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Almost A Celebrity

Author: James Whale

Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books Limited (2007)

In his typically deadpan style, "Almost a Celebrity" charts James' rise to the top - with plenty of trademark rants along the way - from his Surrey childhood, where he avoided school by hanging out in Soho strip joints, through his humble beginnings in local radio, via the self-titled TV show which made his name, to his current status as late-night king of the airwaves.

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An English Country Manner

Author: Rory Clark

Publisher: Farming Books & Videos Ltd (2002)

When circumstances force James Aden to leave Scotland, he finds employment as the agent on Sir Charles Buckley's vast Suffolk estate, where rogue chimney pots, unsavoury tenants and delinquent sheep are the least of his problems.

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And Furthermore

Author: Judi Dench

Publisher: Orion (2010)

From the moment Judi Dench appeared as a teenager in the York Mystery Plays it was clear that acting would be her career. Trained at London's Central School of Speech and Drama it was her performance in her twenties as Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's memorable Old Vic production that turned her into a star. In the theatre since she has played every classic role from Titania to Cleopatra. She first became a household name via television, thanks initially to a sitcom, A FINE ROMANCE, in which she played alongside the actor Michael Williams, whom she married in 1971. She has since made nine series of another sitcom, AS TIME GOES BY (with Geoffrey Palmer), as well as plays and classic serials such as CRANFORD. In the cinema her films have ranged from LADIES IN LAVENDER (opposite Maggie Smith) through NOTES ON A SCANDAL with Cate Blanchett to SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, in which she played Queen Elizabeth, a role which gained her a Hollywood Oscar. But it is her role as 'M' in seven James Bond films that has gained her worldwide recognition. This book is, however, much more than a career record. Her marriage to Michael Williams, their daughter, and her impish sense of humour contribute vividly to her account of more than half a century as Britain's best-loved actress.

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And Yet: Essays

Author: Christopher Hitchins

Publisher: Atlantic Books (2016)

Christopher Hitchens was an unparalleled, prolific writer, who raised the polemical essay to a new art form, over a lifetime of thinking and debating the defining issues of our times. As an essayist he contributed to the New Statesman, Atlantic Monthly, London Review of Books, TLS and Vanity Fair. Any publication of a volume of Hitchens' essays was a major event on both sides of the Atlantic. Now comes a volume of Hitchens' previously uncollected essays, covering the themes that define Hitchens the thinker: literature, religion and politics. These essays remind us, once more, of the fierce, brilliant and trenchant voice of Christopher Hitchens.

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Andre Previn A Biography

Authors: Martin Bookspan, Ross Yockey

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd (1981)

Composer, conductor, and pianist André Previn left his native Germany in 1938 to live in Paris and to subsequently settle in Los Angeles in 1940. His early career of orchestrating film scores at MGM led quickly to conducting engagements of symphonic repertoire and on to an international career as Music Director

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Anyone Can Do It: My Story

Author: Duncan Bannatyne

Publisher: Orion (2007)

At 30, Duncan Bannatyne had no money and was enjoying life on the beaches of Jersey. He saw a story of someone who had made himself a millionaire, and decided to do the same. Five years later he had done it, and now he is worth £168 million. In this remarkable book, Bannatyne relives his colourful path to riches, from ice cream salesman to multi-millionaire, explaining how anyone could take the same route as he did - if they really want to. Hugely articulate, and with numerous fascinating and revealing stories to tell, this is an autobiography and a business book unlike any other - but then Bannatyne isn't like any other businessman, either.

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Arabian Sands

Author: Wilfred Thesiger

Publisher: Penguin Classics (2007)

Wilfred Thesiger, repulsed by what he saw as the softness and rigidity of Western life - 'the machines, the calling cards, the meticulously aligned streets' - spent years exploring in and around the vast, waterless desert that is the 'Empty Quarter' of Arabia. Travelling amongst the Bedu people, he experienced their everyday challenges of hunger and thirst, the trials of long marches beneath the relentless sun, the bitterly cold nights and the constant danger of death if it was discovered he was a Christian 'infidel'. He was the first European to visit most of the region, and just before he left the area the process that would change it forever had begun - the discovery of oil.

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Asquith

Author: Roy Jenkins

Publisher: Harper Collins Distribution Services (2013)

First published in 1964, Asquith was one of the most crucial and controversial of modern Prime Ministers. He was opposed with a bitterness and a violence that English politicians have not subsequently known, yet he enjoyed eight and a half years of unbroken power, and for at least the first six years of these he presided with an easy authority over the most talented government of this century. The issues which he confronted were momentous – Peers v. People, Ireland, and the Great War. Bringing to bear exceptional knowledge, judgement, insight and tolerance, he survived them all. His fall seemed therefore all the more shocking.

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At My Mother's Knee…And Other Low Joints

Author: Paul O'Grady

Part of a series: A World Book Night Book 2018

Publisher: Transworld Publishers (2009)

Paul O'Grady is one of Britain's very best loved entertainers. He is known and adored by millions, whether as the creator of the acid-tongued Blonde Bombsite, Lily Savage, the presenter of the fantastically successful, award-winning Paul O'Grady Show on Channel 4 or the massive hit ITV show, For the Love of Dogs. Now, in his own unique voice, Paul O'Grady tells story of his early life in Irish Catholic Birkenhead that started him on the long and winding road from mischievous altar boy to national treasure. It is a brilliantly evoked, hilarious and often moving tale of gossip in the back yard, bragging in the corner shop and slanging matches on the front doorstep, populated by larger-than-life characters with hearts of gold and tongues as sharp as razors. At My Mother's Knee features an unforgettable cast of rogues, rascals, lovers, fighters, saints and sinners - and one iconic bus conductress. It's a book which really does have something for everyone and which reminds us that, when all's said and done, there's a bit of savage in all of us...

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Atlantic Britain

Author: Adam Nicolson

Publisher: Harper Perennial (2011)

Early in the year, Adam Nicolson decided to leave his comfy life at home on a Sussex farm and go on an adventure. Equipped with the Auk, a forty-two-foot wooden ketch, and a friend who at least knew how to sail, he set off up the Atlantic coasts of the British Isles: Cornwall to Scilly, over to Pembrokeshire and the west of Ireland, to the Hebrides and its offliers, St Kilda and North Rona, before heading on to Orkney, and finally to the Faroes, a two hundred mile leap out into the autumn winds of the North Atlantic.

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