Greg Jenner, author, BBC podcaster, and public historian – you may well recognise his name from Horrible Histories on TV and his podcast You’re Dead to Me. Greg has made it his mission to provide answers to things you always wondered about, but didn't know who to ask. In his new book, Ask a Historian, Greg whisks us off on an entertaining tour through the ages, revealing the best and most surprising stories, facts, and historical characters from the past.
CRIME AND HISTORY
On Friday 21st May 2021, Lucinda talked to the American author Hallie Rubenhold, who moved to London when studying for her Masters degree and, after falling in love with a Brit, she decided to stay. She discovered a talent for choosing fascinating and little known stories, bringing them to prominence through excellent research, including Lady Worsley’s Whim,The Covent Garden Ladies and The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, which won her the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. Her books have inspired the TV series The Scandalous Lady W and Harlots.
BEST SELLING NOVELIST - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
Vikas Swarup is an Indian diplomat who has walked the Hollywood red carpet to share an Oscar for his ground-breaking novel Slum Dog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle. While representing the Indian government in London, Delhi, Ottawa, Jakarta, Osaka and other places, Vikas has been locking himself away to create really original fiction.
Dr Parag Khanna
THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD
Dr Parag Khanna
Dr. Parag Khanna is the best-selling author of a book that explains where our world is heading and why. He has been named by Esquire magazine as one of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century. Parag talked to Humphrey about his latest book Move: The Forces Uprooting Us. It’s a thought-provoking eye-opener that cuts through the clutter and shows what lies ahead for our children and grandchildren. He tells us that as climate change tips toward full-blown crisis, economies will collapse, governments destabilize, and technology will disrupt. We are entering a new age of mass migration - one that will scatter both the dispossessed and the well-off. Which areas will people abandon and where will they resettle? Which countries will accept or reject them? As today’s world population, which includes four billion restless youths, votes with their feet, what map of human geography will emerge? Parag is a quintessential man of the world.
BEST SELLING NOVELIST - ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE
Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career in journalism, where he worked as a Features Editor and as an agony uncle. He has written for a variety of publications ranging from The Sunday Times and the Guardian to Cosmopolitan magazine. Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 with his Sunday Times’ top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend, which was hailed by the Independent as “full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations”, and by The Times as “a funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic”.
We met best-selling crime novelist, Elly Griffiths. She revealed how she started out her own episodes of Starsky & Hutch at school and talked about her range of novels - including the Ruth Galloway series; the Brighton Mysteries and the Postscript Murders. She shared how she loves her research and how all the Ruth Galloway books feature a particular archaeological discovery.
BEST SELLING NOVELIST - AMENABLE WOMEN AND SLEEPING BEAUTY
Mavis Cheek, the author of 16 critically acclaimed novels, was described by the Observer as “the spokeswoman for a generation”. She writes wittily and brilliantly about what it’s like to be a woman living and ageing amongst arbitrary and ever-changing social rules. In the 1960s, Mavis left school at the age of 16 and started working with an art publisher named Electo Editions, who also set up a very trendy gallery. This drew Mavis into a world of such glittering artistic names as Bridget Riley, David Hockney, Patrick Caulfield and Gillian Ayres. Twelve years later, Mavis went to college, after which she embarked on what has been a very successful writing career
From murder mysteries in the windswept landscapes of Iceland, to tales of chilling greed in the world of banking, to knife-edge dramas involving incidents that brought the world to the very brink of nuclear catastrophe, Michael Ridpath is among Britain’s most versatile best-selling novelists. His first, Free to Trade, published in 1995, was a financial thriller drawing on his experience working in bond trading and private equity. “I had come across some pretty dodgy characters,” he says. “There were good guys, there were bad guys, and there were plenty of shades of grey in the middle; the shades of grey interested me.” Free to Trade became an immediate bestseller and, from there, Michael wrote seven more thrillers set in the worlds of business and finance.
Sir Vince Cable
Sir Vince Cable
Sir Vince Cable is the politician people trust, former leader of the Liberal Democrats and cabinet minister, nimble with footwork as a star of Strictly Come Dancing and a highly acclaimed author. Humphrey and Sir Vince discussed his road to the highest level of politics, together with The Chinese Conundrum: Engagement or Conflict and his explosive thriller Open Arms, praised for its unrivalled political detail and international intrigue.
HISTORY CURRENT AFFAIRS
Tim Marshall discussed the Power of Geography, Ten Maps that Reveal the Future of the World his latest best-selling analysis of global affairs. This is the much-awaited sequel to Prisoners of GeographyTen Maps that Reveal the Future of Our World which became an immediate international best-seller for its clarity and insight. Tim is a former Sky Diplomatic Editor skilled at compressing complex issues for television audiences of millions, including climate change, space cooperation, Global Britain and rising China.
BEST SELLING NOVELIST - THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
We talked to Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel about Hollywood, healthy ageing, love and her latest book, The Black Dress. The Sunday Times says she is at the height of her powers. We explored where she gets her inspiration, energy and ideas and more besides.
Lady Tessa Keswick
Lady Tessa Keswick
Lady Tessa Keswick has travelled in China for over 30 years. A politician at home, in China she discovered the grandeur of its deserts, forests, rivers and garden cities. Her beautifully illustrated guidebook is also the story of the powerhouse China has become today. Living with ordinary citizens in their homes, or meeting state leaders in the Great Hall of the People, Tessa gives us China as it is.