Our Interviewers

Julia Wheeler

Julia is a writer and journalist who worked for the BBC for more than 15 years, including as the BBC’s Gulf Correspondent, based in the UAE and covering the Arabian Peninsula between 2000 and 2010. She has moderated large-scale conferences and chaired inter-governmental forums. and is a chair and interviewer for several festivals including Cheltenham (Literature and Science), Stanfords Travel Writers Festival at London’s Olympia and the Chiswick and Stratford Literary Festivals. She lives in Kent. (Image: Lorentz Gullachsen

Tim Hubbard

Tim taught Drama and English before joining the team launching BBC Radio Cornwall in 1983 where he was a journalist and presenter for many years, winning several major awards. He also presented at various times on all five BBC national radio networks and on TV for BBC One network and in the South West. His freelance career has encompassed corporate presentations, voice overs, and media training, working throughout the UK as well as in the USA and Europe. He currently hosts author/audience events at Cheltenham, Stratford and other literary festivals and writes features and articles for national newspapers and magazines. His books include A Year in Cornwall with Tim Hubbard (2000) and The Great Gardens of Cornwall: the People and their Plants’(2017). He’s currently working on another book about Cornish gardens for publication in 2023, and lives overlooking the sea at Mousehole.

Clare Clark

Clare is the author of six highly acclaimed historical novels, including The Great Stink and Savage Lands, both long-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her seventh novel, Trespass, inspired by the shocking news stories of undercover cops infiltrating protest groups and pursuing relationships with activists, was published by Virago in August 2022. Clark is also a regular contributor to the Guardian’s book pages. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Mail on Sunday, and Literary Review. She interviews at the Cheltenham Literature Festival and is on their advisory board. She lives in London and Wiltshire.

Carol Ackroyd

Moving to Devon from her native Yorkshire, Carol spent much of her career working in libraries. As the representative of the libraries of the South West in a partnership with the major publishers, she had an early grounding in the interface between book and reader. She was instrumental in developing Devon’s Reading Group programme and, as part of this, brought authors into libraries - Hilary Mantel in 2006 was one highlight. Interviewing at Budleigh and Manchester Literary Festival, she loves the buzz of a festival, and remains enthusiastic about the alchemy that can happen between an author and audience, or reader and reader. She is Deputy Chair of the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.

Cathy Rentzenbrink

Cathy is an acclaimed memoirist whose books include The Last Act of Love and Dear Reader. In 2021 she published her first novel Everyone is Still Alive. Her book about how to write a memoir is called Write It All Down and is out now. Cathy regularly chairs literary events, interviews authors, reviews books, runs creative writing courses and speaks and writes on life, death, love, and literature. Despite being shortlisted for various prizes, the only thing Cathy has ever won is the Snaith and District Ladies’ Darts Championship when she was 17. She is now sadly out of practice. She lives in Cornwall.

Justin Leigh

For 20 years Justin Leigh was one of the main presenters of the BBC’s most successful regional news programme, Spotlight. He was also a presenter on BBC Radio Devon and Cornwall in a career spanning more than 30 years. In that time he has interviewed thousands of people from all walks of life including royalty, prime ministers and leading figures from local politics, business and entertainment. He has broadcast live from some of the biggest events in the South West in recent years including:the Dawlish rail line collapse, the grounding of the Napoli container ship in East Devon and the devastating flood which swept through the Cornish village of Boscastle. He lives in Cornwall.

David Grayson CBE

David is Emeritus Professor of Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield University School of Management. He chairs the Institute of Business Ethics and the pan-disability charity Leonard Cheshire. He is also the immediate past chair of Carers UK. David is a serial author himself with ten books about responsible business to his name, including The Sustainable Business Handbook published by Kogan Page (2022).