Michael Morpurgo began writing stories in the early ’70’s, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent. One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003. He has written over 130 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, Shadow, and War Horse, which was adapted for a hugely successful stage production by the National Theatre and then, in 2011, for a film directed by Steven Spielberg. His book, Private Peaceful has been adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and has now been made into a film, directed by Pat O’Connor. Michael was awarded the OBE for his writing in 2006.
Anthony Horowitz is one of the most prolific and successful writers working in the UK – and is unique for working across so many media. Anthony is a born polymath; juggling writing books, TV series, films, plays and journalism and was awarded an OBE for his services to literature in January 2014.
Anthony has written over 40 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, which is estimated to have sold 19 million copies worldwide. He is also an acclaimed writer for adults, and worked with the Conan Doyle Estate to write two new Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk (2011) and Moriarty (2014).
His stand-alone novel, Magpie Murders (2016), won critical acclaim and was followed by The Word is Murder (2017), the first in a series of detective novels. Anthony is also responsible for creating and writing some of the UK’s most beloved and successful television series, such as Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War.
In 2015, Ian Fleming Publications and The Ian Fleming Estate asked him to write a continuation James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis. His second Bond novel, Forever and a Day is published in May 2018.
Dolly Alderton is a journalist, writer, director and former dating columnist for The Sunday Times. Dolly’s debut novel, Everything I Know About Love, reached the Sunday Times top 5 bestseller list and received critical acclaim.
She writes features on love, dating, sex, friendship, women’s issues, social trends, fashion, food and travel for a range of magazines and newspapers such as Grazia, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Red, GQ, The Sunday Times and the Telegraph.
Award-winning journalist, author, President and co founder of the Women’s Equality Party.
At present Catherine is co-creating a one off Live event inspired by her most recent publication, Attack of the Fifty Foot Women: How Gender Equality Can Save the World! (2017), alongside renowned artist and Turner prize winner Grayson Perry.
2018 will see Catherine take her own one woman show across the UK. More details to follow.
Gyles Brandreth is a writer, broadcaster, former MP and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, now Chancellor of the University of Chester and one of Britain’s most sought-after award ceremony hosts and after-dinner speakers. A veteran of QI and Have I Got News For You, a reporter on The One Show and a regular on Just a Minute, his many books include The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries and the No 1 best-seller: The 7 Secrets of Happiness.
Misha Glenny is an author and journalist. He is an executive producer of the BBC One eight-part drama series, McMafia, inspired by his non-fiction book of the same name.
Gordon Brown served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010, Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007 and as a Member of Parliament in his home county of Fife, Scotland, from 1983 to 2015. He is the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and is a passionate advocate for the rights of children. Mr Brown has also been appointed Chair of the new Global Commission on Financing Global Education and serves as New York University’s inaugural Distinguished Global Leader in Residence.
Dame Patricia Routledge is an English actress and singer, best known for her role as Hyacinth Bucket in the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, for which she was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Light Entertainment Performance in 1992 and 1993. Her film appearances include To Sir, with Love and Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River. She won the 1968 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Darling of the Day, and the 1988 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Candide. On television, she came to prominence during the 1980s in monologues written by Alan Bennett and Victoria Wood; appearing in Bennett’s A Woman of No Importance, as Kitty in Victoria Wood as Seen on TV, and being nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for Bennett’s Talking Heads: A Lady of Letters .
In 2007, Stacey Dooley was a twenty-something working in fashion retail. She took part in the BBC series Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts which saw her live and work alongside Indian factory workers making clothes for the UK High Street. This sparked her series of hugely popular investigations, establishing her as one of BBC3’s most celebrated presenters.
Through the course of her documentary making, Stacey has covered a wide-range of topics, from sex trafficking in Cambodia, to Yazidi women fighting back in Syria. At the core of her reporting are incredible women in extraordinary and scarily ordinary circumstances – from sex workers in Russia, to victims of domestic violence in Honduras.
Acclaimed plantswoman, bestselling author and one of our most familiar gardening experts in the media today, Carol Klein is most famous for her role as regular presenter of BBC Gardeners’ World, having featured on (almost) every programme since 2005. Her natural, down-to-earth approach has made her a popular and trusted figure amongst the British public.
She will be touring in 2018 with her show, Life in a Cottage Garden, which is based on her own beautiful garden at Glebe Cottage in Devon.