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The Madness of July

Saturday 22 March 2014

1 Hour


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£15 - £50

Ticket price

One of Britain’s best-known broadcasters and journalists James Naughtie talks to journalist and author Paul Blezard about how his life and work as a political correspondent and at the helm of BBC Radio’s flagship news and current affairs programme, Today, has inspired him to write his first novel. The Madness of July is a sophisticated thriller about loyalty, survival and family rivalry during the Cold War. Naughtie has drawn on decades of experience as a political insider in both Whitehall and Washington to write the novel about Will Flemyng, a foreign office minister who has to call on his training as a former spy to deal with a political crisis brought on by a mysterious death.

Naughtie was a political correspondent on The Scotsman and the Guardian before becoming a household name as presenter of Radio 4’s World at One and then BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme, Today. Today is regarded by many as Britain’s most influential news programme and it regularly sets the news agenda for the day. It is often the first port of call for the powerful anxious to get their point across to its more than seven million listeners. He also presents Radio 4’s Bookclub. He is a winner of the Sony Radio Awards Radio Personality of the Year and of the Voice of the Listener and Viewer Award. 

Naughtie has written a number of non-fiction works including The Rivals, a portrait of Blair and Brown that became the TV feature The Deal; The Accidental American, a portrait of Blair’s relationship with George Bush; and The Making of Music. He has chaired both the Booker and Samuel Johnson judging panels.