weeks in Ford Open prison to make a half hour documentary.
Alastair joined ITN as an industrial Correspondent in 1980 and had his first taste of newscasting one year later.
He originally joined New at Ten in May 1989 from ITN’s News at 5.40, which he presented from September 1986. Before that, he spent three years as a presenter and reporter with ITN’s CHANNEL FOUR NEWS. He also presented ITN’s “THE PARLIAMENT PROGRAMME” for Channel Four. He is one of the very few people who has, at one time or another, presented all of ITN’s main news programmes.
In 1990 he was appointed ITN's Washington Correspondent, an assignment abruptly interrupted by the first Gulf War. He was sent to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, to anchor ITN’s coverage. He presented News at Ten, live from Saudi Arabia, for two months. At the end of February 1991, Alastair was the first British television reporter to broadcast, live, from the liberated Kuwait City. He presented News at Ten from Kuwait for a week before returning to the UK.
Alastair subsequently presented Scottish TV’s special coverage of the gulf War Service of Thanksgiving, attended by HM the Queen, for the ITV network.
Away from 1TN, in 1994, he presented ALASTAIR STEWART’S SUNDAY for BBC Radio 5 before moving to host ALASTAIR STEWART’S SUNDAY PROGRAMME for GMTV which he presented until July 2001. From 1993 until 2009, he presented ITV London's “LONDON TONIGHT”.
He returned to ITV News as an anchor on the ITV NEWS CHANNEL for the 2003 Iraq War, the channel’s Local Government Elections coverage and a special programme on the European Single Currency. He went on to present his own news and interview strand "LIVE WITH ALASTAIR" for which he won the Royal Television Society's Presenter of the Year Award in 2005.
ITN’s network coverage of the 1992 Budget saw the ninth year of Alastair’s involvement in the presentation of this special programme for ITV. It was his fifth year anchoring the programme having taken the role from Sir Alastair Burnet. Since his return to ITV News, he has been a regular presenter of Budget programmes.
Alastair anchored the 2010 General Election for ITV having co-anchored the 1987 General Election with Sir Alastair Burnet, the 1992 General Election with Jon Snow; and the 1997 and 2005 General Elections with Jonathon Dimbleby.
He has presented many of ITN’s other special programmes on the ITV network including the State Openings of Parliament, numerous by-elections, State Visits and for the Royal Weddings of the Prince and Princess of Wales and Duke and Duchess of York. Alastair provided live coverage of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster as the details of the tragedy unfolded. A two minute news-flash became an unscripted, one hour special programme.
He also anchored, with Sandy Gall, ITN’s award winning coverage on the night of the bombing of the PanAm jet over Lockerbie; he also presented ITV’s network coverage of the Memorial Service for the victims. He anchored the ITV Network coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II and of the resignation of Tony Blair. In July 2006, at the out-break of the Israeli-Lebanon conflict, he presented all three ITV News network bulletins, for five days, from Beirut.
He jointly presented “CITIES AT WAR” and LEGACY OF WAR” with the late Walter Cronkite for ITV and America’s Public Service Broadcasting network.
Alastair Stewart studied economics, politics and sociology at Bristol University and was Deputy President of the National Union of Students, 1974-76.
In the charity world and voluntary sector, Alastair is Vice President of both ACTION FOR CHILDREN and HOMESTART. He is also a Patron of the LORD MAYOR TRELOAR COLLEGE for disabled students; the disablism charity SCOPE; the mental health charity SANE; the medical research charity, HOPE; the CRIMESTOPPERS TRUST; KIDS4KIDS; the brain tumour SAMANTHA DICKSON RESEARCH TRUST; JUST A DROP; the LOOMBA TRUST; and MOMO HELPS, Mo Mowlam's charitable trust; he is a vice Patron of THE ZITO TRUST and THE MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION and an Ambassador for INVESTORS IN PEOPLE, CRISIS – the homeless charity - and CARE INTERNATIONAL.
Alastair is a Governor of Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication. He is a former Trustee of the Royal Air Force Museum. In 1998, he was the subject of “THIS IS YOUR LIFE”. In 2002, he won “THE FACE OF LONDON” award from THE ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY and, in 2005, was the THE ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY’S “PRESENTER OF THE YEAR”.
In 2006, he was awarded the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his work in broadcasting and for charity. In 2008, he was made an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the University of Bristol. In 2010, he was made an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the University of Plymouth.
Occupation: Documentary Film Maker, Author, Presenter
Louis Theroux's documentaries follow his attempts to get to know the people at the heart of some of the world's - and especially America's - most controversial and fascinating lifestyles.
