Ridout, Blair and Kidd make London's 'most influential' list

Ridout, Blair and Kidd make London's 'most influential' list

Authors David Walliams, Malorie Blackman, and David Nicholls, Blair Partnership founder Neil Blair, publishing m.d.s Louise Moore and Richard Beswick, Folio Prize founder Andrew Kidd (pictured), and Head of Zeus c.e.o. Amanda Ridout are new entries on this year’s The 1,000 Most Influential Londoners list.

The list, compiled by the Evening Standard newspaper, includes a number of publishing’s most well-known figures from writers to publishers to retailers in its literati category.

Among them are are HarperCollins’ c.e.o. Charlie Redmayne, described as a “savvy media man who has impressed Rupert Murdoch’s top team”; Hachette c.e.o. Tim Hely Hutchinson, whose “empire is growing, thanks to two buy-outs this year of indie publishers Constable & Robinson and Quercus”; PRH c.e.o. Tom Weldon, who has “often stated that he’s driven by a passion for gambling and betting, whether on horses, dogs or books”; and Bloomsbury c.e.o. Nigel Newton, who has “successfully overseen its [Bloomsbury’s] digital expansion and new projects including Drama Online and an online directory of fashion information”.

New trade figures on the list this year include Louise Moore, m.d. of Michael Joseph, and Richard Beswick, m.d. of Little, Brown and Abacus, who is described as being “as well respected for his sharp editorial eye as he is for his sartorial taste in shirts”.

Head of Zeus’ Ridout is described as having “a mission to take the fledgling, boutique publishing house into a lucrative digital future”.

They join figures who have made the list again this year, including Little, Brown c.e.o. Ursula Mackenzie, who is “known for her forthright, jolly demeanour” and is “arguably the most powerful woman in British publishing as other senior women have stepped back or moved on”; Gail Rebuck, chairman of Penguin Random House, who is described as the “grande dame of British publishing”; Short Books publisher Rebecca Nicolson; and publisher Sigrid Rausing, the owner of Granta.

Kidd makes the list for being the founder of the Folio Prize, and is described as a “steel-haired agent”.

Author Walliams makes the list as he has “proved he’s more than a one-hit wonder”, with successful sales for seven children’s titles; “Hollywood is said to be calling” for Nicholls, who has just released his follow-up to One Day, Us (Hodder & Stoughton); and Blackman is described as a “zealous campaigner in favour of ring-fencing library budgets and opposed Michael Gove’s 'classics in the classroom' policy”.

Other new authors on the list are John Lanchester, Ben Macintyre, James Bowen and Helen Fielding.

Authors making the list again this year include Mary Berry, who has “taken over from Delia Smith as the nation’s favourite cook”; Donna Tartt, whose third novel The Goldfinch (Little, Brown) has “fiercely divided critics — failing to make this year’s Man Booker longlist, but scooping the Pulitzer Prize”; and Hilary Mantel, who “has been garlanded with prizes and become part of the cultural Establishment, being the only living author to have her portrait hanging in the British Library”.

Caitlin Moran, Antony Beevor, Kate Mosse, Ian McEwan, Andrew Roberts, Charles Moore, Edward St Aubyn, Zadie Smith, Simon Sebag Montefiore, AN Wilson, Carol Ann Duffy, and Martin Amis also make the list.

Blair, whose clients include J K Rowling, who is also on the list, is known as “the ultimate negotiator”, the Standard said.

Other agents on the list are Jonny Geller, joint c.e.o. of Curtis Brown, Ed Victor, PFD c.e.o. Caroline Michel, and Rogers, Coleridge & White m.d. Peter Straus. Kingsford Campbell co-founders Julia Kingsford and Charlie Campbell also make the list.

Newly on the list is Tania Harrison, arts director of Latitude Festival, who has “helped create a gutsy alternative to the usual suspects at Hay and Cheltenham”. Retailers on the list are Waterstones’ m.d. James Daunt, who “believes that offering curated reading lists, books from indie publishers and a competitive website are key to survival in the face of Amazon”, and Nicky Dunne, Heywood Hill, bookseller, who has “taken the classy, old-fashioned Mayfair bookstore into a new, profitable era by offering lots of ritzy extra services, from curated book lists and literary gift boxes to personalised antiquarian libraries”.

Among the other figures in publishing to make the list again this year are Cathy Rentzenbrink, Quick Reads project director and associate editor of The Bookseller, described as the “patron saint of adult literacy”; Booker Prize Foundation literary director Ion Trewin; Hay Festival director Peter Florence; Forward Poetry Prize director William Sieghart; and James Runcie, the Southbank Centre’s head of literature and spoken word.