Related to: 'Mum and Can You Lend Me Twenty Quid?'

Brian Clegg

BRIAN CLEGG is a prize-winning science writer with a physics degree from Cambridge and a masters in the mathematical discipline operational research. He has written over 20 science books and articles for newspapers and magazines from The Observer and Wall Street Journal to BBC Focus and Playboy. He lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and two children.

Charlie Mortimer

Charlie Mortimer was born in 1952 and educated at Wellesley House, Broadstairs and (reluctantly) Eton. He has been, among other things, an officer in the Coldstream Guards, a vintage car restorer, an estate agent, a roughneck on an oil rig, a pop group manager, a mechanic in Africa, a manufacturer of boxer shorts and an antiques dealer. He currently describes himself as a 'middle aged, middle class spiv (mostly retired)'.

Cindy De La Hoz

Cindy De La Hoz is the author of several books on film and fashion- among them, Audrey and Givenchy, Lucy at the Movies, and Lana: The Memories, the Myths, the Movies, which Leonard Maltin called "one of the best books about a star I've ever read." She has also edited numerous books on film history and women's lifestyle subjects. Cindy lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Daphne Du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.

David Sedaris

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America's pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and his most recent book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, each of which became an immediate bestseller. The audio version of Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls was a Grammy nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Wicked Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). He was also the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris's pieces appear regularly in the New Yorker and have twice been included in 'The Best American Essays'. There are a total of ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into twenty-nine languages.

David Thomson

David Thomson is London-born but has lived and worked in California for over twenty years. He writes and reviews films regularly for major press publications.

Deborah Rodriguez

Deborah Rodriguez spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. She also owned the Cabul Coffee House, and is now a hairdresser and a motivational speaker. Deborah currently lives in Mexico where she owns the Tippy Toes Salon. To learn more about her visit www.debbierodriguez.com

Elaine Dundy

Elaine Dundy was born in New York. As an actress she worked in Paris and London and then became a writer. She has written plays, biographies and novels including the bestselling THE DUD AVOCADO, her first novel.

Elena Lappin

Elena Lappin is a writer and editor. Born in Moscow, she grew up in Prague and Hamburg, and has lived in Israel, Canada, the United States and - longer than anywhere else - in London. She is the author of Foreign Brides and The Nose, and has contributed to numerous publications, including Granta, Prospect, the Guardian and the New York Times Book Review.

Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander composed and recited "Praise Song for the Day" for President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. She is the author of six books of poetry--including American Sublime, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize--and is the first winner of the Jackson Prize for Poetry and a National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellow. She is the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of African American Studies at Yale University.

Eric Hobsbawm

Eric Hobsbawm was a Fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Before retirement he taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, and after retirement at the New School for Social Research in New York. Previous books include AGE OF EXTREMES, THE AGE OF REVOLUTION and THE AGE OF EMPIRE. He died 1st October 2012

John Holt

John Holt (1927-1985), one of this country's leading educational and social critics, was the author of ten influential books which have been translated into fourteen languages. Known both as a passionate reformer and as "the gentle voice of reason" (LIFE magazine), John Holt offers insights into the nature of learning that are more relevant today than ever before.Deborah Meier (foreword), is a renowned educator, MacArthur Fellow, and the founder of the small schools movement. She is on the faculty of the Steinhardt school of education at New York University

Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith was educated in Wales and at St John's College, Cambridge. KBO: The Churchill Secret, his seventh novel, is being adapted into a major ITV drama. An earlier novel, Summer in February, was made into a feature film, starring Dan Stevens and Dominic Cooper.

Laura Jackson

Laura Jackson is a highly regarded biographer. She has published biographies of many rock and film stars including: Steven Tyler, Queen, Kiefer Sutherland, Brian May and Jon Bon Jovi. Laura lives in Scotland.

Linda Grant

Linda Grant is a novelist and journalist. She won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000 and the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage in 2006, and was longlisted for the Man Booker in 2002 for Still Here. The Clothes on Their Backs was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2008 and went on to win the South Bank Show Award.

Lisa Appignanesi

Lisa Appignanesi was born in Poland and grew up in France and Canada. A novelist and writer, she is visiting professor of Literature and the Medical Humanities at King's College London. She was chair of the Freud Museum from 2008-2014 and is a former president of English PEN. She was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in 2013. Her published work includes Mad, Bad and Sad, All About Love and Losing the Dead. @LisaAppignanesi

Mary S. Lovell

Mary Lovell lists her chief interests as horses, sailing, aviation and book collecting. She enjoys overseas travel and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She is the author of four previous biographies including the international bestseller STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING: The Biography of Beryl Markham.

Maya Angelou

Dr Maya Angelou was one of the world's most important writers and activists. Born 4 April 1928, she lived and chronicled an extraordinary life: rising from poverty, violence and racism, she became a renowned author, poet, playwright, civil rights' activist - working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King - and memoirist. She wrote and performed a poem, 'On the Pulse of Morning', for President Clinton on his inauguration; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and was honoured by more than seventy universities throughout the world.She first thrilled the world with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). This was followed by six volumes of autobiography, the seventh and final volume, Mom & Me & Mom, published in 2013. She wrote three collections of essays; many volumes of poetry, including His Day is Done, a tribute to Nelson Mandela; and two cookbooks. She had a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University of North Carolina. Dr Angelou died on 28 May 2014.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela became the democratically elected, first black president of the republic of South Africa on 27 April 1994. He died on 5 December 2013.

Nina Bawden

Nina Bawden (1925-2012) was one of Britain's best-loved writers for both adults and children. Several of her children's books - Carrie's War, a Phoenix Award winner;The Peppermint Pig, which won the Guardian Fiction Award; and Keeping Henry - have become contemporary classics. She wrote over forty novels, slightly more than half of which are for adults, and she was shortlisted for the 1987 Man Booker Prize for Circles of Deceit. She received the prestigious S T Dupont Golden Pen Award for a lifetime's contribution to literature in 2004, and in 2010 The Birds on the Trees was shortlisted for the Lost Booker of 1970.