For the first time since Scott's ill-fated race to Antarctica against Amundsen in 1913, a handful of teams from around the world have been granted permission to race each other, on foot, across Antarctica -- starting on New Year's Day and dragging their food, their tents (and their rubbish) with them. This time, however, a hardnut Norwegian team and various trios of ex-special forces soldiers will be up against double-Olympic Gold medallist James Cracknell and TV presenter Ben Fogle. In 2005 James and Ben rowed the Atlantic together (16 hours a day at the oars, for 50 days). This time, they tackle a challenge that is hard-wired into the British psyche: the race for the pole. And in a last-minute twist, they will also be taking with them a member of the public as their third team member. This is classic boys' own, British adventure in the making for Father's Day -- published alongside six one-hour programmes to be broadcast on BBC 2 on Sunday nights (in the Long Way Down slot).
Alan Sugar was born in 1947 and brought up on a council estate in Clapton, in Hackney. As a kid he watched his dad struggle to support the family, never knowning from one week to the next if he'd have a job. It had a huge impact on him, fuelling a drive to succeed that was to earn him a sizeable personal fortune. Now he describes his amazing journey, from schoolboy enterprises like making and selling his own ginger beer to setting up his own company at nineteen; from Amstrad's groundbreaking ventures in hifi and computers, which made him the darling of the stock exchange, to the dark days when he nearly lost it all; from his pioneering deal with Rupert Murdoch to his boardroom battles at Tottenham Hotspur FC. He takes us into the world of The Apprentice, and describes his appointment as advisor to the government and elevation to the peerage. Like the man himself, this autobiography is forthright, funny and sometimes controversial.
Stephanie Calman moves on from bad motherhood, failed grownupness to the ultimate in tricky relationships: that of mother and daughter. In typically candid Calman style she serves up a painfully acute examination of the human condition, softened by the bellylaugh of recognition that will seize all who read her. As a generation finds itself parenting its parents while still trying to haul up its children, she has – once again – hit the zeitgeist firmly over the head.
Nelson Mandela is one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has opened his personal archive, which offers an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life. Conversations With Myself gives readers access to the private man behind the public figure: from letters written in the darkest hours of Mandela's twentyseven years of imprisonment to the draft of an unfinished sequel to Long Walk to Freedom. Here he is making notes and even doodling during meetings, or recording troubled dreams on the desk calendar of his cell on Robben Island; writing journals while on the run during the antiapartheid struggles in the early 1960s, or conversing with friends in almost seventy hours of recorded conversations. In these pages he is neither an icon nor a saint; here he is like you and me. An intimate journey from the first stirrings of his political conscience to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations With Myself is a rare chance to spend time with Nelson Mandela the man, in his own voice: direct, clear, private.
As bass player with the Specials, in his secondhand suit and pork pie hat, Horace Panter was a member of one of the most innovative and exciting bands to come snarling out of the punk era. Founded by Jerry Damners, their fusion of punk, reggae and ska created a new musical fashion, spearheaded by their own record label Two Tone. They stood for unity and racial harmony in a polarised society. They even got British men dancing again. In Ska'd for Life Horace takes the reader on a musical odyssey with the Specials from their early days on Coventry's punk circuit to chart storming success with singles like 'Too Much Too Young' and the eerily prescient 'Ghost Town', released as the race riots saw Toxteth and Brixton go up in flames. Written with wry humour, taking an affectionate look at a band whose sublime music remains influential today, this is a must for all Specials fans. 'I found myself laughing out loud whilst revisiting some long forgotten memories . . . It was a fantastic journey and I thank Horace for sharing it' Lynval Golding
Pronounced as the greatest goalscoring talent since Jimmy Greaves, seventeenyear old Robbie Fowler was immediately catapulted to fame and fortune. The thin, babyfaced Toxteth lad, who had trampled the same streets as the rioters, was now a millionaire, an idol and inspiration to every kid who kicked a football. Yet his incredible potential was never quite realised. Injuries and persistent rumours of drug abuse and depression meant that though Fowler remains one of the most celebrated of Premiership stars, he never became the worldbeater so many predicted. This is a fascinating and unbelievably frank insight into the beautiful game, taking us behind the closed doors of professional football to expose what really happens at both club and international level. This is a truthful and candid account of an incredible career, examining not just the records and the glory, but the low points and the miseries of a footballing life that many people now believe somewhere, somehow went wrong. Brilliance and controversy have stalked Robbie Fowler from his five goal performance in only his second full game for Liverpool, to his snorting of the touchline in the Merseyside derby. In this utterly compelling autobiography, Robbie Fowler looks back on what was, what wasn’t and what might have been. This is the story of one of the game’s true icons, and the story of the modern game itself.
