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Lockdown Special #2 – 27th April

Set 1

Paul Bassett Davies’ debut novel, Utter Folly (“Very funny” – Jack Dee) topped the humorous fiction charts in 2012. His second, Dead Writers in Rehab (“Dark, dirty, humane and funny” – Jeremy Hardy) was published in 2017. His story The Spots appears in Six Scary Stories, selected and introduced by Stephen King’. His new novel Please do not Ask for Mercy as a Refusal Often Offends is out in May 2020. Paul has written and directed for TV, radio, film and stage. He has worked with some of the best-known names in British comedy, and has written two radio sitcoms and several radio plays.


Stuart Maconie is a writer, broadcaster and journalist familiar to millions from his work in print, on radio and on TV. His previous bestsellers have included Cider with Roadies, Pies and Prejudice and Adventures on the High Teas, and he currently hosts the afternoon show on BBC 6music with Mark Radcliffe as well as weekly show The Freak Zone. Based in the cities of Birmingham and Manchester, he can also often be spotted on top of a mountain in the Lake District with a Thermos flask and individual pork pie.


Courttia Newland is the author of nine books including his much lauded debut, The Scholar. His latest novel, A River Called Time, will be published in August 2020. His short stories have appeared in many anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2016 he was awarded the Tayner Barbers Award for science fiction writing and the Roland Rees Busary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has written two episodes of the Steve McQueen BBC series Small Axe.

@courttianewland | |


Music: Rebecca Hollweg and family

Singer-songwriter of uplifting, melodic songs. She is about to release her 4th album. Appeared on many national BBC Radio shows and toured the UK and Europe over a 20-year career.

Set 2

Frances Mensah Williams is a Londoner of Ghanaian origin, and the author of the From Pasta to Pigfoot rom-com series, selected by WH Smith as one of the top 25 of its 100 Summer Reads. Her books feature smart, strong-willed women of colour dealing with themes of substance – think love, guilt, race, belonging, identity and the challenges of clashing cultures – and are written in a humorous and accessible style. Frances’s newly released novel Imperfect Arrangements is set in contemporary middle-class Ghana and features three best friends struggling with the less than perfect arrangements that define their relationships.

Stephanie Bretherton was born in Hong Kong to a pair of Liverpudlians and has been something of a nomad ever since. Stephanie is based in London but manages her sanity by escaping to any kind of coast. Before returning to her first love of writing fiction, Stephanie spent many years pursuing alternative forms of storytelling, from stage to screen and media to marketing. Meanwhile, an enduring love affair with words has led her down many a wormhole on the written page.

Chris Chalmers is the author of Dinner At The Happy Skeleton, Five To One, Light From Other Windows, and for children, Gillian Vermillion — Dream Detective. His new novel, The Last Lemming, is out in summer 2020. He lives in SW London with his partner, a quite famous concert pianist. Chris has been the understudy on Mastermind, visited 40 different countries and swum with iguanas. Novels aside, his proudest literary achievement is making Martina Navratilova ROFLAO on Twitter.

@CCsw19 / /FB @chrischalmersnovelist


Douglas John Thorp used to write approximately 500 words a week from a small room in South East London & then he gave up, moved to Sheffield & waited for nature to claim him. Richard E. Grant once told him to leave all biographies blank as it implies modesty & impeccable taste, hence this. He was in a band in the 90s, restores historic buildings from time to time and is kind to animals. Amateur of Life and death was his first book and at the current rate, probably his last. Mostly witty, half-confessional, self-deprecating and somewhat delusional, it is a collection of 40 posts taken from the now defunct Idle Eye weekly blog and beautifully illustrated by 20 contemporary artists. In his own words, “It is a paean to hard work, self-belief and New Zealand Marlborough Pinot Noir. It also serves as a template for young people to learn from and better themselves in their own life endeavours”. Douglas can occasionally be found in or around the bins outside the big Co-op on Ecclesall Road or at Oddbins, pretty much anywhere.