Pan Macmillan gathered booksellers and press to enjoy an evening of entertainment at The Magic Circle, led by authors including comedian Russell Brand, Radio 1 DJ Matt Edmondson and former children's laureate and illustrator Chris Riddell.
After swiftly getting the audience snorting with laughter on stage at the event on Thursday night (13th July), Brand then touched upon the serious topic of addiction that his forthcoming book, Twelve (Bluebird), tackles head on in 12 steps. Applicable to any affliction, Brand (pictured below) said of it: "I think it could help anybody, that's my belief."
YouTuber Jim Chapman, who confided to the audience he "spends a lot of time googling stuff", talked about his book 147 Things and quizzed the audience on a host of facts. "Knowing the little stuff really helps with the big stuff", he said, because it helps knowing "where to place yourself in the universe".
Comedian Adam Kay told humorous, bordering on harrowing, anecdotes from his past life as a junior doctor, some of which will be going into his new book This is Going to Hurt (Picador) publishing in September. And classicist Natalie Haynes, a former comedian, took to the stage to explain why tragedy really is for everyone.
Magic Circle member Edmondson (pictured below) then wowed the audience with a card trick involving every guest. His forthcoming children's book is about a boy who loves magic but has no one to teach it to him. It also includes actual magic tricks within the pages of its story that readers can try out for themselves. "It's the book I wished I had as a kid," admitted Edmondson.
Riddell (pictured below) bookended the evening's entertainment drawing portraits of guests, live streamed on a large screen for all to see.
Riddell is the author of several children’s books, including the Goth Girl and the Ottoline series for Macmillan Children’s Books. His Travels with My Sketchbook (Macmillan Children's), revealing his “incredible journey” as children’s laureate, published y
esterday (13th July).