Jonathan studied an MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and a PhD on 17th century Closet Drama. He went on to be Deputy Literary Editor for The Observer then moved to the Fabian Society as Editorial Director where he published numerous political books and oversaw the editing of the Fabian Review. He then worked as Director of the literature and free speech organisation English PEN where he championed reform of the English libel laws. His passion for Orwell led him to write introduction to Orwell: The Observer Years.
Journalist and author Annalena McAfee has worked in regional and national newspapers for three decades. She was arts and literary editor of the Financial Times and founded the Guardian Review, which she edited for five years. She has also written and published eight books for children and edited Lives and Works: Profiles of Contemporary Writers.
Jenny Abramsky DBE began her 39-year-long career at the BBC in 1969 as a programme operations assistant, where she would become one of the most influential women in radio. She rose through the ranks serving as editor of Radio 4’s Today, World at One and PM programmes. In 1994 she became founding controller of Radio 5 Live before moving to the BBC’s continuous news department, where she launched BBC News 24 three years later. In 2008 Jenny left the BBC to become chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. She is a trustee of the Shakespeare Schools Festival and a fellow of The Radio Academy.
Award-winning journalist Ian Jack began his career in the 1960s, working for various Scottish newspapers. In the 70s, he moved to The Sunday Times, where was a reporter, foreign correspondent, feature writer and editor. Ian is a co-founder of The Independent on Sunday which he edited from 1991 to 1995. He went on to edit literary magazine Granta, where he remained until 2007. He is author of The Country Formally Known as Great Britain. Ian currently holds a weekly column at The Guardian and teaches an MA at Kings College London.
Geoffrey Wheatcroft started his career in publishing and went on to work as a journalist as well as writing several books. He was Deputy Editor and then Literary Editor at The Spectator, editor of the London diaries column at The Evening Standard and has since written freelance for various publications in the UK and US. His books include The Strange Death of Tory England and Yo, Blair!.
Ferdinand Mount is a writer and prize-winning novelist. During 1982-83, under Margaret Thatcher, Mount was head of the policy unit at 10 Downing Street. From 1991-2003, he edited the Times Literary Supplement, and held a column at the Sunday Times until 2004. After leaving the Sunday Times, he began writing a column for the Daily Telegraph. Ferdinand has written several books, includingMind the Gap, about a new class divide in Britain, Of Love and Asthma, which won the Hawthornden Prize, and his bestselling memoir, Cold Cream: My Early Life and Other Mistakes.
Sir John Tusa is Chairman of the Court of Governors at University of the Arts London. After a career in broadcasting on politics and international relations for BBC radio and television, he became presenter of BBC 2′s Newsnight between 1979 and 1986. From 1986 to 2002 he was Managing Director of the BBC World Service. After returning to daily television journalism, he became managing director of the Barbican Centre from 1995 until August 2007.
He wrote books jointly with his wife Ann Tusa such as, The Nuremberg Trailand The Berlin Blockade as well as several titles solo including Art Matters: Reflecting on Culture and Engaged with the Arts: Writings from the Frontline.
John Tusa at The Guardian
Albert Scardino is a former executive editor for the home and foreign departments of The Guardian, and a former adviser to the Democratic Party in the United States. The Orwell Prize was delighted to have the 1984 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial journalism as a judge for 2008. Albert was a Sky News commentator for thirteen years, he was Governor of The Royal Shakespeare Company until 2007 and he is a Trustee for the Media Standards Trust.
Albert Scardino at The Guardian
Steve Jones is a geneticist who writes journalism and books on the subject of biology. In 1996 he was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize “for his numerous, wide ranging contributions to the public understanding of science in areas such as human evolution and variation, race, sex, inherited disease and genetic manipulation through his many broadcasts on radio and television, his lectures, popular science books, and his regular science column in The Daily Telegraph and contributions to other newspaper media”.
Steve’s books include The Language of the Genes, Darwin’s Island: The Galapagos in the Garden of England and the acclaimed Almost Like A Whale: The Origin Of Species.
Steve Jones at The Telegraph
Norma Percy is a BAFTA winning documentary film-maker who has covered worldwide crises for over thirty years. Norma’s films include The Death of Yugoslavia, American Experience and Iran and the West.
Prior to her film-making career Norma worked as researcher to John Mackintosh MP.
Norma Percy wins 2010 Special Orwell Prize for lifetime achievement
Francis Wheen is a journalist, writer and broadcaster. He is currently Deputy Editor of Private Eye.
Francis’s book Hoo-Hahs and Passing Frenzies: Collected Journalism 1991-2001 won the Orwell Prize in 2003. Among his other most famous works is a biography of Karl Marx with Das Kapital and How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World: A Short History of Modern Delusions.
Francis regularly appears on Have I got news for you and contributes to various publications.