Ralph Barker

Born in 1917 and educated at Hounslow College, Ralph joined the editorial staff of Sporting Life in 1934, but later went into banking. Meanwhile, he had begun writing, and several of his sketches and scenes were produced in West End Revue.

Ralph joined the RAF in 1940  as a wireless operator/air-gunner and progressed  his military career until 1961 when he retired voluntarily from the RAF to write full time. He was a frequent contributor of feature stories to the Sunday Express.

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Petra Du Preez

Petra du Preez is a popular astrologer who has contributed over the years to various South African magazines including Fairlady, You and Huisgenoot.  Outside South Africa her horoscopes currently  appear in Viva (UK), Fiji Times, Manawata Standard and The Aucklander (New Zealand) and Ahlan (Dubai).

Petra lives in Cape Town where she is a consultant for a substantial clientele who value her combination of psychological insight and astrological skill.

Petra has published a number of books and has recently released her fifth book, Astrodisiacs – sexy star signs, an entertaining and insightful guide to how the star signs relate, illustrated with original work by the much admired artist Liekie Fouché.

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David J. Bodycombe

David J. Bodycombe is an English puzzle author and games consultant. He is based in London, and his work is read by over 2 million people a day in the UK, and is syndicated to over 300 newspapers internationally. The British public know him best as the author of popular puzzle columns in publications such as the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Metro and BBC Focus magazine.

He also consults on many television game shows, including The Crystal Maze, The Krypton Factor, The Mole and Treasure Hunt. He was the question editor for the first 8 series of BBC Four's lateral thinking quiz Only Connect. On BBC Radio 4 he appeared on the quiz Puzzle Panel and devised the cryptic clues for X Marks the Spot. He has written and edited over forty books, including How to Devise a Game Show and The Riddles of the Sphinx – a history of modern puzzles.

In 2005 he became a leading author of sudoku puzzles, and he was the first person to have sudokus published in several major territories, including India and Scandinavia. As well as the classic 9x9 puzzle, he pioneered a number of alternative designs which have proved popular with readers all over the world. His games, puzzles and questions also appear in many magazines, and on websites, advertising campaigns, board games and interactive television.

He edits, a wiki-based web site cataloguing UK television and radio game shows.

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Jeremy Carrad

Jeremy Carrad led a varied life. Born in 1932, he grew up first in Sutton Coldfield and then in London. After enjoying his national service, he stayed on in the army for another 10 years, setting up a forces' radio network and making programmes for the troops. From 1962 to 1976 he was anchor of the BBC West news programme, Points West, before deciding he'd had enough of that and quitting to run communications courses for industry. Latterly he was a playwright and novelist.

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W H Canaway

W.H. Canaway was born in 1925 in Altrincham, Cheshire. He was educated at Altrincham Grammar School and the University College of North Wales, Bangor, where he was awarded with a B.A. and M.A. degrees. He served in the 8th Army intelligence in North Africa and Italy during the latter part of the Second World War, before coming home to lecture at Stafford Technical College. After ten years of this, he committed himself to full-time writing. He wrote fifteen novels, including Sammy Going South, a book that was translated into a dozen languages and was made the Royal Command Film Performance of 1963. He was also a keen angler and wrote two highly regarded fishing books, as well as many articles for The Fishing Gazette. However, it is probably as a screenwriter that he is best remembered - The Ipcress File (starring a young Michael Caine in 1965) being amongst his credits, as well as TV series such as Brendon Chase and Dan, Badger and all the Coal. He died on 22nd May 1988, whilst still working on a film version of an earlier work, A Declaration of Independence.

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Roger Courtenay

Roger Courtenay is descended from a long line of Cornish fishermen and miners, so was naturally drawn to a career as an economist in the City of London. He divides his time between his home in London, and Cornwall, where he obsesses about the Cornish language and pretends to surf.

He has a first in economics from Cambridge University, a PhD in asset pricing theory, and is both a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh and member of the Cornish Language Board.

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Frank Dickens

Frank Dickens was born in Hornsey, London 1932.

Dickens left school at sixteen and began working for his father, a painter-decorator. A self-taught artist, he began working as a cartoonist in 1959 and has since won eight 'Cartoonist of the Year' awards for his Bristow series. In 1971 he made an introduction into stage work and in 1999 adapted Bristow into a six-part series for BBC Radio 4. Dickens has also published twelve children's books and two thrillers. 

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Charles Hall

Born in London, Charles Hall lives in rural Essex with his wife Jacqueline. It was Jacqueline whose deep involvement set him on the ‘write track’ when it came to writing ‘Megaton Mornings’: a book about his experiences with twenty-five nuclear tests whilst serving in the RAF.

Now semi-retired from business life, and apart from playing boogie-woogie piano - one of his numbers featured in the soundtrack of BBC TV’s ‘Love Soup’ - Charles has found more time to write the kind of stories he likes to read: fast moving action thrillers.

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David Kerr Cameron

David Kerr Cameron was born in Aberdeenshire in 1928.

After National Service in the RAF he joined Kirriemuir Herald, a Scottish weekly, 1951. He worked at various newspapers and magazines, including the Farming Express, where he was managing editor.

In 1966 he joined the Daily Telegraph, where he was, in succession, a Features Sub-Editor, Chief Features Sub-Editor, Weekend section/Books section production Sub-Editor of both Sunday and daily pages, and finally Sub-Editor on Arts desk. He retired from the Daily Telegraph in 1993.

He never forgot the rigours of farming life in Aberdeenshire, which he wrote about with un-sentimental vividness in his books.

The Ballad and the Plough (1978), Willie Gavin, Crofter Man (1980), and The Cornkister Days (1984), all of which won Scottish Arts Council Awards, gave the social history of the North-East a readability that drew comparisons with the work of the late John Prebble.


