William Collins signs three from Paxman

William Collins signs three from Paxman

HarperCollins imprint William Collins has signed three books, including a memoir, by broadcaster Jeremy Paxman.

The first book, provisonally titled The Way We Live Now, will look at the past 50 years of British history and its impact on our current lives. The second book will be a memoir looking back over his career as a key presenter of BBC2's "Newsnight" for 25 years. Details of the third book in the deal have not been disclosed.

William Collins publishing director Arabella Pike acquired world English language rights from David Godwin at David Godwin Associates. She said: "This is a huge acquisition for William Collins. Jeremy Paxman is not only a mesmerising broadcaster but a superb writer, historian and storyteller with many bestsellers to his name. In The Way We Live Now Paxman will attempt to understand how the last 50 years have changed Britain and will offer a considered and incisive analysis of the state of our society today.  His memoirs – when they come - will be required reading, and not just for the many politicians he has skewered during his long broadcasting career."

A report in the Sunday Times said the deal had been stuck for almost £1m. A HarperCollins spokesperson said that figure was incorrect but declined to give details on the actual sum involved.

Paxman, who also hosts BBC2'S University Challenge, is the author of nine previous books, including The English: A Portrait of a People, which has sold 496,595 copies through Nielsen BookScan, Empire: What Ruling the World did to the British (57,689 copies), and Great Britain's Great War (55,118 copies), all with Penguin. In total, his books have sold 884,053 copies according to Nielsen BookScan statistics.