A major new project from Biteback Publishing

  • March 07, 2017 09:00
  • Sam Jones

Biteback Publishing is delighted to announce a major new project: a two-volume series of biographies of every female MP ever to be elected to the House of Commons.

On 14 December 1918, Countess Markievicz became the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons. She was elected for Sinn Féin, but never took her seat. Eleven months later, Nancy, Lady Astor, became the first woman to be elected and to take her seat. One hundred years later, 454 other women followed in their stead.

The book’s co-editors, Biteback’s publisher Iain Dale and former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, are commissioning biographical essays on each of the 456 ‘Honourable Ladies’. Each of the contributors will be female.

Volume I will contain profiles of the 169 female MPs to sit in the House of Commons between 1918 and 1997 and will be published in hardback in November 2018.

Volume II will contain profiles of the 287 female MPs first elected between 1997 and 2019 and will be published in November 2019.

Iain Dale said: “This is a major project for a major centenary, but it’s exactly the kind of book Biteback excels in. Each of the 456 women has a fascinating story to tell and this book enables them to tell it through the eyes of a contemporary female voice. Many contributors are current female MPs themselves, while others are journalists, academics and historians. Jacqui and I are delighted to be working together again on this important initiative.”

Jacqui Smith said: “The women who made it into Parliament during these years showed considerable grit and energy.  That’s what they share, but there are also a whole range of histories, backgrounds and events to explore which make this such an exciting project.  I’m really looking forward to seeing their stories told by other women – many of whom followed in their footsteps.”


Biteback to publish Jeremy Thompson’s autobiography

  • March 01, 2017 12:00
  • James Stephens

Jeremy Thompson: Autobiography

Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to the memoirs of one of Britain’s most celebrated broadcasters.

Until his retirement at the end of 2016, Jeremy Thompson was one of the longest-serving journalists and news anchors in the UK.

During a forty-year career in television news, Thompson gained a reputation as the consummate broadcaster, latterly as the anchor of Sky News’ early evening programme, though as frequently broadcasting on location from the heart of the story.

Thompson worked for all the major news broadcasters in the UK: the BBC, ITV and finally Sky, where he started as a foreign correspondent in 1993. He covered many of the most important news events of our time and reported from all over the world, picking up countless awards for his work.

The first TV journalist to broadcast live as British peacekeeping forces arrived in Kosovo, he also covered the First Gulf War and, in 2003, anchored Sky News’ coverage of the Second Gulf War from Iraq. There he presented every night for a month on the front line and was the first anchor to present from inside Baghdad. He was also in South Africa to cover the death of Nelson Mandela and the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius.

This extraordinary book tells the life story of one of the nation’s most popular broadcasters. Jeremy Thompson’s autobiography will be published in October 2017 and supported by a major publicity campaign.

Iain Dale said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be publishing Jeremy’s memoirs. I have been a fan for many years and have yet to meet anyone who can tell a story as well as him. Readers will lap up the anecdotes and adventures contained in this extraordinary book.’

For more information please contact james.stephens@bitebackpublishing.com or call 020 7091 1260


Biteback Publishing to publish Something For The Weekend: Life In The Chemsex Underworld by James Wharton

  • February 23, 2017 09:00
  • James Stephens

Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to Something for the Weekend: Life in the Chemsex Underworld by former soldier James Wharton.

When James Wharton left the army, he found himself with more opportunities than most to begin a successful civilian life. He had a husband, two dogs, two cars, a nice house in the countryside and a publishing deal.

A year later, he found himself single, living in a small room and trying to adjust to single gay life back in the capital. In his search for new friends and potential lovers, he was sucked into London’s gay drug culture, soon becoming addicted to partying and the phenomenon known as chemsex.

Exploring his own journey through this popular, dark world, James looks at the motivating factors that led him to the culture, as well as examining the paths taken by others. He reveals the real goings on at the weekends for thousands of people after most have gone to bed, and describes how modern technology allows people to arrange, congregate, furnish themselves with ‘chems’ and spend hours, sometimes days, behind closed curtains, with strangers and in states of heightened sexual desire.

