AUTHOR - JOURNALIST - PUBLIC SPEAKER - ENTERTAINER - BROADCASTER
PAUL JAMES's LATEST BOOK
'A ROYAL HISTORY OF ENGLAND'
WAS PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2021
AVAILABLE FROM ALL GOOD BOOKSHOPS AND ONLINE RETAILERS.
For £5 off the rrp, order now via
A Royal History of England (thisengland.co.uk)
PAUL JAMES's NEW SERIES
'ENGLAND'S CROWN JEWELS'
BEGAN IN THE AUTUMN 2021 ISSUE
OF 'THIS ENGLAND' MAGAZINE
available from W.H.Smiths and all good newsagents
A professional writer for almost forty-five years PAUL JAMES is the author of 95 books, including more than a dozen on the British Royal Family - which have sold worldwide.
As a BROADCASTER, he has taken part in over 1,000 radio and television programmes, both in the UK and overseas. He has frequently acted as an adviser to television and video companies making royal documentaries, and has occasionally recorded narrations and voice-overs. From 1988-1995 he also presented his monthly "Royal Diary" and "Royal Watch" on BBC Radio Sussex and BBC Radio Surrey, plus other special programmes for the stations, such as commentating live from Gatwick Airport when
the Queen opened the North Terminal.
As a JOURNALIST, he has contributed to many magazines, notably 'Royalty'; 'Period Living'; 'Weekend'; 'Direction One'; 'Your Dog', and since 1992 has been royal correspondent for THIS ENGLAND. His 'Royalty Remembered' column appeared in issues from 1992-2006, interspersed with feature articles for major royal celebrations and anniversaries. In 2006 he began a 56-part series of articles on the Kings and Queens of England for the magazine, which ran until 2021, followed by a tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh in the Summer issue. A new series on England's Crown Jewels begins in the Autumn 2021 issue. His weekly 'Down Your Way' column was published in the 'Eastbourne Gazette' for over ten years, from June 2004-September 2014, and in the 'Eastbourne Herald' and 'Sussex Express' until December 2015.
As a PUBLIC SPEAKER, Paul James carries out a full diary of engagements every year for various organisations and societies, and gives a range of talks to many local groups and ladies' lunch clubs. He has also acted as compere at many events and has hosted a series of Literary Lunches with well known authors, such as the best-selling crime writer Peter James (no relation!) and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's official biographer William Shawcross.
NEIL KIRBY (left), DEC CLUSKEY of The Bachelors, NICHOLAS PARSONS, ANN PARSONS,
VICTORIA "Maybe Gaga" CLUSKEY, and PAUL JAMES -- April 2013 © Eastbourne Herald
Speaking at lunches with TV's antiques expert MARK STACEY
and broadcaster NICHOLAS OWEN
with legendary weatherman Michael Fish, and Richard Skelton MBE -
Principal Doorkeeper at the House of Lords for 28 years
Making a presentation to Ralph Homer, Chairman of The Samaritans (left)
and with comedian Tom O'Connor (right and below left)
...and with guess who?!
With Dec Cluskey of "The Bachelors"..... and making yet another speech
Timespan Historical Presentations (left) and with Danny La Rue's costumes (right)
at an event with his costume maker and friend ANNIE GALBRAITH
and with Royal Marine JOE TOWNSEND, who made a spectacular entrance
into the Olympic Stadium at the opening of the 2012 Paralympic Games
DEREK MEPHAM, who ran with the Olympic Torch in Sussex
Best-selling crime writer PETER JAMES and PAUL JAMES at a Literary Lunch,
'Villains & Dames - A Celebration of Pantomime' - Hosting a lunch with actor DANIEL HILL from the hit
Winter Garden Theatre and various venues, December 2012 TV sit-com 'Waiting for God', January 2013
A Burns Night Supper (left) and the wonderful harpist FIONA HOSFORD lets Paul play 'The Beast'
Introducing veteran broadcaster NICHOLAS PARSONS - and DEC CLUSKEY of "The Bachelors", April 2013
Making yet another speech... this time at the Centenary celebrations of the Langham Hotel - 1913-2013
Actor David Horne (left), Paul James and Dec Cluskey (right) Photo: Jon Firth
Such fun speaking at an event with the legendary entertainer ROY HUDD. We laughed from start to finish.
