Cultural Life: Jilly Cooper, author


Books: I'm like an old dinosaur living in the countryside writing books in longhand or on my old manual typewriter – but I've learnt a lot about modern technology reading 'In Office Hours' by Lucy Kellaway. A young female executive has an office affair with a young trainee and another one has an affair with her married boss. Naturally, their worlds come unstuck and they are destined for hell and damnation at the end. I just read 'Dash: Bitch of the Year' by Andrew Dilger. More than 10,000 greyhounds die a year. It really upsets me.

Television: 'The Proms' has been absolutely fantastic. Roger Wright, the director of the BBC Proms, has done an excellent job. I loved the BBC Four biopic 'Enid', starring Helena Bonham Carter, about the children's author Enid Blyton. 'New Tricks' is heaven. Anthony Calf who plays Deputy Assistant Commissioner Robert Strickland was in the film of my book 'Riders' years ago playing Billy Lloyd-Foxe. He's very good-looking. I'm heartbroken 'The Bill' has gone – what a wonderful series.

Visual Arts: I'm hopeless, as I just sit here and write books (40 to date). I don't want to sound like a prisoner but it's hard to go out if you also have a husband who is ill. I saw a preview of Emily Patrick's work for an exhibition in London next week. She is like the Wordsworth of the art world, painting the countryside in a delicate way. In my latest book, 'Jump', the hero gave his mistress a painting by her. The artist was so pleased, she sent me two prints.

Music: I'm listening to Mendelssohn's Second Symphony as well as "Elijah".

Jilly Cooper's new book, 'Jump', is published by Bantam Press, £18.99. She is appearing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on 9 October

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