Louise Badger and Lawrence Kershaw first met in 1986 when working on opposite sides of the music business. A whirlwind romance ensued and they were married in 1987. They have run their own artists' management company since 1998 when they also first fell in love with Italy. After years of promising themselves to do it, they made the move there in 2007. This is their first book written together and is further proof that tolerance is the most important requirement of a successful marriage. They divide their time between London and Lucca.
Julia Baird has an MA in Philosophy of Education and first worked as a teacher of French and English before going on to work as a special needs teacher for 15 years with excluded adolescents in the most deprived areas of Chester. She has three children and is now a director of Cavern City Tours. She has written one previous book, JOHN LENNON: MY BROTHER, now out of print.
Halima Bashir grew up in the remote deserts of Darfur, Sudan, in a loving family that was part of the black African Zaghawa tribe. She proved herself to be academically gifted and went on to be the first person in her village to qualify as a medical doctor. But then war broke out and her life sprialled into an unimaginably dark nightmare. In 2005 she finally sought asylum in the UK where she continues to speak out about the violence in Sudan. In October 2008 she won the Victor Gollancz Human Rights Prize. Halima still lives in the UK with her husband and two sons and they were all granted UK citizenship in 2008.
David Beckham began his playing career with Manchester United, where he won every major club honour including the Premiership and the UEFA Champions League. In 2003 he joined Real Madrid, winning the Spanish league title in 2006, before signing for Los Angeles Galaxy and becoming the highest-profile player ever to appear in America's Major League Soccer. He has played for England for over a decade, captaining his country 58 times, and has won numerous sporting accolades. In 1999 he married Spice Girl Victoria Adams with whom he has three sons, Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz.
Scyld Berry has reported on more England Test matches than any cricket writer, over 400 of them, including 20 Ashes series. He was born and grew up within a mile of Bramall Lane in Sheffield. He started as a cricket journalist in 1976, and has successively been the cricket correspondent of the Observer, the Sunday Correspondent, theIndependent on Sunday, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Telegraph. For four years he was the editor ofWisden Cricketers' Almanack. On the field, he has taken five wickets in an innings in county cricket - for Gloucestershire Over-60s.Cricket: The Game of Life is Scyld's seventh book - six of which are about cricket. He has three children, two cats and a wife.
Born in 1933, the son of a miner, Dickie Bird has spent a life 'married to cricket'. He was signed up to play for Yorkshire age 19, and played on the county circuit for the next 13 years. In 1979 he became a Test match umpire. The announcement that he would umpire his final Test at Lord's in June 1996 signalled the end of an international career which has won him worldwide affection as the finest umpire in cricket history.
Henry began writing about cricket, for The Times, in May 1962 and in 1972 he started his long career as a commentator with the BBC's Test Match Special. During his career he has written for numerous papers and broadcast for both radio and television for many networks around the world especially in Australia and New Zealand. Between 1991 and 1993 he joined Sky Television before returning to Test Match Special after the death of Brian Johnston early in 1994. Since 2002 Henry Blofeld has performed in his humorous one-man show in theatres all round the country, and later he teamed up with his former TMS producer, Peter Baxter, for more than 250 two-man shows. He also had a successful partnership with England Spin Bowler, Graeme Swann. Henry now tours the country with his one man show.
Lionel Blue is a popular and much loved Rabbi whose Thoughts for the Day on Radio 4 have become a national institution. He is the author of a number of books including MY AFFAIR WITH CHRISTIANITY, BACK DOOR TO HEAVEN, TALES OF BODY AND SOUL and, with Jonathan Magonet, SUN, SAND AND SOUL.
Jill Bolte Taylor
Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. is a neuroanatomist affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. She is the national spokesperson for the mentally ill at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Brain Bank) and the consulting neuroanatomist for the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute.Jill Bolte Taylor was named as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008 and has been part of Oprah Winfrey's Soul Series, where Oprah invites inspirational thinkers on to her show to talk about matters of the soul.She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
Russell Brand is a comedian, journalist, TV and radio presenter and actor. He has won numerous awards including Time Out's Comedian of the Year, Best Newcomer at the British Comedy Awards, Best TV Performer at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, Most Stylish Man at GQ's Men of the Year Awards and the Sun's Shagger of the Year.
Born and raised in New York, Charles Brandt is a former high school teacher, welfare investigator and homicide prosecutor. He has been named by his peers as one of the best lawyers in America. He now lives in Delaware with his family.
Andrew Bridge grew up in Los Angeles and after putting himself through Harvard Law School, he worked on behalf of children in foster care in the LA system where he grew up. He has also worked on legal reform of legislation governing the treatment of those with mental health problems. He now lives in New York. This is his first book.
Constance Briscoe practises as a barrister and in 1996 became a part-time judge - one of the first black women to sit as a judge in the UK. She lives in Clapham with her two children, Martin and Francesca. Her partner is Tony Arlidge QC.
Jamie Buckingham is a freelance writer and pastor.