Shelf Life

Graydon Carter and Anna Scott at this year's Vanity Fair Oscars party. Image: Getty

Shelf Life: Graydon Carter

5 December 2012 9:23

Editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter, is this week’s Shelf Lifer. He reveals a predilection for Herman Wouk, an in depth knowledge of certain sections of the Eaton’s catalogue and… Continue reading

1 Comment

Shelf Life: Iain (M) Banks

7 November 2012 15:34

Scottish novelist Iain (M) Banks is this week’s Shelf Life provocateur. He tells us how he likes to test his potential lovers and what extreme punishments he exacts on books… Continue reading

Image: Bill Walters

Shelf Life: Judy Finnigan

31 October 2012 9:00

Judy Finnigan tells us which Dane she’d take on holiday, which book she found in her mother’s bedside drawer and which book had better be on Richard Madeley’s reading list.… Continue reading

1 Comment
BMW PGA Championships - Previews

Shelf Life: Anton du Beke

24 October 2012 12:32

Stalwart of Strictly, winner of Rear of the Year 2011 and author of B is for Ballroom: Be Your Own Armchair Dancefloor Expert, dancer Anton du Beke is on this… Continue reading

Ol Parker with his wife Thandie Newton at the premiere of 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'. He is this week's Shelf Lifer. Image: Getty.

Shelf Life: Ol Parker

17 October 2012 12:12

Screenwriter for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and now promoting his latest film Now Is Good starring Dakota Fanning and Olivia Williams, filmmaker Ol Parker tells us which book is… Continue reading

1 Comment
James Naughtie answers our impertinent literature questionnaire. Image: Getty.

Shelf Life: James Naughtie

10 October 2012 16:45

James Naughtie explains why he’d give Scoop to a lover, confesses which books by another BBC luminary he does his best to avoid and finally reassures us, in case you… Continue reading

Roger Moore doesn't like parties. Image: Getty.

Shelf Life: Roger Moore

3 October 2012 16:02

A few surprising revelations from this week’s esteemed Shelf Lifer, as Roger Moore tells us which literary character he’d sleep with, what he doesn’t like doing in his spare time… Continue reading

1 Comment
Billy Bragg Performs At O2 Academy In Leicester

Shelf Life: Kate Tempest

12 September 2012 13:34

Kate Tempest started out as a 16-year-old rapper in London. Now she performs the spoken word, reading her poetry, rhymes and prose to stage audiences across the world. She has also written… Continue reading

1 Comment
Patrick Hennessey has answered this week's Shelf Life. Image: Getty

Shelf Life: Patrick Hennessey

5 September 2012 12:25

Patrick Hennessey was a founder member of the Junior Officers’ Reading Club, formed when the Grenadier Guards toured Iraq in 2006. He is the author of The Junior Officers’ Reading… Continue reading

1 Comment
Olivier Awards 2012 - Press Room

Shelf Life: Freddie Fox

22 August 2012 11:23

Not only will you be able to catch Freddie Fox this month in the BBC’s mega drama Parade’s End (also starring Rebecca Hall and Benedict Cumberbatch) but you can also see him… Continue reading

1 Comment
The Orange Prize For Fiction

Shelf Life: Nell Freudenberger

8 August 2012 9:15

Nell Freudenberger is one of the brightest young novelists in America, and she takes the Shelf Life hot seat this week. She suggests that Michael Gove should introduce English Literature GSCE… Continue reading

Anne Enright, Joe O'Shaughnessy

Shelf Life: Anne Enright

25 July 2012 11:47

Winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize, Anne Enright is on this week’s Shelf Life. She tells us which book qualifies as the first satisfying satire on the Irish boom,… Continue reading

1 Comment
Tamsin Greig, Getty Images

Shelf Life: Tamsin Greig

18 July 2012 18:10

Tamsin Greig is so busy at the moment that Debbie Aldridge, the character she plays in The Archers, has to spend most of her time in Hungary. Star of TV… Continue reading

1 Comment

Shelf Life: Richard Bean

11 July 2012 9:30

This week’s Shelf Lifer is Richard Bean. The British playwright recently won joint best new play at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards last year for both One Man, Two Guvnors… Continue reading

1 Comment

Shelf Life: Cityboy

4 July 2012 13:00

Geraint Anderson still has an axe to grind. Filthy lucre is corrupting public life, and the City’s casino banks continue to spoil all who come near them. Their venality is… Continue reading


Shelf Life special: The Skidelskys

28 June 2012 17:15

Robert and Edward Skidelsky have written a new book for our times, How Much Is Enough? The Love of Money, and the Case for the Good Life, which is published… Continue reading

1 Comment

Shelf Life: Samantha Brick

27 June 2012 12:00

Journalist and former TV producer, Samantha Brick was recently castigated for her Daily Mail article suggesting that some might be intimidated by her good looks. But since we’re always game… Continue reading

1 Comment
A neckless is displayed at the exhibitio

Shelf Life: Taki

20 June 2012 18:30

This week’s Shelf Life stars our very own Taki, the Spectator’s infamous High Life correspondent. As you’d expect, he has a clear idea of which literary party he attend, and… Continue reading


Shelf Life: Paul Daniels

7 June 2012 15:15

Paul Daniels, whose first name is actually Newton, is this week’s Shelf Lifer. He tells us what he’s reading at the moment and what he thinks about Janet Street Porter.… Continue reading