The Blagger's Guide To...The Richard and Judy Book Club

If you want to get ahead, get in the club


*Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan celebrate the first anniversary of their WHSmith Book Club on Tuesday, complete with a children's book club, a new autumn reading list, and a podcast that has notched up over 100,000 hits. This is the latest incarnation of their book club, which first became a regular feature of the couple's Channel 4 show in 2004.

*Appearing on the Book Club was instrumental in helping Victoria Hislop's The Island and Kate Mosse's Labyrinth to sell over a million copies each. Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor rose to the top of the Amazon bestseller charts within four hours of being discussed on the show. Sales of David Nicholls' Starter For Ten rose by 1,000 per cent after it was mentioned. In 2008 alone, £8m was spent on Richard and Judy books. Fears that the club would be a dumbed-down reading list for TV-holic viewers were put to rest when David Mitchell's Booker-shortlisted Cloud Atlas was chosen, and proved popular. Philip Stone, charts editor at The Bookseller, said: "Quite simply, authors received a bigger benefit from appearing on Richard and Judy's sofa than by winning any of the major literary prizes in the UK."

*The power behind the lectern was Amanda Ross, the joint managing director of Cactus TV, who came up with the idea to launch a televised book club in the UK following a similar format to Oprah Winfrey's Book Club in America. Ross was instrumental in choosing the books, and reportedly could not be nobbled. At its height, the club received over 650 submissions each year, which were whittled down to 10. Ross became known as "the most powerful woman in British publishing". She now runs Channel 4's The TV Book Club, which, unlike the WHSmith and Richard and Judy book clubs, uses sponsorship to provide its promotion budget and doesn't rely on any money from publishers.

*Richard's first book, Fathers and Sons, about the men in his family, was largely (if grudgingly) well-received by the critics. Earlier this month, he appealed to his Twitter followers for help writing the sex scenes in his second book, a novel. Judy is currently working on her first novel, a supernatural thriller set in Cornwall.

*The longest that Richard and Judy have ever been apart was for 15 days, while Richard was filming BBC1's Who Do You Think You Are? earlier this summer. It will be broadcast on 28 September. On the way home from filming, two passengers on Madeley's flight approached him to tell him how much they enjoyed some of the latest Book Club selections: The Postmistress, The Blasphemer, and Room.

*Julian Barnes said that being selected as a R&J Book Club author (in 2006) was the highlight of his career.

*The polymath critic, novelist and Booker judge, Philip Hensher, is another fan of Richard and Judy. According to the R&J regular, former literary editor of the IoS and now literary blogger, Suzi Feay (http://suzifeay.blogspot.com/), he is one of the few people who have unashamedly told her with utter glee: "I saw you on Richard and Judy!"

*This summer's list is: When God Was a Rabbit, by Sarah Winman; The Summer of the Bear, by Bella Pollen; The Return of Captain John Emmett, by Elizabeth Speller; The Death Instinct, by Jed Rubenfeld; The Confessions of Katherine Howard, by Suzannah Dunn; The Novel in the Viola, by Natasha Solomons; Every Last One, by Anna Quindlen; and The Poison Tree, by Erin Kelly.

Arts and Entertainment

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade

radio
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?