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Episode 3

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 29 August 2012

Ian Leslie presents a new Radio 4 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.


Ian Leslie
Anna Silver
Claire Broughton


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