With DEC CLUSKEY of The Bachelors at our table for lunch, some marvellous
showbusiness stories were guaranteed, May 2013
At events with FREDDIE "Mr Parrotface" DAVIES and actor/theatre director PHILIP FRANKS, 2015
Speaking at a lunch with 1960s pop idol, actor and film star JESS CONRAD -
who had recently been elected King Rat for the prestigious showbusiness organisation
The Grand Order of Water Rats - joined by a past King Rat DEC CLUSKEY, June 2013
Coronation Tea, June 2013 - Preparing to compere an entertainment to mark
the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation
Speaking at a lunch with SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (Derek Herbert)
Hosting a Chilean Pudding & Wine Club Lunch with BONIFACIO CORREA and WILLEM HUNTER (left)
And at a Ladies' Lunch Club (right) with dog expert CAROLYN MENTEITH from
"This Morning", "What's Up Dog?" and "Celebrity Dog School", September 2013
Speaking at a lunch with the Queen's glovemaker GENEVIEVE JAMES of Cornelia James Gloves...
and holding a pair of Her Majesty's gloves! January 2014
Speaking at an event with playwright DEN STEVENSON creator of the hit musical 'Bugle Boy'
about the life of Glenn Miller, February 2014
A Literary Lunch with actress RULA LENSKA, April 2014.
American singer/song writer GERARD KENNY
with Dec Cluskey and Victoria Cluskey, June 2014
At lunches to commemorate the Centenary of the outbreak of World War I
with military expert BOB JEWSON, 4th & 5th August 2014
with "Dad's Army" Vicar FRANK WILLIAMS, July 2016
and ED "Stewpot" STEWART, 2015
At a lunch with lingerie maker ANGELA KNIGHT in September 2014.
The Duchess of Cambridge is one of her clients and Angela designed everything
Kate wore under her wedding dress on the day she married Prince William!
Three more lunches in 2014 with comedian TOM O'CONNOR
With the lovely ANITA HARRIS...and old friend DEC CLUSKEY
of The Bachelors, November 2014.
Paul with ANITA HARRIS, her husband MIKE MARGOLIS, and friends, November 2014.
With BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT favourite, ventriloquist STEVE HEWLETT & Arfur Lager
and (below) with mentor GYLES BRANDRETH who was such a
great support in the early years of Paul's career
"Another opening, another show!"
As an ENTERTAINER, Paul James has made many thousands of appearances as
LADY CRABTREE - a comedy character that he created in April 1978. As The Dowager Lady Crabtree he performs on average at 50 to 100 events each year, giving talks at lunches and dinners, compering shows, appearing in cabaret and charity shows, making presentations and comic speeches at special birthdays and anniversaries, opening functions, presenting prizes, and speaking to many groups, clubs and societies. Hour-long presentations "How To Grow Old Disgracefully", "Glad To Be Grey", "The Dowager Entertains", "Great Society Hostesses" and "Whatever Happened To Christmas?" have proved very popular, and many audience members are convinced that Lady Crabtree is real!
To discover more, click on: Visit: http://www.ladycrabtree.co.uk
LADY CRABTREE at the Under Ground Theatre, Eastbourne, (now the Grove Theatre)
in "Oh, Lovely! What A War!" (August 2014)
LADY CRABTREE RECEIVING A VOTE OF THANKS AT MEADS WI, NOVEMBER 2013
COMPERING THE SHOW "LADY CRABTREE & FRIENDS" - AN OLD TIME MUSIC HALL
AT THE UNDER GROUND THEATRE, EASTBOURNE, SEPTEMBER 2014
It was while performing in cabaret in April 1978 that he created the comedy character
LADY CRABTREE - greatly influenced by the brilliant female impersonators George Logan and Patrick Fyffe (HINGE & BRACKET). In 1985 Dame Hilda Bracket wrote the Foreword to one of Paul's books and Paul now owns two of the late Dame Hilda's original costumes. Although intended as a single appearance, Lady Crabtree proved to be so popular that Paul is still regularly performing as her today - many thousands of performances and over 43 years later! In 1988 and 1990 he wrote two Lady Crabtree books and toured the UK in character doing bookshop signings, radio, television, and media interviews in costume. In 2018 Lady Crabtree was nominated for a Lifetime Achievement award in the Eastbourne Business Awards. In 2020 Lady Crabtree became Patron of the Association of Carers.