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Patrick MacGill

Patrick MacGill was born in Glenties, County Donegal, Ireland in 1889. He was a journalist, novelist & poet, known as ‘The Navvy Poet.


During WW1 he served with the London Irish Rifles, and was wounded at the Battle of Loos in 1915.


He moved to Florida, where he passed away on 22 November 1963.


His works include: Children of the Dead End, The Rat-Pit, The Amateur Army, The Red Horizon, The Great Push, The Brown Brethren, The Dough-Boys, The Diggers: The Australians in France, foreword by W. M. Hughes, Australian PM, Glenmornan, Maureen, Fear!, Lanty Hanlon: A Comedy of Irish Life, Moleskin Joe , The Carpenter of Orra, Sid Puddiefoot, Una Cassidy, Tulliver’s Mill, The Glen of Carr, The House at the World's End, Helen Spenser

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Barbara Minto

Barbara began her career on the staff of Cyrus Eaton, the industrialist who founded the famous Pugwash Conferences of nuclear scientists. Working as part of the team that organised and ran the conferences, she received sound training in tackling the problems of communicating clearly on technical subjects.

In 1961 she left Mr Eaton to attend the Harvard Business School, later joining joined McKinsey & Company.  Since 1973 Barbara specialises in teaching the Minto Pyramid Principle to people whose major training is in business of the professions, but whose jobs nevertheless require them to produce complex reports, analyses, memorandums, or presentations.

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Frederic Mullally

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Mullally's journalism career began in India where, from 1937 to 1949, he was sub-editor on The Statesman of Calcutta, then editor of the Sunday Standard of Bombay. Back in London he worked as a sub-editor of The Financial News, as co-editor of the weekly Tribune,  and finally as political editor and columnist of the Sunday Pictorial. From 1950 to 1955, he headed the public relations firm of Mullally & Warner, with clients ranging from Audrey Hepburn and Frank Sinatra to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Paul Getty, Frankie Laine, the Festival Ballet and Picture Post. Others included; Vera Lynn, Yvonne De Carlo, Guy Mitchell, Sonja Henie, Line Renaud, Johnnie Ray, Jo Stafford, Les Paul and Mary Ford, and the Oxford University Press and its counterpart, Cambridge University Press, as well as the Hulton Press.

Mullally's first novel was the 1958 world best-seller Danse Macabre. This was followed by eleven more titles. His semi-autobiographical novel Clancy was dramatised by BBC TV in five one-hour episodes in 1975 and 1977 under the title Looking for Clancy, starring Robert Powell and Keith Drinkel. Between books, Mullally compiled and wrote with the collaboration with the BBC an album, The Sounds of Time a dramatised history of Britain (1933–45) and the long running Penthouse magazine's strip cartoon "Oh Wicked Wanda!". In 1949 he abandoned a prospective candidature of the Labour Party for the parliamentary constituency of Finchley and Friern Barnet. Late in his life he contributed occasional freelance journalism.


Books by Frederic Mullally

Selected Bibliography

Dance Macabre (1958)

Man with Tin Trumpet (1961)

The Assassins (1964)

No Other Hunger (1966)

The Prizewinner (1967)

The Munich Involvement (1968)

Clancy (1971)

The Malta Conspiracy (1972)

Venus Afflicted (1973)

Hitler Has Won (1975)

The Deadly Payoff (1976)

The Daughters (1988)

Death Pays a Dividend (1944) with Fenner Brockway

Fascism Inside England (1946)

The Silver Salver (1981)

Primo:The Story of Man-Mountain Carnera (1991).

John Palmer

John Palmer, born in November 1928, was educated at the Heath Grammar School, Halifax, and the Queen’s College, Oxford where he read Greats.  In 1952 he was successful in the written competition for what was then the Administrative Class of the Civil Service, gaining exceptionally high marks in what the Civil Service Commissioners called Metaphysics, and Present Day, and in translating Latin unseen into good English.

He served in the Ministry of Housing and Local Government - and later for BR  dealing with various litigation about the Channel Tunnel, and aspects of rail privatisation.

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Greg Peake

Greg is a switched on, enthusiastic Southern American Motivational Speaker and Teacher. his formal work-life began in 1964 when he joined the U.S. Army at the lowest rank of Private. He attended Artillery Officer Candidate School and left the military as a 25-year-old Captain. He is a Vietnam War Veteran and a Purple Heart recipient.

After leaving the Army, He discovered the world of selling. This journey began in the Cattle and Livestock industry where he sold Pharmaceuticals and Ranch Supplies followed by a stint in the Debt Recovery Business. Subsequently, He worked in both Newspaper Sales and Circulation and finally the Financial Services industry where he was self-employed for 31 yrs. He successfully sold Life, Health, Disability Insurance and Mutual Funds. He owned a hugely successful Automobile Insurance Agency.

In his sales capacities, he received many awards to include membership of the Wall of Fame for the Bankers Life of Nebraska. This was awarded for being one of the Top 10 Salesman throughout the whole of America. He was a member of John Hancock Mutual Life’s President's Conference, achieved by only 2% of the sales force of this prestigious, 175-year-old company.

With his wonderful wife’s encouragement, he decided to make a career change. For many years, he longed to be a Motivational Speaker. He had a unique approach to the highly emotive business challenge of getting sales people to consistently make business development calls and accordingly wrote his first seminar, ‘Let’s Talk About Talking’. Following the huge success of this offering, and at the suggestion of a client, he then followed it with ‘A 'Check-Up from the Neck-Up'. To date, he has successfully conducted in excess of 400 of these Seminars worldwide, among a wide variety of local as well as multinational companies.

He is enthusiastic and passionate about his Seminars as he knows that they really do help people. He considers himself a very genuine and down to earth person and his love of people is easily felt.

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