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Skyfall writers leaving on a high - and other literary rivalries

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Here’s a 007 starter for 10. Who wrote Skyfall?

And, for that matter, the last four Bonds before that? It was Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The pair were hired by Barbara Broccoli 15 years ago when they had just two screenplays to their name – Let Him Have It and Plunkett and Macleane. No, me neither. Since then they have written five 007 scripts, starting with The World is Not Enough, and two Johnny English spy spoofs, too.

Speaking at Doha Tribeca Film Festival, they confirmed that they were leaving the franchise “on a high” with Skyfall but also hinted that Sam Mendes might stay on for a second outing. “I know that John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with a plot for another one”, said Wade. “Which takes the pressure off because these films take up a lot of time.”

P-p-p-p-pick up a PEN

They are soon to merge into the biggest publishing house in the world but for now Random House and Penguin remain arch rivals. Which, though, brought more brains to the table at the PEN literary quiz this week? Penguin, by some way.

While Random House came second to bottom with 43 points, Penguin came 8th with 60. Which may go some way to making up for the poor sales figures of their latest star signing, Pippa Middleton.

Also in the Arts Diary

Authors slam dunk contributions to pop song inspired story anthology 'Too Much Too Young'

Bigger than the Angel of the North: Enormous Antony Gormley sculpture to open to the public (literally) next week