Entertainment & Arts

Lynda La Plante made Forensic Science Society fellow

Lynda La Plante
Image caption La Plante's TV successes include Trial and Retribution

Crime writer Lynda La Plante has been awarded an honorary fellowship by the Forensic Science Society.

The Prime Suspect author is the first lay person to be inducted into the professional body.

La Plante was given the honour to reflect the accurate portrayals of forensic science in her books.

The UK's bestselling crime writer said: "I am thrilled to have been made an honorary fellow of the Forensic Science Society."

She added: "I am very humbled that such an esteemed group of professionals feel my dramas give a realistic portrayal of the painstaking and often distressing work they do.

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Media captionDr Ann Priston: We are delighted that Lynda has accepted the fellowship

"It is always fascinating and a continual pleasure to work with the many different forensic experts involved in solving crimes. I have nothing but respect and a sincere appreciation for the work they do and advice they so kindly give me."

The Forensic Science Society was founded in 1959 and is one of the oldest of its type in the world.

The society's president, Dr Ann Priston, said: "There are many television programmes focusing on forensic science at the moment, some of them bordering on pure fiction.

"Lynda brings a level of realism and understanding to her writing that is refreshing and exciting, and it is an absolute pleasure to make this award".

Meanwhile, novelist Philip Pullman has been elected as the new president of the Society of Authors, replacing crime writer P D James, who is stepping down in August, the month of her 93rd birthday.

Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, said: "P D James has been a magnificent president, whose knowledge and wit and wisdom will be very hard to follow.

"The Society of Authors has been representing and supporting the work of writers for 130 years, and now that we're in the middle of one of the greatest revolutions in printing and publishing and reading there has ever been, the society's experience will be needed more than ever.

"I am both honoured and excited to be taking on the role of president."

Image caption Pulman will follow in the footsteps of Tennyson and HG Wells as president

James said Pullman would "face a far more complex and challenging world for writers than I did when I was elected". But she added: "No-one could be better qualified for the task".

Anne Sebba, chair of the Society of Authors' management committee, welcomed the appointment of Pullman, while admitting: "We will miss Baroness James' measured, wise and insightful guidance."

The role of president is currently a lifetime position but there have been suggestions this could be reviewed to make it a fixed term of between five and seven years.

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