'Combines elements of In Cold Blood and Black Hawk Down with Apocalypse Now as it builds towards its terrible climax...Extraordinary' New York Times Iraq's 'Triangle of Death', 2005. A platoon of young soldiers from a U.S. regiment known as 'the Black Heart Brigade' is deployed to a lawless and hyperviolent area just south of Baghdad. Almost immediately, the attacks begin: every day another roadside bomb, another colleague blown to pieces. As the daily violence chips away, and chips away at their sanity, the thirty-five young men of 1st Platoon, Bravo Company descend into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality – with tragic results. Black Hearts is a timeless true story of how modern warfare can make or break a man's character. Told with severe compassion, balanced judgement and the magnetic pace of a thriller, it looks set to become one of the defining books about the Iraq War. 'Black Hearts is the obverse of Band of Brothers, a story not of combat unity but of disharmony and disarray' Chicago Sun-Times 'A riveting picture of life outside the wire in Iraq, where "you tell a guy to go acoss a bridge, and within five minutes he's dead."'Kirkus Reviews (starred)
Published to satisfy the massive renewed interest in Sir David Frost's astounding feat of journalism following the huge success of the eponymous West End and Broadway play, Frost/Nixon tells the extraordinary story of how Frost pursued and landed the biggest fish of his career. When he first conceived the idea of interviewing Richard Nixon and trying to bring the exPresident to confront his past, he was told on all sides that the project would never get off the ground. Nobody believed that Nixon would agree to Frost’s editorial control, or even to talk about Watergate at all. Yet in the end the project succeeded, and the series drew larger audiences than any news programme ever had in the United States, before being shown all over the world. Including hilarious tales of the people he encountered along the way and fascinating insights into the making of the television series itself, this is Sir David's own story of his pursuit of disgraced exPresident Richard Nixon – one that is no less revealing of his own toughness and pertinacity than of the exPresident’s elusiveness. Frost provides an account of the only public trial that Nixon will ever have, and a revelation of the man’s character as it appeared in the stress of eleven gruelling sessions before the cameras. Fully revised and updated with historical perspective, and including transcripts of the edited interviews, Frost/Nixon describs Sir David Frost’s quest to produce one of the most dramatic pieces of television ever broadcast.
A new volume of memoir and traveller's tales from John Simpson, in the vein of his bestselling A Mad World, My Masters John Simpson has been travelling the world as a journalist for forty years, reporting on the many disasters that have befallen us in that time. Today, at a time when many of us might legitimately believe that the end of the world truly is nigh, he takes a rather different view. For Simpson, perhaps better than anyone, knows that though war, disease, terrorism, natural disasters and crime always seem about to overwhelm us, the reality is that the great events that afflict us have not caused the world to stop turning. Some things change, indeed, but others stay much the same and we should perhaps remember that every generation worries about the things it reads in newspapers. Here, then, Simpson looks at the world's troubles - the Middle East, global warming, population explosion - and takes the view that it's nowhere near its end. His vivid prose, humanity and clear-sightedness, and the wonderful anecdotes about the many strange people and peculiar places he has come across - from Robert Mugabe to the Bushmen of the Kalahari, from Chelsea to China, from Saddam Hussein to Hollywood stars - all add up to a richly satisfying read. And with his long experience and his remarkable ability to explain what's really going on out there, he offers us all a crumb of comfort in desperate times. Biographies John Simpson is the BBC's World Affairs Editor. He has twice been the Royal Television Society's Journalist of the Year. He has also won three BAFTAs, including the Richard Dimbleby award in 1991 and the News and Current Affairs award in 2000 for his coverage, with the BBC News team, of the Kosovo conflict. He has written three volumes of autobiography, Strange Places, Questionable People , A Mad World, My Masters and News from No Man’s Land, The Wars Against Saddam and, most recently, Days from a Different World.
