Margaret Mahy's many books - picture books, short stories, and fiction for teenagers as well as younger children - have been hugely successful all round the world and she is indisputably one of the most popular and successful twentieth-century children's authors. She has won the Carnegie Medal and many other awards, and has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. She lived in New Zealand until her death in 2012.
Born in Yorkshire, James grew up on a farm near Castle Howard where his father was catering manager. He first appeared on television in 1996..
Steve Martin is one of today's most talented performers. His huge successes as a film actor include such credits as ROXANNE, FATHER OF THE BRIDE, PARENTHOOD and THE SPANISH PRISONER. He has won Emmys for his television writing and two Grammys for comedy albums. In addition to the bestselling PURE DRIVEL, he has written several plays, including Picasso at the Lapin Agile and the highly acclaimed novels, SHOPGIRL and THE PLEASURE OF MY COMPANY. His work appears in THE NEW YORKER and the NEW YORK TIMES. He is an avid and knowledgeable collector of art.
Angela McAllister is an award-winning author of over sixty books for children and young teens. She lives in Hampshire.
Born in Orange, NSW, Scott McGregor is a graduate of NIDA who has appeared in countless TV dramas and plays. Most recently he was the DIY presenter on Channel Seven's Better Homes and Gardens and the host of the highly successful series Room for Improvement. Scott writes a weekly DIY column for the Sun-Herald called 'Weekend Workshop', where he responds to readers' questions with advice on how to do various small repair and maintenance jobs around the home. He also is the presenter of the Bunnings Ladies' Nights in NSW. Scott has a passion for trains and for many years owned the famous train buffs' shop Off the Rails.
Since winning the 2008 if.comedy Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for her debut solo show, Sarah Millican's Not Nice, Sarah has firmly established herself as a household name, having been nominated three times for The British Comedy Awards People's Choice: Queen of Comedy and winning the award in 2011. Sarah's debut DVD, Chatterbox Live!, was the biggest selling stand-up DVD by a female comedian of all time, shifting over 150,000 units in the first five weeks of release alone. Her latest title, Sarah Millican: Outsider, was released in November 2016 and went straight to number one in the sales chart upon release. A two time BAFTA nominee for The Sarah Millican Television Programme, Sarah's other television credits include two appearances on The Royal Variety Performance and four appearances on flagship BBC stand-up show Live At The Apollo. As well as her live and TV work, Sarah is also the founder of Standard Issue magazine for women.
Tim Minchin is an award-winning Australian musician, composer, songwriter, actor, comedian and writer. His current songs span various musical styles and topics such as environmentalism, rationalism, prejudice(ism), logical fallacies(ism) and his amour de fromage et de boobs(ism). He is the composer and lyricist for the West End and Broadway Musical MATILDA, provided narration for Shaun Tan's OSCAR-winning animation THE LOST THING, and completed an arena tour culminating in dates at the Sydney Opera House, and the Royal Albert Hall with the 55-piece Heritage Orchestra. He is a global superstar, with over 730,000 followers on Twitter and an army of fans. He lives in LA with his wife and two children.
Paul Moody is a writer whose work has appeared in the NME, Time Out, Uncut, Arena and the Guardian.
Born 1977 in Belfast, Colin Murray is a national radio and TV presenter. He is the host of Radio 5 Live's 'Fighting Talk' and hosts 5 Live Sport. In addition to this, Colin is taking over from Adrian Chiles on Match of the Day 2 and will be presenting a nightly highlights show on BBC2 during the World Cup.
Born and bred in Barrow-in-Furness, Dave Myers joined the BBC as a make-up artist, and while travelling the world with hit TV series he picked up recipes with Si, Dave's travelling companion and the other half of the hairy bikers.