Related to: 'Gunning for Greatness: My Life'

Chris Ryan

Former SAS corporal and the only man to escape death or capture during the Bravo Two Zero operation in the 1991 Gulf War, Chris Ryan turned to writing thrillers to tell the stories the Official Secrets Act stops him putting in his non-fiction. His novels have gone on to inspire the Sky One series Strike Back. Born near Newcastle in 1961, Chris Ryan joined the SAS in 1984. During his ten years there he was involved in overt and covert operations and was also sniper team commander of the anti-terrorist team. During the Gulf War, Chris Ryan was the only member of an eight-man unit to escape from Iraq, where three colleagues were killed and four captured. It was the longest escape and evasion in the history of the SAS. For this he was awarded the Military Medal. He wrote about his experiences in the bestseller The One That Got Away, which was adapted for screen, and since then has written three other works of non-fiction, over twenty bestselling novels and a series of childrens' books.

Derek Pringle

Derek Pringle was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, where he first learnt to play cricket on matting pitches. He attended St Mary's School Nairobi then Felsted School in Essex before reading Geography and Land Economy at Cambridge, where he captained the University at cricket and won three Blues. While still an undergraduate he was selected to play Test cricket for England in 1982, a feat achieved previously by Ted Dexter, 24 years earlier. He also appeared, briefly, in the Oscar-winning film "Chariots of Fire," as Cambridge's vice-captain of athletics.He played 30 Tests and 44 One-day Internationals for England appearing in two World Cups, one as a losing finalist in 1992. His cricket career at Essex, which spanned 15 years, included five County Championship titles, three John Player League titles, a NatWest Trophy and countless friendships. He retired from the game in 1993.A second career, as a journalist, saw him appointed cricket correspondent for The Independent then The Telegraph, a role he fulfilled until 2014. He now works as a freelance writer. His hobbies include photography and collecting vinyl records of which he has several thousand - the latter perhaps explaining why he has never married. He has a son whose musical tastes he is trying to shape. He lives in Cambridge.

Duncan Hamilton

Duncan Hamilton is an author and journalist and two-time winner of the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. He first won the award in 2007 for his memoir Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years With Brian Clough. The book also won the 'Best Football Book' category of the 2008 British Sports Book Awards.In 2009, Hamilton won a second William Hill Sports Book of the Year award for his biography of the outstanding fast bowler Harold Larwood, who was a protagonist in the controversial 'Bodyline' series between Australia and England in 1932-33. The book also won the 'Best Biography' category of the 2010 British Sports Book Awards. More recently, Duncan was the co-writer for England cricketer, Jonny Bairstow's bestselling memoir, Under a Clear Blue Sky. Going to the Match is Duncan's eleventh (tbc) book.

Gordon Ramsay

Scottish by birth, Gordon was brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. With an injury prematurely putting an end to any hopes of a promising career in football, he went back to college to complete a course in hotel management and his dedication and natural talent led him to train with some of world's leading chefs.In 1993 Gordon became chef of Aubergine in London and within three years was awarded two Michelin stars. In 1998, at the age of 31, Gordon set up his own restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which quickly received the most prestigious accolade in the culinary world - three Michelin stars. One of only four chefs in the UK to maintain three stars, Gordon was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to the industry.Now internationally renowned, Gordon has opened a string of successful restaurants across the globe, from Italy to LA. 2011 has proved to be another exciting year and saw the opening of Bread Street Kitchen in London's City district, as well as a venture across the pond in Montreal, Canada.Gordon has become a star of the small screen both in the UK and internationally, with two top rated shows in the US. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen are both into their third and ninth series respectively, whilst his latest show, Masterchef US, is now in its second series and is proving to be another massive hit with viewers. Gordon has also published a number of books, many of which have become best sellers across the world, notably his autobiography, Roasting in Hell's Kitchen.Gordon lives with his wife and four children in South London, along with their two bulldogs Rumpole and Romeo.

Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann is a former international cricketer for England. He was primarily a right-arm offspinner, and also a capable late-order batsman with four first-class centuries, and often fielded at slip. After initially playing for his home county Northamptonshire, for whom he made his debut in 1997, he moved to Nottinghamshire in 2005. He made his debut for England in 2000 but didn't play again until 2008 when he became an essential part of the team in all formats. In 2011 he was part of the team that claimed the number one world Test ranking spot. Graeme was involved in three Ashes tours, winning the Ashes in 2009 and 2011, he retired from all formats during the 2013 Ashes series. Since retirement Graeme has made the transition into commentary and is a summariser on Test Match Special and BT Sport cricket coverage.

Iain Maitland

Iain Maitland has been a professional writer since 1987. He has written over 50 books, mainly on business, and been published as far away as Russia, India, Japan, USA and Australia. He has also written for the Sunday Times, Which? and the Financial Times amongst many others.

Ian Robertson

Ian Robertson is a Scottish broadcaster, writer and former international rugby player. He is best known as a rugby union commentator for BBC Radio.Robertson played rugby union for Cambridge University, Watsonians, London Scottish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (1968-70) and the Barbarians. The most memorable moment of his playing career was Scotland's 1970 Calcutta Cup victory over England. At 25 he suffered a serious knee injury that ended his sporting career.Robertson joined the BBC in 1972 and since April 1983 he has been the Corporation's official rugby union correspondent, covering the sport not only on radio but also on television. Robertson has written over thirty books and a number of biographies, including those of Bill Beaumont, Andy Irvine, and actor Richard Burton.

