Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires in 1942, educated in Rome and made his piano debut at the age of eight and as a solo pianist at the age of eleven with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. His musical tours have taken him all over the world and he has made regular appearances at the Bayreuth, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Prague and Salzburg festivals. In 1967 he married the cellist Jacqueline du Pré (who died in 1987). In 1988 he married Elena Bashkirova. He was musical director of the Paris Orchestra 1975-88, and he has been Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1991 and of the Berlin State Opera since 1992.
If you haven't heard of the Beatles, then this probably isn't the book for you.
Christopher Bigsby is Professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia, and is Director of the Arthur Miller Centre there.
Dirk Bogarde was one of Britain's most distinguished and successful actors. With films such as Death in Venice, Accident, The Night Porter and A Bridge too far, he established an international reputation. But he also wrote several bestselling memoirs and novels of which Postillion was the first. He died in 1999.
Simon Brighton was brought up in Lincolnshire, in the shadow of Temple Bruer, one of the most important Templar sites in the country. He became fascinated by the Knights at an early age and has pursued that fascination ever since. His photography of Templar sites has become well known - some of his images of London's Temple Church were included in the illustrated edition of The Da Vinci Code. When not documenting the Templars he is a psychiatric nurse, with an MSc in forensic psychiatry.
Originally a copywriter in Australian, American and UK advertising, Darleen Bungey worked as an associate editor and freelance journalist for a number of prestigious British-based magazines while she raised a family in London. In 1999 she began researching and writing a biography of Arthur Boyd, both for publication and as a doctorate. This is her first book.
Bob Carruthers is a filmmaker and producer of TV historical documentaries, of all periods, sold and broadcast around the world. He specialises in military history. Professor John Erickson is a noted historian and widely published author.
After an early life of crime, which ended after he served five years in prison, Duane 'Dog' Chapman emerged a changed man. He set up as a bounty hunter and has now captured over 6,000 escaped convicts. His TV show, DOG THE BOUNTRY HUNTER, airs on Bravo in the UK, and around the world. He is married to Beth and has twelve children.
Sir Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh in 1930. He shot to international fame as James Bond. His three great passions in life are acting, golf and Scotland, and hed rates his love of Scotland first.
Ally is a national journalist and film critic. She lives with her husband, daughter and enormous DVD collection in north London.
Les Dennis has been one of Britain's most popular entertainers over the last 30 years, making his TV breakthrough on Russ Abbot's Madhouse, before having a hugely successful run as the host of The Laughter Show and Family Fortunes. More recently he has been appearing in more serious dramas, and he made an unforgettable appearance in Extras with Ricky Gervais.
Aged 16, as winner of a British Council poetry competition, Pete Doherty embarked on poetry tour of Russia. He studied English Literature at the University of London for a year, before forming The Libertines with Carl Barat in the late nineties. They released two albums before falling apart; Babyshambles released 'Down in Albion' in November 2005; the single 'Fuck Forever' reached no.4 in the charts.
Topper Headon joined the Clash in 1977. He was there for the five crucial years of the band before being sacked in 1982.
Leo Hollis was educated at Stonyhurst College and read history at UEA. He is the author of books on London and Paris, and works in publishing. He lives with his wife and children in London.
Barry Humphries is an internationally famous comedian, actor and writer and Dame Edna Everage is his most famous creation. He is the author of numerous books, including two volumes of autobiography.
Professor Tristram Hunt is a lecturer in history at Queen Mary, University of London. Previously, he was an associate fellow at the Centre for History and Economics, King's College, Cambridge, and research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). Educated at Cambridge and Chicago Universities, he has worked as a government adviser. As well as authoring a number of BBC television programmes, he is a regular contributor to the Guardian, The Times and The Observer.
Katherine Jenkins is the biggest classical crossover star in the UK today, having already sold almost two million copies of her four albums by the age of twenty-seven. Her record Living A Dream was named the Album of the Year at the 2006 Classical Brit Awards, and her work entertaining the troops has earned her the accolade of the new 'forces sweetheart'.