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/
Lucy Akhurst appeared in BBC TV's Eroica. Other TV work includes Ultimate Force, Manchild and Clare in Wonderful You. Films include Trinity, The Land Girls and Longitude.
UAE born Maitha Al Khayat spent most of her childhood years in the US and UK. She first got hooked on books while in middle school in the UK and has never stopped reading or writing since.Maitha is based in Ras Alkhaimah. A mother of four, she still manages to make time to read all the time and to write children's stories such as the charming "Tareeqati Al Khassa". Her first book was the bilingual "I Love My Dad's Long Beard" published by Zodiac Publishing, which was inspired by her children's love for their daddy's long beard."Tareeqati Al Khassa" was first published in Arabic by Kalimat. In the story, Hamda longs to wear the hijab like her four older sisters. Each sister feels it should be worn her way. Hamda finds it is up to her to figure out her own unique way of wearing the veil to make it a part of her active and happy life. The book was acquired by Orion Books and recently won the best book award given by the Riyadh based International Forum for Children's Education and Development.
Clive Anderson was born in Middlesex in 1952. After studying law at Cambridge University, where he was also President of the Footlights revue group, he practised as a barrister in London for about fifteen years. During this time he wrote scripts for the likes of Frankie Howerd, Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith, and performed as a stand-up comedian. This led to presenting radio and television programmes, in particular Whose Line Is It Anyway? on BBC Radio 4 and then on Channel 4 TV. He has also hosted chat shows for radio and television. He lives in Highbury, north London, with his wife and three children.
Adjoa Andoh has worked extensively in both television and theatre with parts in TV projects such as 'Dr. Who' and Philip Pullman`s `The Shadow of the North`. She also had a role in 'His Dark Materials' at the National Theatre. Adjoa has read many audiobooks including numerous titles by Alexander McCall Smith's.
Nigel Anthony has worked extensively in the theatre (RSC, Chichester, Scarborough) and on television (Midsomer Murders, Doctors, Coronation Street, Casualty), but it is for his voice work that he is particularly well known. He has won both Sony and Radio Times awards for best actor in Radio Drama, and he is much in demand as a reader of audiobooks. He has been the voice of Tesco, Orange and Hyundai in commercials and is a frequent narrator of documentaries.
Nila Aye has been an illustrator for over twenty years, producing artwork for clients such as British Airways, Paperchase, Marks & Spencer and British ELLE. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two children. Follow her on Twitter @nilaaye, or visit her website at www.nilaaye.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.
Linwood Barclay is the international bestselling author of many critically acclaimed adult crime thrillers, including NO SAFE HOUSE, A TAP ON THE WINDOW, TRUST YOUR EYES and the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one bestseller, NO TIME FOR GOODBYE. CHASE is his first book for children. He lives near Toronto with his wife. Visit his website at www.linwoodbarclay.com, or follow him on Twitter @linwood_barclay
Leigh Bardugo is the number one New York Times bestselling author fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology and The Language of Thorns. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.Find her website at www.leighbardugo.com and follow her on Twitter @lbardugo.
To his legions of fans across the world, Chris is best known as Rimmer - the Red Dwarf character who made love only once in his life. To others he is Hilary, Angelina Jolie's butler in Tomb Raider; or Gordon Brittas, the most irritating manager in the history of the British leisure centre industry. After moving to London from his native Northern Ireland, Chris started out in the comedy clubs as an impressionist then he was picked up by the producers of Spitting Image, and he went on to provide the voices for a stream of characters from HRH Prince Charles to Paul Daniels. Other acting roles include the part of Alexander Pope in the Channel 4 production of Handel: Honour, Profit and Pleasure, Zastrozzi, televised in April 1986 and a lead role in Plague of Goodness, the controversial Radio 4 Monday Play.
Stephen Baxter is the pre-eminent SF writer of his generation. With Terry Pratchett he has co-authored the Long Earth novels. Published around the world he has also won major awards in the UK, US, Germany, and Japan. Born in 1957 he has degrees from Cambridge and Southampton. He lives in Northumberland with his wife.Visit Stephen Baxter's website at www.stephen-baxter.com.
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.
Holly Black is the co-creator of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. A NEW YORK TIMES No. 1 bestselling phenomenon, the series has been described as 'vintage Victorian fantasy' and has been made into a hugely successful film. The books have been translated into 32 languages. Holly Black lives with her husband in Massachusetts.For more information, please visit Holly's website www.blackholly.com, read her Livejournal at http://blackholly.livejournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hollyblack and Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/hollyblack, and like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HollyBlackFan.
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.
Born in Amersham Buckinghamshire into a family of artists and other creative types, Emily has always flourished in art classes and decided she would like to be an artist when she was 5. She attended Brighton school of Art 1987-1990 and continues to live in the town working from a converted warehouse studio close to the beach. Despite spending all day drawing both, Emily has no children or animals. When not thinking of the next book she likes to watch the world perambulate along Brighton seafront whilst eating icecream. Emily has been widely published by Orchard, Macmillian, Orion and DK.Emily Bolam trained at Brighton Art College and is a very successful illustrator of children's books, among them Francesca Simon's MIAOW MIAOW, BOW WOW and MOO BAA BAA QUACK, and Georgie Adams's THE THREE LITTLE WITCHES. She lives and works in Brighton.Her website can be found at http://www.emilybolam.com/
Samantha Bond is best known for her role as Miss Moneypenny in the Pierce Brosnan James Bond films. She trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2004 she starred opposite Peter Davison in the ITV drama-comedy Distant Shores and in 2006 she was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance in Michael Frayn¿s Donkey¿s Years. Samantha also featured in ITV¿s Downton Abbey as Lady Rosamund Painswick. She has read numerous audiobooks including those by Agatha Christie, Philippa Gregory and also Orion¿s And Furthermore by Judi Dench