Broadcaster and writer Clare Balding is publishing a new book about "heroic" animals with John Murray.
John Murray publisher Georgina Laycock acquired world rights in Heroic Animals: 100 Amazing Creatures Great and Small from Eugenie Furniss at 42, and the book will be published on 15th October 2020.
In Heroic Animals, the BAFTA-winning presenter and author will tell the "heroic, heart-warming, and sometimes hilarious" true stories of 100 animals who have changed our world for the better. In the mix are tales of extraordinary dogs, cats, birds and chimpanzees, as well as the stories of a camel, a giant tortoise, a rhino, a giraffe and an octopus.
"Whether it’s Sefton, the horse who survived an IRA bomb, Ning Nong the elephant who saved a young girl from the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, Bobby the Wonderdog who crossed America to find his lost family, or Valegro the dancing dressage wonder horse who won three Olympic gold medals, Heroic Animals brings to life all kind of incredible feats and moving moments which highlight the special bond between human and animal," reads the book's synopsis.
Balding said: "All these animals are heroes to me – whether they risked their lives to pull people out of the ruins of a bombed building, won a race against impossible odds or have been so badly behaved that they have inspired something good (Stoffel the honey badger, I’m thinking of you). Writing this book has brought home to me that there is no such thing as an ordinary animal. Every one has a fascinating story to tell."
Laycock said: "This wonderful book made me laugh and cry. I loved working on it with Clare so much that it has inspired me to finally get a dog of my own. (Thank you, Clare)!"
Balding–who has worked a combined 16 Olympics, Winter Olympics and Paralympics as well as the Commonwealth Games, Crufts, Wimbledon, Rugby League, Women’s Football and major Royal events–is the author of a number of books. Her memoir My Animals and Other Family (Penguin) won biography of the year at the National Book Awards, which she followed up with the memoir Walking Home (Penguin) and several novels for children, illustrated by Tony Ross, including The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, The Racehorse Who Disappeared and The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance (Puffin). In all, according to Nielsen BookScan, she has sold 696,343 books for £5.2m, with My Animals and Other Family her bestseller at 200,676 copies sold in hardback and 89,634 sold in paperback.