Joss Ackland has had a distinguished acting career on stage, film and in television. Stage successes include Falstaff in Henry IV, both Captain Hook and Mr Darling in Peter Pan, Jorrocks in Jorrocks, Peron in Evita and Frederick in A Little Night Music. His films include White Mischief, The Sicillian and Lethal Weapon. His hundreds of television appearances include most famously CS Lewis in Shadowlands and Alan Holly in First And Last, both of which won Emmy and BAFTA awards. He has been a subject of This Is Your Life and Desert Island Discs.
Georgie Adams was born in Tunbridge Wells, and grew up in Kent and Sussex. She was an editor for many years in the UK and Australia, was co-director of a small publishing company in London, before becoming a successful writer of children's books. She has written over 70 books, mostly for young children. Georgie is married to artist and printmaker, Tom Adams, has two daughters and three stepchildren, and lives in a rural part of North Cornwall, overlooking the Kensey Valley. Her website is http://www.georgieadams.com/
Steve Backshall is well-known as a TV presenter, wildlife enthusiast and explorer. He travels the world to learn about the most inspiring animals, from boxing mantis shrimp to charging tigers. Steve also regularly writes articles for newspapers and magazines including the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER and BBC WILDLIFE and is an inspirational public speaker.Steve's website is www.stevebackshall.com, and you can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stevebackshallofficial and on Twitter @SteveJBackshall.
Peter Bailey has been illustrating books for more than 35 years and has worked with many of today's best known authors, including Philip Pullman, Allan Ahlberg, Michael Morpurgo and Joan Aiken. He lives near Liverpool with his wife, Sian, who is also an illustrator.
Clare Balding is one of the BBC's leading sports presenters. She won the coveted Royal Television Society's Sports Presenter of the year Award in 2003. She has been working for the BBC in radio and television for over 15 years across a range of sports, covering three Olympic Games, two Paralympics, two Winter Olympics and a Commonwealth Games. Clare is the face of the BBC's coverage of horseracing, equestrian sports and rugby league. She has written for the Sunday Times, the Observer, the Evening Standard and the Racing Post and is currently involved in a web magazine called Eclipse.Clare Balding, a Cambridge graduate, was elected President of the Union in 1992. She was a good all-rounder in sport, and was champion lady rider in 1990 and leading amateur flat jockey in 1989 and 1990. Clare was honoured with the Horse Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) Racing Journalist of the Year Award in 2003 and in 2004 she won both the HWPA Sir Peter O'Sullevan Broadcaster of the Year award and the prestigious Royal Television Society Sports Presenter of the Year award. In 2009, she was praised for "perfect presentation" by the judges of the Broadcast Awards who named the Grand National 2008 as their sports programme of the year.
Martyn Beardsley lives just outside Nottingham. As well as writing children's books, he loves reading and writing about history, almost any period. He gets many of his ideas for stories when he's taking his mad dog for a walk early in the morning. Martyn has written over fifteen books: Five Naughty Kittens and The Dog that went Woof, the Sir Gadabout stories, a couple of ghost stories and some history books for children. For adults, he has written one historical biography, a book about England's last duel, and edited the diary of an eighteenth century surgeon-apothecary.
Quentin Blake was born in 1932. He went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School before studying English at Downing College, Cambridge. After National Service he did a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of London, followed by life-classes at Chelsea Art School.
He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, and Roald Dahl, as well as creating much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.
His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books.
Described by The Guardian, as 'a national institution', in 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children's literature.
Richard Brassey is the author and illustrator of a host of colourful and original non-fiction books for children, among them the bestselling Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and The Story of Scotland, which won the TES/Saltire Society Award. He lives in Essex. Visit his website at http://www.richardbrassey.com.
Jan and Sara were already friends when one day they decided they wanted to write children's stories and it would be more fun to write them together. That was 18 years ago. Since then they've written over 160 stories - including some about ghosts, football, ghosts playing football and naughty gargoylz. Jan lives in Essex with her family and Sara lives in London with hers. They both have black cats who completely rule their lives. For more information, please visit Jan and Sara's website www.burchettandvogler.co.uk and follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BurchettVogler. Keep up-to-date with the Sam Silver: Undercover Pirate blog at http://samsilverundercoverpirate.blogspot.co.uk.
Meg Cabot is the author of nearly fifty books for both adults and teens, many of which have been bestsellers, most notably The Princess Diaries series, which is currently being published in over 38 countries, has sold over five million copies worldwide, and was made into two hit movies by Disney. Meg now divides her time between Key West, Indiana, and New York City with a primary cat (one-eyed Henrietta), various back-up cats, and her husband. Be sure to check out Meg's websites, http://www.megcabot.com.
Emma Chambers is perhaps still best known for her role as Alice Tinker, the dizzy verger in The Vicar of Dibley opposite Dawn French, for which she won a 1998 British Comedy Award for Best Actress. She also starred as Charity Pecksniff in the acclaimed BBC production of Martin Chuzzlewit, and in How do You Want Me?, The Mixer, Skullduggery, The Secret Garden and Drop The Dead Donkey. On film, she has appeared as William's zany sister Honey in the film Notting Hill and in Bridget Jones's Diary and Mickey Blue Eyes. She will be seen as Betsy in the film The Clandestine Marriage. Her many theatre credits include Tartuffe at the Almeida, Trelawney of the Wells and Invisible Friends at the Royal National Theatre and Henceforward in the West End.
