‘Kay Burley uses her unrivalled knowledge of the worlds of politics,media and celebrity to racy effect.’ Lord Mandelson
‘Julian might lead the country but he underestimates his lovers at his peril.’ Barbara Taylor Bradford
‘Once I picked up this book, it wouldn't put me down again.' Kathy Lette
‘A brilliant, thrilling read.’ Closer
From the Author
What are your greatest passions in life?
My son, my animals and my work. I hear you keep chickens, and have dogs too. Tell us about them, and how else do you relax?
I have three Irish setters, Dill, Gordon and Alf, who are bonkers but adorable. I also have 15 chickens most of whom are ex-battery girls who were rescued just before they were about to head for the great coop in the sky. I also relax by jogging and visiting friends in the country.
Tell me more about becoming a writer?
I love writing. I have since I was a little girl. I had no idea that anyone would be interested in what I had to say but my wonderful editor, Sarah Ritherdon, has given me confidence to find a voice that readers seem to enjoy. Long may it continue! Do you get inspiration for your fiction from your exciting journalism career? Can you give us some examples? First Ladies
has three main female characters. They’re all based on me at varying stages of my life, if I’d just turned a slightly different corner… and then I’ve stretched it into fiction. I loved every minute of writing it. I hope readers will recognise a little bit of themselves in some of the characters too.
How did you start your career in journalism?
I began in journalism more than 30 years ago as a junior reporter on the Evening Post and Chronicle in Wigan, Lancashire. I also worked in local radio and television, including a stint as Richard and Judy’s researcher at Granada Reports in Manchester. I came to London in 1985 as an overnight reporter at TV-am, the forerunner to Daybreak and joined Sky in 1988. What has been the most memorable news story you have covered?
There have been so many although announcing the death of Diana, Princess of Wales was a shocking day, as was the collapse of the World Trade Centre in New York with the loss of thousands of lives. On a happier note, presenting from Singapore and announcing that London was to host the 2012 Olympics, stealing it from under the noses of the unhappy French was a great day.
When you appeared in Dancing on Ice in 2007, you gave your appearance fee to Macmillan Cancer Relief. Why is this particular charity so important to you?
I am an Ambassador for Macmillan. In addition to Dancing on Ice I also donated £150,000 to the charity after appearing on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire with my colleague and friend Eamonn Holmes. Macmillan allowed my mother to die with dignity and respect when she contracted breast cancer in 1993 and they have offered the same comfort and support to many tens of thousands of other people since. What makes you laugh?
BBC hospitality! What was the last book you read and loved? East of Eden.
I have read Steinbeck many times in the past, but the master story-teller continues to draw me back. I want to be him when I grow up but sadly the only similarities are that we both have a journalistic background. He grabs the reader from the very first page and it’s impossible to come up for air again until the final full stop. A literary genius.
Can you tell us anymore about your next book?
It’s about Lily Dunlop, a young girl born into wealth and privilege who has everything to live for… except a future. Her secret pain is slowly revealed on prime time television over the Christmas period after she finds herself locked in a security vault with an Arab royal family and a very grumpy security guard.