Three cheers for new TV book format

<p><a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/51548-tv-apprentice-for-celeb-authors.... new books programme is coming to TV. </a>Something that is notoriously difficult--turning books and publishing into a televisual and ratings-winning treat--is being tackled by one of the most successful producers in the field of entertainment, Fever Media's Richard Hopkins, who has brought us such gems as &quot;Strictly Come Dancing&quot; and &quot;The Apprentice&quot;.</p>
<p>On hearing the news, I could already picture the groaning and sniffy comments from our industry: &quot;Dumbing down&quot;, &quot;Why celebrities?!&quot;, would come the cries. <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/51548-tv-apprentice-for-celeb-authors.... true to form, they're starting to trickle in.</a></p>
<p>But hang on a minute. Whoever decreed that books programming needs to be author-interview-book-review-talking-head-only? Can't we share our passion for books with readers at all levels? For every Melvyn Bragg, high-brow brainchild, such as &quot;12 Books that Changed the World&quot; (I still haven't read pesky Principia), there surely has to be a slice of family fun and watercooler fodder.</p>
<p>Talking to Hopkins, I was actually quite excited about &quot;Murder Most Famous&quot;. To be honest, I couldn't care less about the celebrities--Angela Who? (although Kelvin Mackenzie apparently has true writing ambitions, so seeing what springs from the former tabloid editor's imagination might prove pretty hilarious).</p>
<p>But by all accounts, it will offer a great insight and some practical tips on how to go about writing a novel, with a few reality checks along the way--putting the various &quot;I could write a better book than X&quot;s firmly into their place. Plus a healthy dose of entertainment and contributions to Children in Need and the BBC's literacy campaign, I see nothing wrong with the formula.</p>
<p>And if some previously book-shy viewers pick up Walters' latest, or the winning celeb's Quick Read in 2009, along with the other Quick Reads lined up this year and next, surely that can only be a good thing?</p>
<p>I doubt it will be the &quot;Richard &amp; Judy&quot; bestseller-bearing mother of all book formats, but I will be tuning in--expect my pathetic attempts at crime thriller manuscript in your inbox soon.</p>