In a career spanning nearly two decades he has interrogated the engrained criminals at San Quentin prison; lived with the extreme believers of the Westboro Baptist Church; gambled with the high-rollers at a Las Vegas mega-casino, and stalked game with trophy hunters on South Africa's wild animal farms.
Louis started out as a correspondent on Michael Moore's TV Nation before being signed up by the BBC to make his own series, Weird Weekends, about unusual American subcultures. In 2000 he began a series of specials about intriguing British public figures, including one featuring disc jockey Sir Jimmy Savile and another which saw him live with the disgraced Tory minister Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine as they were falsely accused of rape and subjected to a media siege.
In 2011, he spent more than a month in Miami for a two-part series about the inmates at one of America's most violent jails.
In 2012, Louis revisited his 1997 documentary about the world of male performers in Twilight of the Porn Stars. He also visited one of the best schools in America for autism in Extreme Love: Autism and travelled to Phoenix, Arizona, the US capital of dementia care Extreme Love: Dementia.
In March 2015, the BBC broadcast Louis' LA Stories where he immersed himself in the world of Ohio's State Psychiatric Hospitals in a two-part documentary; in the third, he travelled to a hospital in San Francisco to meet transgender children.
Louis’ feature-length documentary “My Scientology Movie” will get a theatrical release in 2016, having been show at the 2015 London Film Festival to great acclaim.
Louis’s programmes have won numerous accolades including two Baftas and an RTS award and are shown all over the world. He also writes for print publications. In 2005 he published a travel book about a few of his adventures, THE CALL OF THE WEIRD. He lives in West London with his wife and two children.
Robert Thirkell is the TV troubleshooter with a proven track record in making hit TV documentaries and formats.
Robert has a long and distinguished track record spanning 20 years of top entertaining series. The first series he produced and directed, Troubleshooter, won the BAFTA for originality. He went on to win the first two BAFTAs in the new formatted features category for the series Back to the Floor and Blood on the Carpet which created the modern formatted revolution. He created a host of other successful series for the BBC all of which followed strongly developed characters, under pressure, leading to transformation, with a strong narrative storyline.
Since leaving the BBC he has specialised in formatting series at their inception, for broadcasters and production companies, guaranteeing their quality and helping series get on air as troubleshooter, consultant, and series editor.
Transmissions he has helped: for Channel 4 range from Jamie's School Dinners (BAFTA winner), and The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off (International Emmy winner) to When Big Chef met Little Chef and The World's Maddest Job Interview; for the BBC from Human Planet (BAFTA craft winner) to the original formats The Day the Immigrants Left, The Town that Cut Everything and The Town that Never Retired; for Channel 5 The Hotel Inspector. He has also helped broadcasters around the world from DR and SVT to Discovery and ABC.
Dr Sam Willis is an historian, archaeologist and broadcaster.
Sam is the author of numerous books on maritime and naval history including the bestselling ‘Hearts of Oak’ Trilogy and the ‘Fighting Ships’ Series. He is currently working on a major new study of the American Revolution to be published in 2015 by Atlantic Books in the UK and Norton in the US.
Sam has also published a number of articles on a wide variety of subjects in maritime history. He has written for The Sunday Times, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, BBC History Magazine, War in History, The Journal of Military History, The Journal of Maritime Archaeology, The International History Review, The Journal for Maritime Research and The Mariner’s Mirror.
TV, Radio and Historic Seafaring
Sam is an experienced square-rig sailor and seaman. He has worked on the Hornblower TV series and on Channel 4’s award winning film Shackleton. The Shackleton project involved building a replica of Shackleton’s ship the 'Endurance' and sailing her into an arctic ice pack.
In 2012 Sam was part of a team that portaged a replica eighteenth-century batteau from Lake Champlain to Lake George, the first time that this has been done for two hundred years.
In the summer of 2013 Sam was part of a team recreating the 1869 John Wesley Powell expedition - the first time that anyone rowed the length of the Grand Canyon, broadcast in 2014 on BBC2 as 'Operation Grand Canyon'.
In 2012 Sam presented a one-hour film for BBC4 about a mass sailors' graveyard on a beach in Antigua: 'Nelson's Caribbean Hell-Hole'. In 2013 he presented a 3-part series for BBC4 'Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History' and in 2014 another 3-part series for BBC4: 'Castles Britain's Fortified History'. BBC4 recently broadcast his most recent series “Outlaws; he is currently filming a series for BBC4 about the Silk Road.
Sam is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 4's 'Making History.'
Sam has worked as a historical consultant for Christie's, the BBC, Channel 4, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and National Public Radio [Boston Sam is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Plymouth.