Our Patrons

Introducing Wimbledon BookFest’s 11 local patrons who give the Festival their invaluable support by sharing their skills from the world of publishing, journalism, academia, sports and the arts.  

Samira Ahmed

Samira Ahmed is a British freelance journalist, writer and broadcaster at the BBC, where she has presented Radio 4’s PM, Front Row, Newswatch The World Tonight and Sunday and Channel 4 News, has hosted the Proms and has made two series of the Intelligence Squared podcastHow I Found My Voice. Samira was brought up in Wimbledon and lives locally. 

A Person Stacking books

Jennifer Cox

Jennifer Cox is a freelance journalist, commissioning editor atNews UKand columnist. She frequently contributes toGood Housekeepingand theMail on Sundayon her favourite things: food, books and travel. Previously, she was Head of Public Relations atLonely Planetand a broadcaster for the BBC. 

A Person Stacking books

Afua Hirsch

Former barrister Afua Hirschis an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster. She is a columnist for the Guardian, and appears regularly on the BBC, Sky News and CNN. Her book Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, became a Times Bestseller and won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize. She is also the author the children’s book Equal To Everything, which tells the story of Lady Brenda Hale who was until recently the only woman in the UK Supreme Court

Headshot of Afua Hirsch

Baroness Sheila Hollins

Baroness Sheila Hollins is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry of Disability at St. George’s University of London, and former president of BMA. Sheila is the founder, editor and lead author of the Books Beyond Words series. 

A Person Stacking books

Razia Iqbal

Razia Iqbal is a BBC journalist who has worked as an arts correspondent as well as a presenter of Newshour on the BBC World Service. She presents Talking Books for the BBC news channel and spent six months as the Ferris Visiting Journalism Professor atPrinceton University, where she taught a class on journalism with a focus on international news. 

Headshot of Razia Iqbal

Brian Moore

Brian Moore is an English former rugby union footballer and qualified as a Rugby Football Union referee in February 2010. He is a city solicitor and columnist for The Telegraph. He is the author of several books published bySimon & Schuster, including his autobiographyBeware of the Dog. 

A Person Stacking books

Michelle Paver

Michelle Paver is the bestselling children’s author of The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, which have sold over a million copies in the UK, and Gods and Warriors. She was brought up in Wimbledon, attended Wimbledon High School, and has now returned here to write. 

A Person Stacking books

Peter Straus

Peter Straus CBE is a literary agent and the Managing Director at RCW. Over the course of his career, he has worked for Hodder & Stoughton, Hamish Hamilton and Macmillan. He has worked with a stellar list of literary figures and and writers including Cormac McCarthy, V S Naipaul, Kazuo Ishiguro, Colm Toibin, Kate Atkinson, Alexei Sayle, Kate Atkinson and Carol Ann Duffy. Peter lives in Wimbledon. 

A Person Stacking books

Jane Thynne

Jane Thynne has appeared on many TV and radio programmes, including her own Radio 4 series and writes for numerous magazines. She is author of Kindle No 1 bestseller Black Roses. Her recentdystopian fiction Queen High which she penned as C J Carey picked by 2022 Book of the Year by The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times and The Guardian. Jane lives in Wimbledon. 

A Person Stacking books

David Wood

As an actor, novelist, playwright and magician, David Wood OBE is a man of many talents. David has supported the festival from the start and his attachment and support continues to push the BookFest in new directions. David’s guests at BookFest have included Maureen Lipman, Michael Palin and Michelle Magorian. 

A Person Stacking books