This is the story of Faberge's Imperial Easter eggs – of their maker, of the tsars who commissioned them, of the middlemen who sold them and of the collectors who fell in love with them. It's a story of meticulous craftsmanship and unimaginable wealth, of lucky escapes and mysterious disappearances, and ultimately of greed, tragedy and devotion. Moreover, it is a story that mirrors the history of twentiethcentury Russia – a satisfying arc that sees eggs made for the tsars, sold by Stalin, bought by Americans and now, finally, returned to postcommunist Russia. There is also an intriguing element of mystery surrounding the masterpieces. Of the fifty 'Tsar Imperial' eggs known to have been made, eight are currently unaccounted for, providing endless scope for speculation and forgeries. This is the first book to tell the complete history of the eggs, encompassing the love and opulence in which they were conceived, the war and revolution that scattered them, and the collectors who preserved them.
'What is the moment in history that you would like to have witnessed—and why?' This is the thoughtprovoking question that Theodore Rabb and Byron Hollinshead posed to twenty of our finest historians. Their answers can be found in this fascinating and thoroughly readable book, which trains a lens on crucial moments of our past and brings them to vivid life. Contributors include Tom Holland, John Elliott, John Julius Norwich, Margaret MacMillan and John Keegan and with these and other peerless scholars as their guides, readers will be transported to the death of Alexander the Great, Christmas 800CE when Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor, Hannibal's legendary crossing of the Alps, Runnymede where King John was forced to sign Magna Carta, the Spanish Armada, the Battle of the Nile, Paris 1919, the German surrender in 1945 and the end of the First Gulf War. Imaginatively executed and vividly written, the result is a pageant of character and event that will attract and delight readers of history.
She has been shot at by Bosnian snipers, been pursued by Robert Mugabe’s notorious secret police, filed from the North Korean border, propositioned by both Salvador Dali and David Niven and been driven maniacally through London by Steve McQueen. But Ann Leslie’s life is every bit as remarkable as her career. A daughter of the Raj, she was born in India and the strongest influence on her early life was an illiterate Pashtun bearer, who saved her life during Partition. Her mother, a great beauty, was indifferent to her eldest daughter and she was sent to the first of a series of boardingschools aged just four, eventually winning a scholarship to Oxford. After graduating she began her career at the Manchester office of the Daily Express, where the news editor took an instant dislike to her she was a southerner, educated and – worst of all – female. Despite his best efforts she was soon given her own column. Then, after a stint covering show business she was appointed Foreign Correspondent of the Daily Mail, an association that endures today, almost forty years later, and one which finally allowed her real talent to shine through. Killing My Own Snakes is a witty, incidentfilled account of an extraordinary life, a fascinating selfportrait of one the most influential journalists of our time.
It’s a story everyone thinks they know … about the young boy from the back streets of Belfast who grew up to be the most famous footballer in the world, a legend who was the first superstar of the sport but whose troubled personal life, as much as his sporting genius, came to dominate the headlines. But Barbara and Carol, George’s sisters, and Dickie, his father, know more. Our George reveals for the first time the real story of George Best – as told by those who knew him best and loved him most. It’s the inside story of the ordinary Belfast family whose love for, and contact with, their famous son and brother never wavered through the years. It’s the story of a family desperately helping him as he battled the illness that also claimed the life of their beloved wife and mother. Our George is a searingly honest book about the influences that moulded the legend – and the demons that haunted his life. Speaking for the first time, the intensely private Best family reveals how George really felt about the people and the events that shaped his life. Barbara Best is frank in confronting George’s own failings and those of some of the people who were close to him, as well as offering a unique perspective on the many pressures to which he was subject. Our George is illustrated with a wealth of previously unseen family photographs, documents and correspondence (much of it deeplypoignant) between George and his family.
From the private papers of Mark Twain and Mozart to those of Robert Browning and Nelson, Love Letters of Great Men collects together some of the most romantic letters in history. For some of these great men, love is a ‘delicious poison’ (William Congreve); for others, ‘a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music’ (Charles Darwin). Love can scorch like the heat of the sun (Henry VIII), or penetrate the depths of one’s heart like a cooling rain (Flaubert). Every shade of love is here, from the exquisite eloquence of Oscar Wilde and the simple devotion of Robert Browning, to the wonderfully modern misery of the Roman Pliny the Younger, losing himself in work to forget how much he misses his beloved wife, Calpurnia. Taken together, these Love Letters of Great Men show that perhaps men haven’t changed so very much over the last 2,000 years; passion, jealousy, hope and longing are all represented here – as is the simple pleasure of sending a letter to, and receiving one from, the person you love most.