Linda Chapman is the million-copy selling author of such series as My Secret Unicorn, Stardust, Skating School, Not Quite a Mermaid and Loving Spirit. She has also written for the Animal Ark series, Rainbow Magic and many more Working Partners' series. Linda lives in Leicestershire with her husband, two daughters and their three dogs. Her website is http://www.lindachapmanauthor.co.uk/
Lucy Coates worked as a children's book editor before becoming a full-time writer, poet and journalist. She has two children and lives in Northamptonshire.Lucy lives with her husband and two children deep in the Northamptonshire countryside, surrounded by cows, sheep, horses, owls, foxes, four lunatic dogs and a large and demanding garden. She has been fascinated by childrenOs books ever since she can remember, and cannot imagine a better job than making up stories and poems for a living. When she is not writing she grows organic vegetables, cooks huge meals for her family, and sits in her stone circle, studying the moon and stars.Lucy Coats read English and Ancient History at Edinburgh University, then worked in children's publishing and now writes full-time. She is a gifted children¿s poet and has also written picture books and novels. She is widely respected for her lively retellings of myths. Lucy's website is at www.lucycoats.com. You can also follow her on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/lucycoatsfacebook and Twitter http://www.twitter.com/lucycoats
Rene Goscinny was born in Paris in 1926, and spent most of his childhood in Argentina, before eventually moving to Paris in 1951. He died in 1977. Albert Uderzo was born in 1927 in a small village in Marne, France. He met Rene Goscinny in 1951 and on 29 October 1959 their most famous creation, Asterix, made his first appearance on page 20 of Pilote. ASTERIX THE GAUL, their first album, was published in 1961. Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad began writing and illustrating Asterix in 2013 with ASTERIX AND THE PICTS. There have now been 37 albums.
Kevin Crossley-Holland won the Carnegie Medal in 1985 for Storm. His many notable books for adults and children include poetry, classic retellings and anthologies. He has written and presented many BBC radio programmes and is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries. For some years he held a university post in Minnesota and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The Seeing Stone won the prestigious Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, At The Crossing-Places won a Silver award at the SWPA Spoken Word Awards and Gatty's Tale was shortlisted for the 2008 Carnegie Medal.
Rupert Degas has narrated over a hundred audiobooks. He has recorded a diverse range of authors, from Andy McNab, James Patterson, Wilbur Smith and Chris Ryan to children's authors such as Derek Landy, Darren Shan, Jamie Rix and Philip Pullman. He has narrated books by Patrick Rothfuss, Haruki Murakami, Mervyn Peake, Rose Tremain and Cormac McCarthy as well as recording classics from Kafka, Conan-Doyle, Lovecraft and Wilde. Rupert has lent his voice to numerous cartoons, including Mr Bean, Robotboy, Gumball, Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder and has performed in over fifty radio productions for BBC Radio 4, including The Brightonomicon and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He spent eighteen months in the West End performing in Stones in his Pockets and was in the original London cast of the smash-hit comedy The 39 Steps.
Cat Dresser lives in Sussex with her husband and two children, Maisie and Ambrose. A contestant on the third series of The Great British Bake Off in 2012, since the show she has had her recipes featured in The Sun magazine and run baking masterclasses at events including the BBC Good Food Show. However, she still finds time to bake with her children, and hopes that LET'S BAKE will be the perfect recipe book to share with them.Join Cat's 28,000 followers on Twitter @Cat_Dresser and get baking at www.bakewithcat.co.uk
Phil Earle was born in the great city of Hull in 1974, and spent the next eighteen years playing a lot of sport, messing around in plays and trying to sing in bands. He has had jobs as a care worker in a residential kids' home and a bookseller, and now works as sales and marketing director for David Fickling books. In 2016, Phil was appointed as Reading charity BookTrust's new writer-in-residence. He lives on a hill in Yorkshire with his wife and three children and his favourite place to write is on the bus. Visit Phil's website, www.philearle.com, or follow him on twitter @philearle.
Victoria Eveleigh lives with her husband, Chris, on an Exmoor hill farm near Lynmouth, on the North Devon coast. Visit her website at www.victoriaeveleigh.co.uk
Emilia Fox appeared in the BBC's PRIDE AND PRJUDICE whilst still at university, and has gone on to star in REBECCA, DAVID COPPERFIELD, BBC's 2009 MERLIN series and in 2012 starred as Lady Portia Alresford in UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS. She also reads regularly on Radio 4 and has taken over the role as Dr Nikki Alexander in the TV series SILENT WITNESS. Emilia has read numerous audiobooks including the MAGICAL CHILDREN series, THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by Alan Bradley and SECRETS OF THE TIDES by Hannah Richell for Orion.