Jessica Ennis

Jessica Ennis was born in Sheffield in 1986. Jessica attended King Ecgbert Secondary School where she first met her fiancé Andy Hill. In the school holidays Jessica attended local athletics camps, and at the age of thirteen Jessica had her first coaching session with Toni Minichiello. After graduating with a degree in Psychology from the University of Sheffield, Jessica became a professional athlete; her greatest achievement to date has been winning heptathlon gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Jessica was appointed MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2011 and lives in Sheffield with Andy and their chocolate labrador, Myla.

Jonathan Clegg

Jonathan Clegg is an editor for The Wall Street Journal, his work has also written for the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, and FourFourTwo magazine.

Joshua Robinson

Joshua Robinson is the European sports correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated.

Kenny Dalglish

Kenny Dalglish was one of the most successful footballers of his era, winning successive tournaments with Liverpool, and then turning to management he triumphed with Liverpool and Blackburn. Since then he has managed Newcastle in a difficult spell and recently taken over the Direction of football in Glasgow Celtic. His autobiography was one of the biggest selling books of its year.

Kevin Eason

Kevin Eason was The Times' Motor Racing Correspondent since 1998. He covered 18 seasons of Formula One for the newspaper, and picked up numerous awards, including the Silverstone award for best F1 coverage.

Leo McKinstry

Leo McKinstry is a first-class historian of the Second World War and author of bestselling Spitfire and Hurricane. He writes regularly for the Daily Mail, Sunday Telegraph and Spectator. Born in Belfast he was educated in Ireland and at Cambridge University.

Michael Parkinson

Born in Yorkshire, Michael Parkinson left school at sixteen with the ambition to play cricket for Yorkshire and England and to write about cricket for the Manchester Guardian. Although, he didn't manage to fulfil the first half of his ambition, he has since become one of the most successful journalists of his generation. He wrote a sports column for The Sunday Times for fifteen years and has also written for the Telegraph. He is also a legendary TV and radio presenter - his long-running chat show Parkinson was hugely popular for many years.

Michel Thomas

Michel Thomas (1914-2005) had an amazing life. Born in Poland, he spent his early years in Germany and then in France, where he studied psychology at the Sorbonne in Paris. When war broke out, he fought with the Resistance and suffered imprisonment in labour camps. At the end of the war he joined the US liberation army and later settled in the US where he established his world-famous language school. Languages, being his strength and passion became the focus of the next 50 years of his life that he spent developing a method that he hoped would change the way we teach and learn - so that everyone could succeed. He developed this method 'that works with the brain'. After creating several courses of his own, he passed on his method so that other teachers might use it too.

Mick Herron

Mick Herron's first Jackson Lamb novel, Slow Horses, was described as the 'most enjoyable British spy novel in years' by the Mail on Sunday and picked as one of the best twenty spy novels of all time by the Daily Telegraph. The second, Dead Lions, won the 2013 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger. The third, Real Tigers, was shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and both the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. The fourth, Spook Street, was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger and won the Steel Dagger. London Rules is the fifth.Mick Herron was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.

Neal Bascomb

Neal Bascomb is the author of nine award-winning, national, and international bestselling adult books, including most recently the New York Times bestseller on the sabotage of the German atomic bomb program The Winter Fortress. He also chronicled the search for a Nazi war criminal in Hunting Eichmann and the story of Roger Bannister's four-minute-mile in The Perfect Mile. His work has been translated in over eighteen countries.

Paul Ferris

Paul Ferris was a teenage prodigy, becoming Newcastle United's youngest-ever player in 1982, only for injury to ensure his promise went unfulfilled. He later returned to the club as a physiotherapist before earning a Master's degree and beginning a successful quest to qualify as a barrister. But the lure of football was always strong and he went back for a third spell at Newcastle, as Head of the Medical Department, again working closely with a host of big-name players and managers. Paul also became a novelist and now runs a successful health and fitness business.

Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson's DCI Banks is now a major ITV1 drama starring Stephen Tompkinson (Wild at Heart, Ballykissangel) as Inspector Banks, and Andrea Lowe (The Bill, Murphy's Law) as DI Annie Cabbot. Peter's standalone novel BEFORE THE POISON won the IMBA's 2013 Dilys Award as well as the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada. This was Peter's sixth Arthur Ellis award. His critically acclaimed DCI Banks novels have won numerous awards in Britain, the United States, Canada and Europe, and are published in translation all over the world.Peter grew up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between Richmond and Canada. Peter keeps a website at www.inspectorbanks.com.

Richard Osman

Richard Osman is a creative director for Endemol UK. He has worked as an executive producer on numerous shows including 8 Out of 10 Cats and 10 O'Clock Live. Richard rose to fame presenting Pointless with Alexander Armstrong. Richard's popularity and tremendous knowledge of trivia led to him presenting his own BBC quiz, Two Tribes along with Insert Name Here and Child Genius. He is also a regular on panel shows such as Have I Got News For You and writes a column for the Radio Times.