John O'Donoghue was born in North London in the late 1950s, to Irish parents. He first became mentally ill in the 1970s and suffered a series of breakdowns. In 1988, at the age of 30, with only three O Levels and an Elementary Swimming Cerificate, he got into the University of East Anglia, and met his wife. From 2000-2005 he was Chair of Survivors' Poetry, a national charity which publishes and promotes the work of survivors' of mental distress. He lectures in Creative Writing and lives in Brighton with his wife and four children.
Colm O'Gorman founded the charity One in Four to support women and men who have experienced sexual violence. Prior to that he worked as a therapist in private practice in London. He is a former Senator on the Irish Parliament and is now Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. In 1998 he sued the Roman Catholic Church over its systematic cover-ups of child abuse scandals involving its priests, and won. He lives in County Wexford with his family.
Dermot O'Leary has been the much-loved host of ITV's The X Factor for seven series, and is now working on his eighth. He also presents his own Sony award-winning BBC Radio 2 show, which draws in close to 2 million listeners each week. From early beginnings as a Runner for BBC Essex, then a Researcher on the TV show Light Lunch, Dermot became one of the founding presenters on Channel Four's T4, before moving on to presenting and producing Big Brother's Little Brother. Dermot has hosted a number of other programmes including, most recently, Channel Four's ground-breaking documentary Live From Space which broadcast from the International Space Station.
Bill Oddie is the ultimate 'jack of all trades', known as a comedy writer, pop singer, musician, TV presenter, naturalist, depressive, environmental campaigner, husband of two, father of three and author, with his 2009 autobiography One Flew Into the Cuckoo's Egg. Aged 67, hee was made an OBE in 2003.
Countess Of Carnarvon
Lady Fiona Carnarvon married the current Earl of Carnarvon in 1999, and they took over Highclere eight years ago.
Alice Ozma, a Rowan University graduate, lives surrounded by world-class libraries and bookstores in historical Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about literature, education and working with children. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/aliceozma, like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AliceOzma and find out more about her and The Reading Promise at www.makeareadingpromise.com.