Jo Tatchell is a journalist who writes on Middle Eastern culture for UK and US media including the Guardian. Her first book, NABEEL'S SONG, was published in 2006 and was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award; A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT followed in 2009.
Neil Simpson is a writer and award-winning journalist. His recent biographies include Gordon Ramsay: The Biography and Paul O'Grady: The Biography. Neil has also been a former staff reporter on the Daily Mirror, Sunday Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.
Yale Richmond, a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, worked on U.S.-Soviet exchanges for more than twenty years, including a tour of duty as Counselor for Press and Culture in the American Embassy in Moscow. Yale Richmond is also the author of From Da to Yes: Understanding the East Europeans, and Into Africa.
Griff Rhys Jones
Griff Rhys Jones was born in Cardiff in 1953. He is a comedian, actor and writer whose television credits include Not the Nine O'Clock News, Smith and Jones, Restoration, Mountain and Rivers. He is the author of To the Baltic With Bob, Mountain and the bestselling memoir Semi-Detached.
Dervla Murphy is one of the very best loved of travel writers. She was born in County Waterford and since 1964 has been regularly publishing accounts of her journeys - by bicycle and on foot - in the remoter areas of four continents. She has also written about the problems of Northern Ireland, the hazards of nuclear power and race relations in Britain. The Times Literary Supplement called her `an admirable woman - she has a romantic soul and a keen eye`.
Camilla Morton was attending fashion shows long before she was invited. She studied at St Martin's and worked on Vogue. She moved to Paris to polish her look, rather than her French, and worked for John Galliano at Dior. She has written for the Times, Telegraph magazine, Harpers Bazaar and Time, among others. Her first book, HOW TO WALK IN HIGH HEELS, has been translated into seventeen languages.
Nick Middleton teaches geography at Oxford and is a fellow of St Anne's College. He is a Royal Geographical Society award-winning writer and author of six travel books including Going to Extremes and Surviving Extremes, which looked at some of the world's least hospitable environments and those who live there and were also filmed for major Channel Four series.
Born in 1964, Ray Mears has travelled the world studying and teaching the art of survival. He has appeared extensively in TV programmes such as Bushcraft Survival , The Real Heroes of Telemark , Wild Food , and Ray Mears Goes Walkabout. As well as his TV and writing work, Ray founded Woodlore, School of Wilderness Bushcraft, in 1983, and has been teaching his unique bushcraft skills there for the past 25 years. In 2003 the Royal Geographical Society honoured him with the Ness Award for the popularisation of geography.
Pete McCarthy wrote and performed many series for radio and television, including 'Desperately Seeking Something', 'Country Tracks' and 'Travelog', for which he has won the Travelex Award for Best TV Writer. MCCARTHY'S BAR sold nearly a million copies and won him the newcomer of the year prize at the British Book Awards in 2002. He passed away in 2002.
Ruth Mastron is vice-president of SoCoCo Intercultural and was formerly a liaison for overseas operations for various international corporations.
Justin Marozzi is a travel writer and historian. A former Financial Times foreign correspondent, he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has written widely on the Muslim world, travel and exploration. He is married, and lives in Norfolk and London.
Tim Mackintosh-Smith's first book, YEMEN: TRAVELS IN DICTIONARY LAND won the 1998 Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Award and is now regarded as a classic of Arabian description. His books on Ibn Battutah's adventures in the old Islamic world and in India have all received huge critical acclaim. LANDFALLS was awarded the Oldie Best Travel Award in 2010 and the Ibn Battutah Prize of Honour by the Arab Centre for Geographical Literature. His journeys in search of Ibn Battutah have also been turned into a major BBC television series. For the past twenty-five years his home has been the Yemeni capital San'a, where he lives in a tower-house on top of the ancient Sabaean city and next door to the modern donkey market. You can find out more about him at www.mackintosh-smith.com
Mark MacKenzie studied journalism at the London College of Printing. His work has appeared in The Times and the Guardian and he is a former feature writer for the Independent on Sunday. He lives in London with his wife and two children. THE WILDEST DREAM IS HIS FIRST BOOK.
Ben MacFarlane graduated in medicine from Imperial College, London in 1998 and started carrying out medical repatriations in the spring of 2001. He then spent a year working on the cruise ship circuit and now works full time in a West London teaching hospital.Ben's first book with Hodder was Holiday SOS, which tells of a year in his life when he jetted around the world as a repatriation doctor. The sequel, Cruise Ship SOS, follows Ben's travels as a doctor on cruise ships.
Patrick Leigh Fermor
In December 1933, at the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) walked across Europe, reaching Constantinople in early 1935. He travelled on into Greece, where in Athens he met Balasha Cantacuzene, with whom he lived - mostly in Rumania - until the outbreak of war. Serving in occupied Crete, he led a successful operation to kidnap a German general, for which he won the DSO and was once described by the BBC as 'a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene'. After the war he began writing, and travelled extensively round Greece with Joan Eyres Monsell whom he later married. Towards the end of his life he wrote the first two books about his early trans-European odyssey, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. He planned a third, unfinished at the time of his death in 2011, which has since been edited by Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper and published as The Broken Road.
Sofia A. Koutlaki
Sofia A. Koutlaki was born in Athens in 1964 and has called Greece, Britain and Iran home. She is an independent researcher and writer whose work often explores cultures and how they function. She also works as a freelance translator and English teacher, is currently at work on a novel set in Greece and maintains a blog at www.amongtheiranians.blogspot.com
Simon King was born in Nairobi, but moved to the UK in 1964 and has been working as a natural history film-maker for almost thirty years. Simon has worked on programmes such as Blue Planet and Big Cat Diary and presents Springwatch and Autumnwatch. An expert in his field, Simon has received EMMY, BAFTA and RTS awards for his work, and was awarded the OBE in 2010. He is the author of the bestselling memoir Wild Life.
Dan Kieran is the editor of the original best-selling CRAP trilogy, and the author of I FOUGHT THE LAW. He co-authored THE MYWAY CODE and THREE MEN IN A FLOAT with Ian Vince. He is deputy editor of the Idler.
Michael Jacobs was born in Italy. He studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, from which he has a doctorate. Spain has obsessed him since childhood and his numerous books include Andalucia, Between Hopes and Memories: A Spanish Journey and most recently Alhambra. He is a member of the Andalucian Academy of Gastronomy and in 2002 was made the first foreign knight of 'The Very Noble and Illustrious Order of the Wooden Spoon'.
John Humphrys has reported from all over the world for the BBC and presented its frontline news programmes on both radio and television, in a broadcasting career spanning forty years. He has won a string of national awards and been described as a 'national treasure'. He owned a dairy farm for ten years and has homes in Greece and London.