In the fiftieth year since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, this book reveals contemporary life in London for a great number of gay and bisexual men. It reveals how, although equality legislation has progressed, the gay community itself is factious and made up of many identities that don’t always feel a part of the bigger picture.

Something for the Weekend champions the work of sexual health organisations and drug charities who help people addicted to chemsex, and explores the disturbing side of London’s gay drug culture and its sometimes devastating consequences.

Iain Dale said: ‘I’m delighted to be publishing James’s new book, especially after the enormous success of his debut, Out in the Army, which Biteback published a couple of years ago. His new book is an important story that needs to be told and will surprise many!’

Something for the Weekend will be published in July 2017 and supported by a major publicity campaign.

For more information please contact james.stephens@bitebackpublishing.com or call 020 7091 1260


An evening with Robin Lustig at Waterstones Piccadilly

  • January 31, 2017 12:00
  • Sam Jones

If you've ever tuned in to BBC Radio 4 programmes such as The World Tonight and Newstand, or Newshour on the BBC World Service, the chances are you've listened to the sharp, sage reporting of Robin Lustig.

Many of those who weren't fortunate enough to be invited to the week's other big event – the inaugural ceremony in Washington – joined us on Thursday 19 January at Waterstones Piccadilly to celebrate the launch of Lustig's new memoir Is Anything Happening? My Life as a Newsman.

It's a fantastic book, both an irresistible personal memoir and an insightful reflection on world events over the past forty-five years. At Waterstones, Robin discussed his life and the state of the press with Rosie Goldsmith, and shared anecdotes from an illustrious career in broadcast journalism.



Photos by Max Easterman


Biteback Publishing to publish Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World by James Ball

  • December 08, 2016 09:00
  • Biteback Publishing

Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World by journalist James Ball. 

Post-Truth investigates how fake news, clickbait and a deep-seated hostility to ‘experts’ have shaped our world, and how sophistry and spin have plumbed dangerous new lows in our political discourse. 

2016 marked the dawn of the post-truth era. The year’s shock election results have the potential to reshape the world, but both were characterised by a dangerous disregard for facts. From the false reports that Hillary Clinton had stockpiled 30,000 guillotines to execute her opponents on taking the presidency, to Donald Trump denying he had made speeches that were recorded on video, to the infamous EU Leave campaign claims of £350 million extra funding for the NHS, politics across the world has rarely seen so many stretching the truth with such impunity. James Ball’s powerful and revealing new book explores how bullshit has infiltrated the system, why it works and what we can do to stop it spreading. 

Iain Dale said: ‘I’m delighted to be publishing this timely and important investigation. James’s book is bigger than fake news and bigger than social media. It’s about the slow rise of a political, media and online infrastructure that has devalued truth – and about how we can restore balanced and intelligent debate.’ 

James Ball said: ‘The politics of 2016 have hit many in the political and media “bubbles” as a shock to the gut. They shouldn’t have. The way the media and politics are changing prioritises the grabby over the true, and it should be no surprise that political campaigns exploit that. 

‘What we do have to do is tackle it. Without some common agreement on truth, we’re seeing the rise of the conspiracy theory, the rise of extremist bubbles, and the death of common ground. The first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging it – hopefully this book will be part of that, working out what’s gone wrong and how we can begin to fix it.’ 

Post-Truth will be published in July 2017 and will be supported by a major press campaign. 

James Ball has worked in political, data and investigative journalism in the US and UK for BuzzFeed, The Guardian, the Washington Post and more in a career spanning TV, digital, print and alternative media. His reporting has won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the Scripps Howard prize, the British Journalism Award for investigative reporting, the Royal Statistical Society award and the Laurence Stern Fellowship, among others. 

For more information please contact isabelle.ralphs@bitebackpublishing.com or call 020 7091 1260