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Bazalgette launches publisher with foodie memoir
28.10.11 | Graeme Neill
Peter Bazalgette, the man responsible for introducing "Big Brother" to the UK, is turning his hand to publishing, launching a new company with a biography of food critic Egon Ronay.
Newbaz is set to launch with Egon Ronay on 14th November as a £25 hardback. It will feature contributions from the likes of Michael Winner and Lord Bramall, the former head of the British Army. Ronay's family fled to the UK from Hungary in 1946, and over the course of his life he became a Knightsbridge restauranteur, publisher of the eponymous guides, and one of the first national newspaper food columnists.
Bazalgette described the book as a "specialist purchase" aimed at foodies. He said he decided to move into publishing after pitching the book at an agent who felt there was not a market for it. He initially printed 500 copies of the book, and trade enquiries should be extended to email@example.com.
Bazalgette said he had help from two heads of houses at the UK's biggest publishing companies, but demurred when asked who they were. He said: "I was walking through the backstreets of Notting Hill when I heard a call from a café. It was the head of a major publishing house, so I had a coffee with her and she put me in touch with a designer."
He said he was impressed by the work the copyeditor he employed put into the book. He said: "She suggested 670 amendments. That doesn't mean I'm an illiterate editor, it means [editing] in terms of consistency. She did a brilliant job in improving the book."
Bazalgette said his initial plans do not extend beyond the first book. He said: "I did seek input from several heads of houses. They were very helpful, but neither of them were visibly quaking at the prospect of my competition."