Related to: 'HOPEFUL – an autobiography'

Alison Pick

Alison Pick is the author of FAR TO GO, longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, and winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award for fiction; and a memoir, BETWEEN GODS, which was shortlisted for the Wingate Prize. She is also the author of two collections of poetry, and a novel, THE SWEET EDGE, all of which were published to wide acclaim. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Andy Seed

Andy Seed worked for many years as a primary school teacher in the Yorkshire Dales before setting up as a freelance writer in 2000. He now splits his work time between writing and travelling around schools running workshops and enthusing children about books and reading, as well as giving talks about his days as a young teacher in the Dales. Andy is married with three children and lives in the wilds of North Yorkshire where he finds inspiration while battling against the overgrowth of his vast, rambling garden.

Ben Hatch

Ben Hatch was born in London and grew up here, in Manchester and Buckinghamshire, where he lived in a Windmill that meant he was called Windy Miller at school for years, though he's not been scared by this experience at all. He now lives in Brighton with his tiny wife Dinah, and two children, in a normal house. He likes cheese and is balding although he disguises this fact by spiking his hair to a great height to distract people he wishes to impress. His latest book is called Road to Rouen: A 10,000 Mile Journey In cheese-filled Passat. Before this he wrote Are We Nearly There Yet? 8,000 Miles Round Britian in Vauxhall Astra, that was a Radio 2 Book of the Year, became a Number One bestseller and is currently being made into a movie by Island Pictures. He is the tallest Hatch who ever lived (5ft 9) and is son of Sir David Hatch, the famous radio performer and producer whose shadow Ben doesn't at all feel under. He also maintains that he knows the cure for the common cold (tweet him at @BenHatch to find this out) and that one of his relatives was John Couch-Adams who discovered the planet Neptune. Apparently his aunty told him.

Bobby Charlton

Sir Bobby Charlton was born in 1937 in Ashington, Northumberland. He joined Manchester United as a professional in 1954 and made his first team debut in October 1956. He was voted European Player of the Year in 1966 and won the FA Cup, three Division One championships and the European Cup with United. He joined the board of the club in 1984, a position he still holds today. Bobby Charlton was a key member of the victorious England World Cup side of 1966. He was awarded the OBE in 1969, the CBE in 1973 and was knighted in 1994, the first footballer to gain such an honour since Sir Stanley Matthews in 1965.

Bryony Gordon

In the 18 years that she has worked for the Telegraph, Bryony Gordon has become one of the paper's best-loved writers. She is the author of the bestselling The Wrong Knickers plus The Sunday Times Number One bestseller Mad Girl which was nominated for a British Book Award. Her weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph has won her an army of fans who have followed her journey from single girl about town to - finally! - settled mum. Bryony is now 37 and lives in Nappy Valley (Clapham) with her daughter Edie and her husband, a financial journalist. The last sentence is one she never thought she would see written down on paper.

Claire Dederer

Claire Dederer is the author of the New York Times-bestselling memoir Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses which Elizabeth Gilbert called 'the book we all need'. A book critic, essayist, and reporter, Dederer is a long-time contributor to The New York Times, and has also written for The Atlantic, Vogue, Slate, The Nation, and New York magazine, among others. She lives on an island near Seattle with her family.

David Niven

David Niven was born in London in 1910. Following Sandhurst and a brief career in the Highland Light Infantry, he sailed to North America where he undertook a number of jobs before heading to Hollywood. He starred in many films, most famously The Prisoner of Zenda in 1937, before returning to Britain when war broke out, to join the Rifle Brigade. Following the war, he returned to Hollywood where he made many more films including Death on the Nile, Casino Royale and The Guns of Navarone.

Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater established her successful pottery business in 1985. She found a manufacturer in Stoke-on-Trent to produce a range of mugs, jugs and teapots inspired by traditional shapes and spongeware designs. She now employs over 230 people and continues to make all her ceramics in Staffordshire, the historic home of pottery manufacture in Britain. Emma is married with four children and lives outside Oxford, where she was brought up.Follow Emma on Twitter: @EmmaBridgewater www.emmabridgewater.co.uk

Hugh Dennis

Hugh Dennis is an award-winning writer, actor and comedian best known for weekly satirical panel showMock The Week, Radio 4's The Now Show and BBC sit-com Outnumbered. He lives in Sussex with his real wife and his real children. To their annoyance he is interested in almost everything. He reads, runs, cycles, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Jo Brand

Jo Brand is a stand-up comic with many TV and radio shows to her name. She is married with two children and lives in south London.

