Elizabeth Day and Johny Pitts are to be the new presenters of BBC Radio 4’s "Open Book" programme.
The programme examines trends, debates the issues that authors are tackling in their work and focuses on both established writers and emerging voices. Day's first programme will air on Sunday 17th January, while Pitts will host on Sunday 31st January.
Day is an author, journalist, broadcaster and the presenter of podcast "How To Fail". Her other broadcast work includes co-presenting Sky Arts' "Book Club Live". As an author, Day has written six books, both fiction and non-fiction, including The Party and How To Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned from Things Going Wrong (both Fourth Estate). Her latest book, Failosophy, was published in October. She is also a judge for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021.
Pitts is the co-founder and curator of the award-winning digital platform Afropean.com and the author of Afropean: Notes From Black Europe, recipient of the 2021 Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding, the 2020 Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, and the Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour. His broadcasting includes a BBC Radio 4 documentary exploring Black identity through the music of his father, who was a member of the Northern Soul group The Fantastics, and a forthcoming National Geographic Society-funded Afropean podcast.
Day said: “I'm so thrilled to be joining the brilliant team at 'Open Book'. It is the most informed and informative books programme on the radio at a time when reading feels more important than ever for the health of the nation. As an author, a reader and a lifelong Radio 4 listener, I could not have invented a more perfect job for myself. I can't wait to champion wonderful books and the equally wonderful people who write and read them.”
Pitts commented: “I can't wait to set out on this journey with listeners, through the minds of writers producing thoughtful, evocative work that offers consolation and inspiration in tough times. I look forward to exploring the canon with fresh eyes, and shining a light on new and underrepresented literary talent, who are grappling in creative and nuanced ways with a world in flux.”
BBC Radio 4 commissioning editor Daniel Clarke said: “It’s tremendously exciting to have the brilliant Elizabeth and Johny join 'Open Book'. There’s never been a more vital time for the pleasure and nourishment that books bring us, and our new presenting line up will ensure that listeners have spirited, curious and trusted guides to their reading.”
"Open Book" was previously presented by Mariella Frostrup.