Related to: 'What I Learnt'

Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is commonly described as one of the UK's most important writers of SF. He is the author of numerous novels and literary parodies. He is Professor of 19th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, London University and has written a number of critical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry. He is a contributor to the SF ENCYCLOPEDIA.

Alex Perry

Alex Perry is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 30 wars, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. He was TIME magazine's bureau chief in Africa until 2013 and writes for a number of publications including NEWSWEEK, for which he is a contributing editor. He is the author of THE GOOD MOTHERS, THE RIFT: A NEW AFRICA BREAKS FREE, FALLING OFF THE EDGE: GLOBALISATION, WORLD PEACE AND OTHER LIES and LIFEBLOOD: HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, ONE DEAD MOSQUITO AT A TIME, as well as several ebooks on Africa, the Europe and the Middle East. He is also the co-author of LONG SHOT: MY LIFE AS A SNIPER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ISIS with Azad Cudi.

Caroline Hulse

Caroline spends most of her days writing, having fulfilled her dream of having a job she could do in pyjamas. She also works in Human Resources sometimes. She is openly competitive and loves playing board and card games. She can often be found in casino poker rooms, and wishes other people would want to play Cluedo for money. She lives with her husband in Manchester where the two are captive to the whims of a small, controlling dog.

Chris Difford

Born in Greenwich, London, Chris Difford has written lyrics for over forty years, most notably in partnership with Glenn Tilbrook for Squeeze. After the break-up of Squeeze in 1983, Difford continued writing songs with Glenn Tilbrook for artists such as Helen Shapiro, Billy Bremner and Elvis Costello. He has also written lyrics for music by many artists including Jools Holland, Elton John and Wet Wet Wet, has been the manager of Bryan Ferry and The Strypes, and released four solo albums. Difford also curated SONGS IN THE KEY OF LONDON, an evening of music dedicated to the capital at the Barbican Centre, London, in 2011 and 2014.

Christopher Priest

Christopher Priest's novels have built him an inimitable dual reputation as a contemporary literary novelist and a leading figure in modern SF and fantasy. His novel THE PRESTIGE is unique in winning both a major literary prize (THE JAMES TAIT BLACK AWARD and a major genre prize THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD); THE SEPARATION won both the ARTHUR C. CLARKE and the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARDS. THE ISLANDERS won both the BSFA and John W. Campbell awards. He was selected for the original BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS in 1983.

Daniel Barenboim

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.

Hairy Bikers

Winners of TV Personalities of the Year at Fortnum & Mason's Food & Drink Awards 2017.With their unique blend of tasty recipes, cheeky humour and irresistible enthusiasm, the Hairy Bikers have become Britain's favourite food heroes.Born and bred in Barrow-in-Furness, Dave Myers' versatile skills have taken him to some unusual places. He worked in a steelworks as a student, to finance his studies in Fine Arts, and later joined the BBC as a make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics. Si King hails from North East England and is a big, blond bearded biker with an infectious laugh. He worked for many years as an Assistant Director and Locations Manager for film and television, including the Harry Potter films.Si and Dave met on the set of a TV drama in 1995 and have been cooking and riding together ever since. They have now written 18 cookbooks, including The Hairy Bikers' Mediterranean Adventure, Chicken & Egg, Mums Know Best, Bakeation, Meat Feasts and 12 Days of Christmas. In 2012, the boys shed more than six stone between them on The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight. They have also created a range of low-fat sauces (available in Asda and Ocado), launched an online subscription-based weight-loss club, The Hairy Bikers' Diet Club, and published an acclaimed autobiography, Blood, Sweat & Tyres.www.hairybikers.comhttps://www.facebook.com/HairyBikers https://twitter.com/HairyBikers

Henry Fraser

Henry Fraser is a British artist and motivational speaker. Henry was 17 years old when a tragic accident severely crushed his spinal cord. Paralysed from the shoulders down, he has conquered unimaginable difficulty to embrace the life in his new way of living.Using a specially developed stylus and easel Henry has become an accomplished mouth-painter. His first solo exhibition, Hand-to-Mouth, took place in July 2016. He has produced images for The Times coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and earned a strong A-list fan base from J.K. Rowling to the England Rugby and England Cricket teams.Henry's 'Pushing Myself' talk inspires a number of high profile businesses and sports teams, including the Saracens and the England 7's. His talk encourages others to step outside of their comfort zones to find the gifts in life's challenges. Henry perfectly embodies his personal mantra of taking a 'relentlessly positive approach to life' and passionately motivates others to do the same.He was named on the Power 100 List as the 7th most influential person living with a disability in Britain 2017.