COLUMBUS BOOKS (1988) & VIRGIN paperback (1990) VIRGIN BOOKS (1990)
Over 2,000 copies of THE SECRET JOURNALS were sold in Thailand - and the spoof edition of Her Majesty's diaries became a best-seller in Hungary. Publication there coincided with Queen Elizabeth II's first state visit to Hungary, and it was reported on BBC Radio 4 that people were queueing out of the shops to buy Lady Crabtree's book. One person had even congratulated the Queen on her success! The book was serialised in six parts on Kossuth Radio, Hungary, in 2015.
LADY CRABTREE's 40th ANNIVERSARY SHOW, 2018
As an AUTHOR, Paul James is particularly known for books on royalty. PRINCESS ANNE was the subject of his first major biography, published in 1987. By a quirk of fate, the Queen gave her only daughter the title PRINCESS ROYAL shortly before publication day, which created an enormous amount of media interest in the book. As a consequence, Paul found himself cast in the role of "royal expert" and in great demand from radio and television companies as a result. In one of his first television broadcasts, just before going in front of the camera for a live programme for America, he was told that 28 million viewers would be watching...so it was in at the deep end!
PIATKUS BOOKS (1987) & CHIVERS PRESS (1988) PAN paperback edition (1988)
Other royal biographies quickly followed:
SIDGWICK & JACKSON (1988) & MACMILLAN Australia (1989) SIDGWICK & JACKSON (1990) & ISIS (1992)
WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON (1992)
which appeared in various editions throughout the world:
and in 1992 he wrote the first ever biography of PRINCE EDWARD:
PIATKUS BOOKS (1992) & THORPE PUBLISHING (1994)
which also generated international interest:
GERMAN EDITION and an AUDIO EDITION
Other royal books include AT HER MAJESTY'S SERVICE a look behind the scenes at the Queen's Household, written in conjunction with Peter Russell, a former butler to Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and the Duke & Duchess of Gloucester:
published in the UK by Collins (hardback) and Fontana (paperback) in 1986, it was serialised in the Sunday Times and sold in over 100 countries. It was published in America by Harper & Row under the title: "At Home With The Royal Family".
To mark the Queen's 60th birthday Paul compiled "The Royal Almanac":
And to celebrate the Queen and Prince Philip's 50th wedding anniversary he wrote
"THE GOLDEN YEARS" with archive photographs from the Daily Mail, accompanied by a video made in conjunction with British Pathe News:
Paul's other royal books have looked at ceremonies and traditions associated with our monarchy;
he helped compile the illustrated journals of Queen Victoria, and wrote the royal biography section
of the "OXFORD CHILDREN'S ENCYLOPEDIA'.
His latest book tells the fascinating story of England's 62 Kings and Queens.
Paul James at Sandringham in the 1950s
looking at his reflection in the glossy paintwork
of the Queen Mother's car! (left) And in the garage at
Buckingham Palace in the 1980s (with the Queen's permission)
Non-royal works have comprised around 50 books for children, (some under the pseudonyms Max Anderson, Martin Guinness, Janet Rogers, and Ben Hamilton, as publishers did not want him to appear too prolific!), covering a wide range of areas such as magic, spycraft, jokes, puzzles, world records, sport, games and fun activities. He also penned a series of story books for children featuring the character Robotman.
He wrote four books for the breakfast cereal company Kellogg's: 'Snap! Big Book of Games'; 'Crackle! Big Book of Jokes', and 'Pop! Big Book of Magic' in 1982, which were followed by 'Tony Tiger's Super Secret Diary 1985'. Paul also compiled two books of in-flight entertainment for
British Airways: 'Skylark' and 'Thinking on a Higher Plane'.
In 1983 he was asked to write PRINCE PHILIP'S 101 GREAT GAMES (Carousel Books), a children's book to raise funds for one of the Duke of Edinburgh's charities, for which Prince Philip wrote the Foreword. And in 1984 composed a series of six pantomime stories that were recorded as audio books, including SLEEPING BEAUTY read by Dora Bryan; DICK WHITTINGTON read by Gyles Brandreth; CINDERELLA read by Leslie Crowther (Listen Productions Limited).
