Cover Stories: Leslie Phillips; Richard Attenborough; Andrew Motion; PEN

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The Independent Culture

Two 82-year-old thespians have finally decided to put pen to paper. Leslie Phillips, whose lecherous roles have rather overshadowed his more serious acting, is to write his memoirs. Naturally, it is to be called Hello... and will be written with a little help from novelist Peter Burden and published by Orion in the autumn, coinciding with the release of his latest film, Venus. Meanwhile, Richard Attenborough has teamed up with Diana Hawkins, his former publicist and business partner, for "a two-handed memoir" that was the idea of Sheila, Lord A's wife of 60 years. Entirely Up to You, Darling will take readers behind the scenes and the camera, showing the business side of film as well as his work as a philanthropist, and his friendship with Princess Diana. The book has gone to Hutchinson following a deal by Caroline Michel.

* Tony Blair will be relieved that Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, who recently wrote a poem against the Iraq war, may be a little too busy to indulge in further protests. He is at work on a memoir of his childhood, In the Blood, which Faber has in the schedule for September. It's shaping up to be "a magnificent and moving memoir" of growing up in the English countryside, according to his editor, Julian Loose, who places it "in the autobiographical tradition of Wordsworth, Siegfried Sassoon and Laurie Lee".

* There's still time to book for next Tuesday's PEN event, "Talking Offence", with The Independent's Howard Jacobson and Philip Hensher as well as psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and Dame Helena Kennedy QC. They will discuss the competing claims of artistic freedom and religious sensitivity in the light of the Government's Religious Hatred bill. Lisa Appignanesi chairs the event at the Adam Street Club, Adam Street WC2 on 17 January at 7pm. Book on 020-7713 0023, or www.englishpen.org/events/

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