Britain gave railways to the world, yet its own network is the dearest (definitely) and the worst (probably) in Western Europe. Trains are deeply embedded in the national psyche and folklore yet it is considered uncool to care about them. For Matthew Engel the railway system is the ultimate expression of Britishness. It represents all the nation's ingenuity, incompetence, nostalgia, corruption, humour, capacity for suffering and even sexual repression. To uncover its mysteries, Engel has travelled the system from Penzance to Thurso, exploring its history and talking to people from politicians to platform staff. Along the way Engel ('halfJohn Betjeman, halfVictor Meldrew') finds the most charmingly bizarre train in Britain, the most beautiful branch line, the rudest railwayman, and after a quest lasting decades an Individual Pot of Strawberry Jam. Eleven Minutes Late is both a polemic and a paean, and it is also very funny.
Writing with the warmth and humour that have made her so popular, Coleen describes her eventful life, from joining her sisters' band The Nolans when she was only nine to growing up in the spotlight as they went on to chart-topping success around the world. Coleen also reveals how she coped with her tumultuous marriage to television star Shane Richie and how, after they split she was left a single parent struggling to get through each day. She landed the job of presenter on This Morning and was just finding her feet when she was sacked, plunging her into depression as she lost all confidence. A way out finally came in the form of chat show Loose Women, where Coleen reclaimed her place in the nation's hearts. Today she is happily married and an inspiration to women everywhere who believed their 'best days' were behind them. Entertaining, funny and shockingly honest, this book is sure to appeal to her many fans old and new.
On 1 February 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran to a tumultuous welcome and the Iranian revolution that that he masterminded has become one of the defining moments of the modern age. Today the challenge of radical Islam represents the greatest threat to world peace seen since the darkest days of the Cold War, and the legacy of Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution lies at the heart of many of the world’s most intractable conflicts. Khomeini’s Ghost is the definitive biographical account of how an impoverished young student from a remote area of southern Iran came to be the political and the spiritual leader of his country. Drawing on a wide variety of Iranian sources, including religious figures who knew and worked with Khomeini both in exile and in power, Con Coughlin examines in detail the principles of Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution and the impact of his legacy today, whether it is in Iran’s support for radical Islamic groups or Iran’s commitment to developing an atom bomb. Frighteningly topical, compellingly readable and written with authority and profound understanding of the subject, this is political biography at its best.
Funny, acutely observed, frighteningly honest and drawing on her own and hundreds of other mum's real experiences, Stephanie Calman serves up the perfect antidote to all those books that tell you that your children must be perfect, and to all those Stepford mums and kids out there who look as if they just might be: perfectly groomed, perfectly behaved and perfectly brilliant. The reality, as we all know, encompasses sleepless nights, no sex for years, baby sick on your best cashmere cardy, the terrible twos and then, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the sitting room, terrible teenagers whose only means of communication is the slamming door or the grunt.
In 59 Seconds, psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman presents a fresh approach to change that helps people achieve their aims and ambitions in minutes, not months. From mood to memory, persuasion to procrastination, and resilience to relationships, Wiseman outlines the research supporting this new science of rapid change, and describes how these quick and quirky techniques can be incorporated into everyday life. Think a little, change a lot. Discover why even thinking about going to the gym can help you keep in shape Learn how pot plants make you more creative Find out why putting a pencil between your teeth instantly makes you happier 'At last, a self-help guide that is based on proper research. Perfect for busy, curious, smart people' Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Last Theorem 'A triumph of scientifically proven advice over misleading myths of self-help. Challenging, uplifting and long overdue' Derren Brown
'An artist, in my eyes, is someone who can lighten up a dark room. I have never and will never find difference between the pass from Pele to Carlos Alberto in the final of the World Cup in 1970, and the poetry of the young Rimbaud' Eric Cantona Football, and art. Eric Cantona legend, maverick, troubled artist or just plain trouble never saw a need to make a distinction between the two. For all the heat and noise surrounding his infamous Crystal Palace 'kungfu kick', it is for the sheer exuberant beauty of his play that Eric Cantona is chiefly remembered by English football fans. At Leeds United he transformed the team into title contenders, but became a true talisman at Manchester United, where to this day fans sing of 'King Eric'. And yet the effortless style of Cantona's play could not hide a darker side to his temperament. In his own words, 'I play with passion and fire. I have to accept that sometimes, this fire does harm.' Leading French football journlist Philippe Auclair has interviewed over 200 key protagonists in Cantona's career, searching for the man behind the myth. Marrying a deep knowledge of Cantona's impact on the pitch with soulful, pinsharp insight intothe heart and inner thoughts of this most complex of characters, this is nothing less than the definitive biography of a onetime rebel of the French game, who rose to be the King of Old Trafford. 'I'd give all the champagne I've ever drunk to be playing alongside Cantona in a big European match at Old Trafford' George Best