Other subjects have been as varied as books on theatrical disasters, a guide to public speaking, a Christmas anthology, advice on how to sleep, plus "Excuses, Excuses..." - a comic guide to talking yourself out of any situation.
RAVETTE BOOKS - Foreword written by DAME HILDA BRACKET
Paul James has written many humour books for both children and adults, with a large number of joke books and volumes of after dinner stories to his credit, plus a series of four best-selling 'Graffiti' books under the pseudonym Roger Kilroy (Corgi 1979-1983). In a varied career, he was once commissioned to write eight scripts for Citizens Advice Bureaux training films.
Much of his working life has involved celebrity publications. For magazine articles he has interviewed the likes of actor Robert Lindsay, rock star Suzi Quatro, and Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels (C3PO). As a GHOST-WRITER he ghosted books for a number of well-known personalities, such as Cyril Fletcher, Derek Nimmo, Graeme Garden, Henry Cooper, Ted Dexter, Ed Stewart, Gordon Banks and Mike Yarwood.
Between 1979-1981 Collins published Paul's annual VVIP DIARY (for Very Very Important People), for which he persuaded over 150 major stars of stage, film, television, best-selling authors, pop singers, sportsmen, top politicians and even world leaders of the day to write a contribution for each week of the year. Alec Guinness, Ralph Richardson, Anna Neagle, Flora Robson, J B Priestley, Emlyn Williams, Kingsley Amis, Daphne du Maurier, Frederick Forsyth, Yehudi Menhuin, Morecambe & Wise, Bob Monkhouse, Joyce Grenfell, Noele Gordon, Edward Heath, Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher, and even Israel's Golda Meir, were among the many famous names who helped Paul with the project. Three charities benefited from the royalties.
Paul James's book "CELEBRITY HOTEL True inside gossip, scandal and intrigue" with Neil Kirby was first published in 2010 and has sold worldwide. It is available in hardback, on Kindle format, and an updated paperback edition.
Neil Kirby & Paul James
NEIL KIRBY worked at the world famous Grosvenor House Hotel on London's prestigious Park Lane for 28 years - intially washing dishes in the basement as a teenager and eventually becoming General Manager. On a day-to-day basis he was dealing with members of the Royal Family, well-known aristocrats, Hollywood film stars, international politicians, top sportsmen, leading actors and actresses, chart-topping pop stars, and celebrities of all kinds. The book gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of Neil's life in five-star hospitality, and is a remarkable true-life rags-to-riches story.
RADIO & TELEVISION
As a broadcaster Paul James has taken part in over 1,000 radio and television programmes worldwide since 1980. On radio he has been a guest on a wide variety of national programmes, such as those hosted by Gloria Hunniford, Angela Rippon, Emma Freud, John Dunn, Pete Murray, and Annie Nightingale, and on publicity tours for books has been interviewed on practically every local radio station in the UK; for Australia he has taken part in programmes for radio stations in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Melbourne.
Numerous television appearances include PEBBLE MILL AT ONE (BBC 1); DAYTIME UK with Alan Titchmarsh (BBC 1); THIS MORNING with Richard and Judy (ITV); THE JAMES WHALE SHOW (ITV); HARD COPY for ABC TV in America; THE FRANK BOUGH INTERVIEW (Sky); plus many news programmes for Meridian, Anglia, BBC South, TVS, BBC Wales, Sky, whenever there has been a major royal story. He has been filmed for a number of television documentaries, such as PRINCE EDWARD - THE SHOWBIZ YEARS for Channel Four, and PRINCESS ANNE, one of ITV's "Royal Portrait" series.
With RICHARD MADELEY on ITV's "THIS MORNING" - Albert Dock, Liverpool, October 1988
With ALAN TITCHMARSH, SUE COOK & HUGO VICKERS broadcasting live from BBC Pebble Mill Studios in Birmingham - a two hour special to mark Prince Charles's 40th birthday, hence the birthday cake!
PAUL JAMES'S 95th BOOK
'A ROYAL HISTORY OF ENGLAND'
is available now!
A bit of historic royal research!
Now semi-retired, today Paul James only accepts bookings or commissions that he will enjoy doing
and turns down far more work than he accepts. Having packed a lot into his career, he prefers to
take life easy in his beautiful house with fabulous views over the sea....and who can blame him!
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