Being spot-welded to the computer, writing, is all very well, but what I really enjoy is getting out there and talking about it!
I do the after-dinner circuit, a bit of radio, give talks to writers groups and conferences, and have worked as a celebrity speaker on P&O’s cruise ship, Arcadia.
I’ve hosted the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s ‘Romantic Novel Awards’ – the annual awards for the best in Romantic Fiction –since 2011, and have presented lots of events at various literary festivals both here and abroad. I’m also a founder member of BroadstairsLit where we have welcomed many big-name authors.
I really love interviewing and an interviewer/chair, I have presented panels and been “in conversation with” dozens of authors and personalities including:
Jonathan Aitken, Rachel Allen, David Baddiel, Lynn Barber, Tim Bentinck, Katy Brand, Fern Britton (pictured left), Kay Burley, Darcey Bussell, Tania Carver, Mavis Cheek, Julian Clary, Ann Cleeves, Reverend Richard Coles, Jenny Colgan, Charles Collingwood (actor), John Crace (writer), Emma Darwin, Hunter Davies, Keri Davies, Nadine Dorries, Louise Doughty, Annabelle Dowler, Tim Dowling, Stella Duffy, Ian Dunt, Jenny Eclair, Jessica Fellowes, Katie Fforde, Helen Fielding, Judy Finnigan, Rebecca Fraser, Steve Furst, Patrick Gale, Frank Gardner, Mel Giedroyc, Joanne Harris, Stephen Harris, Trevor Harrison, Angela Hartnett, Veronica Henry, Susan Hill, Victoria Hislop, Gill Hornby, Peter James, Luke Jennings, Lisa Jewell, Alan Johnson, Cathy Kelly, India Knight, Irma Kurtz, Helen Lederer, Prue Leith, Kathy Lette, Clare Mackintosh, Richard Madeley, Chetna Makan, Lucy Mangan, Jill Mansell, Santa Montefiore, Bel Mooney, Kate Mosse, Jojo Moyes, Jenni Murray, David Nicholls, David Nobbs, Ben Okri, Sunny Ormonde, Adele Parks, Robert Peston, Tony Robinson, Amanda Ross, James Runcie, Gill Sims, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Penny Vincenzi, Terry Waite, Fiona Walker, Fay Weldon, Kate Williams and Reggie Yates.
I am a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and have hosted the Romantic Novel Awards over recent years with celebrities including the Reverend Richard Coles, author and historian Alison Weir, Archers star Tim Bentinck, crime writer Peter James, Richard & Judy Dame Darcey Bussell, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Fern Britton, Prue Leith, Jenny Eclair and Larry Lamb.
I’ve presented for the BBC on both radio and TV, and I’m a member of Equity.
I have also – in the (vain, clearly) pursuit of fame and books sales – popped up on more little-watched daytime TV on now-defunct channels than I care to remember. Those I do recall – and if you are of a certain age, you might remember some of these programmes too – include Ready, Steady, Cook (huge fun!); Loose Lips; Kilroy (oh my god that perma tan); Just for Starters; The Russell Grant Show; The Heaven and Earth Show (I knocked a lump of the set over); The Politics Show (more than once – always like a rant!); The Property Channel; Legal TV; The Wright Stuff; and Inside Out.
I also love doing speaking gigs (the sound of one’s own voice being a particular pleasure :-)). If you want to hire me for your wedding, christening or Bar Mitzvhah, drop me a line!
Engagements have included both business and writing conferences, cruise ships and many branches of the Rotary Club and Round Table as well as numerous writing groups and dining clubs and once – for charity – standing on a box at Speakers Corner * (oh my god!).
I am also a client of the Speakers Agency along with Edwina Currie (pictured at one of their gigs) – yes, the fake tan (mine) was a little robust – and other such luminaries.
*Here I am in Hyde Park, battling to be heard above the buses and hecklers. “Get off, you dyke” (Moi??) and “Women should be in the kitchen” were two of their favourites.
To hear me wittering on – click on the photo below for my YouTube Channel…