Kate Humble

KATE HUMBLE is a writer and presenter. Her most recent television credits include Volcano Live, Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey, Lambing Live and the long running popular wildlife series Springwatch and Autumnwatch. She is a qualified commercial diver and is the second woman to be appointed President of the RSPB. Kate and Ludo launched their business Humble By Nature in 2012. Based on a working farm in Monmouthshire, they run courses in food, rural skills and animal husbandry. They live nearby on their smallholding with Badger and Bella, a hive of bees and various other hoofed, furred and feathered livestock.

Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of seven novels, AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award. She lives in Edinburgh.

Matt Dawson

Matt Dawson won 77 caps and scored 101 points for England, and won 7 caps and scored 10 points for the British and Irish Lions, in a distinguished 15-year playing career, the pinnacle of which was winning the World Cup in 2003. At club level, he excelled at scrum-half for 13 years with Northampton and won the Heineken Cup in 2000, then finished his career at London Wasps where he won the Premiership in his first season.Dawson is now a much-loved broadcaster who captains a team on BBC1's long-running A Question of Sport and passionately presents and commentates on rugby on BT Sport and BBC Radio 5 Live. In 2006 he won BBC1's Celebrity Masterchef and finished second in BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing.

Neil Ansell

Neil Ansell was an award winning television journalist with the BBC and a long standing writer for the broadsheets. He is the author of two previous books, Deep Country and Deer Island, and has contributed to nature programmes and wildlife documentaries though his main focus was news and current affairs. He has two daughters and lives in Brighton.

Nigel Havers

The distinguished British actor Nigel Havers has played many roles in theatre, film and TV. Famous films include: Chariots of Fire, A Passage to India, and Empire of the Sun. He has appeared increasingly in TV dramas such as Upstairs, Downstairs and Dangerfield, headling the 1980s BBC sitcom Don't Wait Up. More recently he returned to comedy with Manchild. His father was Lord Havers QC.

Phil Tufnell

Phil Tufnell, aka "Tuffers", played 42 Test matches and 20 One-Day Internationals for England between 1990 and 1997. Following retirement in 2002, Tufnell became a hugely popular TV personality. He was the winner of ITV1's "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" in 2003, and enjoyed a long run in BBC1's "Strictly Come Dancing" in 2009. Current broadcasting commitments include being team captain on BBC1's "A Question of Sport" and regular features on BBC1's "The One Show". He remains a star turn on Radio 4's iconic "Test Match Special" show.

Rachel Roddy

Rachel Roddy writes a weekly award-winning column in Guardian Cook. Rachel's first book Five Quarters won the André Simon Food Book award in 2015, as well as the Guild of Food Writers' First Book award. Rachel has lived in Testaccio, a distinctive working-class quarter of Rome, for over twelve years. She shares a small flat near the food market with her partner Vincenzo and son Luca and spends part of the year in Vincenzo's family house in Gela, south-east Sicily. racheleats.wordpress.com Follow Rachel on Twitter @racheleats Follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelaliceroddy

Rich Cohen

Rich Cohen is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Tough Jews, The Avengers, Monsters, and (with Jerry Weintraub) When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead. He is a co-creator of the HBO series Vinyl and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone and has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Harper's Magazine, among others. Cohen has won the Great Lakes Book Award, the Chicago Public Library's 21st Century Award, and the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for outstanding coverage of music. His stories have been included in The Best American Essays and The Best American Travel Writing. He lives in Connecticut.

Saira Ahmed & Andrew Crofts

Saira is a successful, independent business woman, bringing up her daughter alone. Her family still know nothing of what she has been through and names have been changed to protect Saira and her daughter from their anger. Should they find out how she has dishonoured them - they might very well decide to kill her.

Sheena Byrom

Sheena Byrom was born and brought up in North West England and has lived and worked there all her life. Sheena's career spans 35 years - and she has recently taken early retirement to complete a PhD in normal childbirth with the University of Nottingham. She is married wit hfour children, one of whom has followed her mother's footsteps in becoming a midwife lecturer.