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Ian Leslie presents the comedy show which brings to light the often surprising first literary attempts of some of the world's best known writers.

A project of literary archaeology, Leslie has found evidence in the most unlikely of places - within the archives of newspapers, periodicals, corporations and universities - showcasing the early examples of work by writers such as Jilly Cooper during her brief and unfortunately unsuccessful foray into the world of war reporting, and Hunter S Thompson in his sadly short-lived phase working in the customer relations department for a major American Airline.

These are the newspaper articles, advertising copy, company correspondence and gardening manuals that allow us a fascinating glimpse into the embryonic development of our best loved literary voices - people we know today for their novels or poems but who, at the time, were just people with a dream...and a rent bill looming at the end of the month.

Produced by Anna Silver and Claire Broughton
A Hat Trick production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 16 May 2017 23:15


Role Contributor
PresenterIan Leslie
ProducerAnna Silver
ProducerClaire Broughton