Dwight Yorke has been one of the most successful and prolific goalscorers in the Premier League's history over the past decade. He was known first at Aston Villa and then Manchester United for his permanent smile, smoothness and flair and for making headlines both on and off the pitch. He was a key member of Manchester United's treblewinning 1999 season and formed a deadly strike parterships with Andy Cole. His subsequent clubs have been Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sydney FC and Sunderland. Yorke came to be seen as the epitome of a young, successful, rich lifestyle, and he makes no apology for doing what a lot of young, single men would have done with sporting prowess, adulation and money. But it was his relationship with Katie Price (Jordan) among others which propelled him onto the gossip pages. He's the father of their son Harvey, and he talks for the first time about the hurt of being branded a bad dad who didn't care. Having never spoken out before, Dwight, nearing retirement, wants to tell his side, and from the heart. It's the story of a boy who followed his football dreams from Tobago's white beaches to England's lush stadia and who, having been given a miraculoussecond chance to live aged two, risked losing everything he held dear. This is his fascinating story.
Who could forget their first view of Adam Ant on Top of the Pops, white stripes across his face, swaggering to the beat of 'Antmusic' or in frilly shirt and mask for 'Stand and Deliver'? One of the most successful pop stars of the 80s, his face adorning posters on teenager's walls from Acton to Akron, Adam Ant was a phenomenon. Now in this frank and revealing autobiography, he tells the full story of his amazing life from his dysfunctional childhood to his key role in the punk movement and creation of a unique musical style that brought him a string of hits (both singles and albums). At one point he was so famous other stars sought his company and advice even Michael Jackson called in the dead of night to ask about music and clothes. His many girlfriends included Jamie Lee Curtis and Heather Graham and for a time he lived in LA, acting in fifteen films. Adam also writes honestly about his lifelong battle with manic depression. His first episodes were triggered by the stress of living with a violent, alcoholic father, and he tried to commit suicide when he was at art school. A gruelling episode with a stalker in LA precipitated a mental breakdown, and a stalker in London led to his wellpublicised arrest and hospitalization in 2001. At times funny and at other times tragic, this is gripping account of the turbulent life and times of one of music's most fascinating figures.
Written with complete access to the Queen Mother’s personal letters and diaries, William Shawcross's riveting biography is the truly definitive account of this remarkable woman, whose life spanned the twentieth century. Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes Lyon,the youngest daughter of the Earl of Strathmore, was born on 4 August 1900. Drawing on her private correspondence and other unpublished material from the Royal Archives, William Shawcross vividly reveals the witty girl who endeared herself to soldiers convalescing at Glamis in the First World War; the assured young Duchess of York; the Queen, at last feeling able to look the East End in the face at the height of the Blitz; the Queen Mother, representing the nation at home and abroad throughout her long widowhood. 'This splendid biograpy captures something of the warm glow that she brought to every event and encounter. It also reveals a deeper and more interesting character, forged by good sense, love of country, duty, humour and an instinct for what is right. This is a wonderful book, authoritative, frank and entertaining' Daily Telegraph
Diana Ross was raised in the Detroit projects and, through hard work and determination, scaled the heights of superstardom, first as lead singer of the Supremes and then as a solo artist. To this day she remains the grand diva against which all others in showbusiness are measured. This acclaimed biography reveals stunning new details about her combative relationship with the other Supremes, her passionate romance with Berry Gordy, president of Motown, which produced her very own 'love child', her two marriages and divorces, her recent arrest for drunk driving and her inspiring recovery. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, Taraborrelli paints an unforgettable picture of an extraordinary star. Diana is a Civil Rights trailblazer, a temperamental celebrity, a consummate entertainer, a loving mother. There is only one Diana Ross. And this is her story. 'For this admirably balanced, nuanced and respectful - yes respectful - examination of her life, Diana Ross should be grateful to J. Randy Taraborrelli. His credentials are excellent, as is the source of his cumulative labours . . . grips to the very last page' Sunday Times