Celebrity backers for Books Are My Bag revealed

Celebrities including chef Jamie Oliver and actors Bill Nighy and Damian Lewis will be among those supporting the industry-wide Books Are My Bag campaign, launching on 14th September.

Other notable figures lending their face to the nationwide initiative to celebrate high street and campus bookshops include Mariella Frostrup, Delia Smith and Chris O'Dowd.

The well-known faces have all been photographed holding striking orange "Books Are My Bag" holders, which booksellers can use as posters to hang up in their stores. The identities of further celebrities backing the campaign will be revealed in the run-up to the launch.

The campaign has been devised by advertising agency M&C Saatchi in collaboration with publishers Random House, Hachette, Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Bloomsbury and the Faber Alliance among others . Booksellers championing BAMB include Waterstones, W H Smith, Easons and independents such as Foyles, Jaffe & Neale and Mr B’s Emporium.

Over a quarter of a million bags will be distributed from 14th September to Christmas at over 1,800 chain and independent bookshops from across the UK & Ireland.

Patrick Neale, president of the Booksellers Association, urged booksellers and members of the public to take part. He said: “Booklovers need to be part of this renewed zeal to keep books on the high street. We urge you to go into your local bookshop on Saturday 14th September and buy a book in recognition of the many wonderful hours you have spent perusing bookshop shelves. Just get involved and vote with your feet for the high street you want to see in the future.”

Gail Rebuck, chair and c.e.o. of Random House, added: “Bookshops are of great cultural importance to the country at large and the communities they serve. 

"In these challenging times for the UK High Street, it is terrific that a world renowned advertising company—M&C Saatchi—has devised such a positive campaign for all booksellers. This initiative focuses on the art of the possible and will celebrate the simple joy of browsing—and, of course, buying and reading books.”