Thursday, July 02, 2009

How Richard and Judy changed what we read

Pic left - Catching up with book club bait at Foyles

Story by Finlo Rohrer BBC News Magazine

Richard and Judy are quitting the daytime TV sofa after 21 years. But their exit is not just television's loss - the book world will also mourn the departure of a couple who changed Britons' reading habits.
There's a certain thread running through a lot of novels that have sold well in the UK in the last few years. They share nothing so exact as a genre or type, but they have exotic titles, a powerful story and a literary bent.
Oh, and a badge. A badge that says "Richard and Judy".

The couple's last show together is broadcast on Wednesday
If you've read The Time Traveller's Wife, The Bookseller of Kabul or The Shadow of the Wind, then you may well have benefited from a Richard and Judy recommendation.
They are all books that have had their UK sales massively boosted by the Richard and Judy Book Club. Since the "club" started in 2004, the doyen and doyenne of daytime television have championed works that might otherwise have struggled to be marketed to such a wide audience.
The selections are divided into the winter book club and the often lighter "summer reads" section.
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan do not pick the books. That process is led by Amanda Ross, co-head of production company Cactus TV, aided by a small team. It's no surprise that Ross was identified by one newspaper as the most powerful person in the whole of publishing.
Read the full story at BBC online.

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