Hunter Davies OBE
Founder of the Lakeland Book of the Year 35 years ago, Hunter Davies is one of Britain’s most prolific authors, having written many books on subjects as diverse as the Beatles and Hadrian’s Wall. Hunter grew up and went to school in Carlisle before going on to Durham University. He started his writing career with a holiday job as a student on The Carlisle Journal. In 1960 he joined The Sunday Times in London where he became Chief Features Writer and ultimately Editor of the magazine.
He writes regular columns for several papers including the Sunday Times on money, The New Statesman on football and Cumbria Life on any old thing really. Hunter is well known for his books on the Lake District and his best-sellers include acclaimed works on Wordsworth and Wainwright. His travel books include “A Walk along the Wall” and “A Walk around the Lakes”. He has recently published two volumes of his memoirs, ‘The Co-Op’s Got Bananas” and “A Life In the Day”. A third will be out next year. For thirty years he spent half of each year at his Lakeland home at Loweswater. He was married for 55 years to the novelist and biographer Margaret Forster who died last year.
In October this year, Hunter’s 100th book will be published, based on his Cumbria Life columns. Is this a world record? It is for him…
Dr Fiona Armstrong is a broadcaster and writer, now presenting “Border Life”, a current affairs programme for ITV Border. She also writes columns for Scottish and American newspapers and magazines. Fiona is a former ITN presenter and reporter, which took her to places like Uganda, West Africa and Cambodia. As a producer she has made films on subjects ranging from clan history, to politics, to wildlife.
Fiona has presented antiques and cooking programmes. She fronted “Executive Lifestyles” for NBC and has presented the news on the BBC News Channel, BBC World News and worked for Radios Two and Four. One of her loves is fishing and she fronted a TV series, “Fiona on Fishing” and presented Sky TV’s “Tight Lines” programme – as well as the recent World Fishing Day marathon on Fishing TV. She has written two fishing books – and two quirky cookbooks.
Passionate about history, Fiona has made more than twenty films on Scottish clans and families and has just received a doctorate on ‘Highlandism’ – or how Scotland got a tartan face. She is married to the Chief of Clan Gregor – and her married name is Lady MacGregor of MacGregor. Fiona is Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries. She is
Eric Robson DL
Eric is a writer and broadcaster who has made programmes for BBC, ITV and Channel 4 for more than 40 years. For many years he was a BBC outside broadcast commentator working on all the great State occasions – Remembrance Sunday, Trooping of the Colour, Royal events and the handover of Hong Kong. For over 20 years he was chairman of one of the world’s longest running broadcast programmes, Radio Four’s Gardeners’ Question Time.
His books include “Great Railway Journeys of the World”, “The Border Line”, a history of the Anglo/Scottish border and “After Wainwright”, a memoir of the years he worked with Britain’s most famous fell walker. His latest book, “Abroad” – a great railway journey round the Lake District in the company of the mad, the bad and the dangerous to know – was recently published but sadly, as he is a judge, is not eligible for the Hunter Davies prize.
He is Chairman of Cumbria Tourism, a trustee of Tullie House Museum in Carlisle and a Deputy Lieutenant for Cumbria.