Ian Rankin

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four CWA Daggers including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a No.1 bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons. www.ianrankin.net Twitter @Beathhigh

John Tusa

Born in Czechoslovakia in 1936, John Tusa came to England in 1939. He was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, before serving as Second Lieutenant Royal Artillery in West Germany during National Service from 1954-56. Reading history at Trinity College, Cambridge from 1956-59, he took a first class honours degree. After two decades as a freelance, he became main presenter with Peter Snow of BBC 2's Newsnight from its foundation in 1980. From 1986-92 he was Managing Director of BBC World Service. He spent a few months as President of Wolfson College, Cambridge in 1993. From 1995-2007 he was Managing Director of the Barbican Centre. Between 2007 and 2014 he was Executive Chair of the Clore Leadership Programme and Chair of the Governors of University of the Arts London. Now he is joint Chair of the European Union Youth Orchestra. He has sat on the Boards of several arts institutions. He was awarded a knighthood in 2003.

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012. Visit her website at www.maevebinchy.com

Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings was a reporter for BuzzFeed and contributing editor at Rolling Stone until his death in 2013. He regularly covered politics and international affairs, including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. In 2011, he received the George Polk Award in journalism for his Rolling Stone story, 'The Runaway General'.

Nicholas Crane

Nicholas Crane is an author, geographer, cartographic expert and recipient of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Mungo Park Medal in recognition of outstanding contributions to geographical knowledge, and of the Royal Geographical Society's Ness Award for popularising geography and the understanding of Britain. He has presented several acclaimed series on BBC2, among them Map Men, Town, Britannia and Coast. He was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society in 2015.Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nicholascrane.

Nicholas Monsarrat

Nicholas Monsarrat was born in Liverpool in 1910, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He served in World War II, first as a member of an ambulance brigade and then as a member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. His lifelong love of sailing made him a capable naval officer, and he served with distinction on a series of small warships. Resigning his wartime commission in 1946, Monsarrat entered the diplomatic service. He turned to writing full time in 1959, settling on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. He died in 1979 and was buried at sea from a destroyer, off Portsmouth.

Nicola Baird

Nicola Baird is a writer of books, blogs and journalism covering eco know-how, parenting and travel.

Rebecca Front

Rebecca Front is a BAFTA-winning actress and the author of CURIOUS and IMPOSSIBLE THINGS BEFORE BREAKFAST. She is best known for her work on television, both in comedies such as THE THICK OF IT, KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU WITH ALAN PARTRIDGE, NIGHTY NIGHT and THE DAY TODAY, and in such dramas as LEWIS, WAR AND PEACE, QUEERS and POLDARK. With her brother Jeremy she stars in BBC Radio 4's INCREDIBLE WOMEN, and she is a frequent panellist on THE NEWS QUIZ. Her columns have appeared in the GUARDIAN, SUNDAY TIMES and many other publications. Born and raised in East London, she read English at Oxford and was the first female president of the Oxford Revue.

Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond is internationally famous for co-presenting TOP GEAR with Jeremy Clarkson and James May. He has produced and presented insightful documentaries for BBC One, examining the lives of two of his heroes, Sir Stirling Moss and Evel Knievel. He is the author of a number of bestselling books including ON THE EDGE, AS YOU DO, and IS IT JUST ME? Richard is married to Mindy and has two daughters, Izzy and Willow. He shares his garage with a vast and ever-changing collection of motorcycles both vintage and current.Follow Richard Hammond on Twitter @RichardHammond and visit his website at www.thehamsterscage.co.uk

Rob Grant

Rob Grant was born in Salford. Determined not to let them hold him back he (after a protracted period doing any old thing) went on to co-create and write with Doug Naylor the astonishingly successful TV series RED DWARF. He also wrote the DARK AGES and STRANGERERS TV series.

Robin Shepherd

Robin Shepherd ran the Europe programme at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. He is quoted in and writes commentaries for newspapers around the world and has appeared frequently on the BBC, CNN and other broadcast outlets. He speaks Russian, Slovak, French and Czech.

Sweetpea Slight

Sweetpea Slight spent twenty years working with renowned theatre producer Thelma Holt. Their working relationship spanned the National Theatre, the Peter Hall Company and finally Thelma Holt Ltd.She lives in London and Dorset.