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BBC Arts has announced that Between The Covers is returning to BBC Two for a fourth series this May, with Sara Cox hosting.

Designed to bring the nation together by sharing the enjoyment of reading, in each episode the panel of four famous guests will bring along their own book of choice and will discuss a newly-published book and a pick from The Big Jubilee Read list.

The guest list for the seven-part series comprises actors, comedians, presenters and musicians including David Morrissey, Vick Hope, Richard Osman, Sir Trevor McDonald, Peter Davison, Mel Giedroyc, Sarah Hadland, Richard E. Grant, Deborah Meaden, Jo Brand, Darren Harriott, Neil Morrissey, Nina Wadia, Kate Bottley, Emeli Sandé, Jordan North, Rhys Stephenson, Deborah Frances-White, Adrian Scarborough, Jen Brister, Catherine Bohart, Colin Salmon, Dan Smith, Cariad Lloyd, Katy Wix, Pierre Novellie, Stephen Bailey and Sukh Ojla.

The Big Jubilee Read is a reading for pleasure campaign spearheaded by BBC Arts and The Reading Agency that celebrates great reads from across the Commonwealth, to coincide with Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It features 70 titles that consist of ten books from each decade of Her Majesty The Queen’s 70 year reign, chosen by an expert panel of librarians, booksellers and literature specialists.

From that list, Amanda Ross and her production team chose one from each decade; offering a brilliant selection of beautiful and thrilling writing produced by authors from a range of Commonwealth countries.

The Big Jubilee Read choices (in broadcast order) are:

  • The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (1992, Sri Lanka/Canada)

  • The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon (1956, Trinidad)

  • Arrow Of God by Chinua Achebe (1964, Nigeria)

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985, Canada)

  • The Secret River by Kate Grenville (2005, Australia)

  • The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo (2019, Malaysia)

  • The Crow Eaters by Bapsi Sidhwa (1978, Pakistan)

All books for Between the Covers have been carefully selected to include something for everyone and are guaranteed to spark conversation.

Amanda Ross, CEO of Cactus TV says: “This is a sparkling, joyful series, full of some of our best recommendations to date, championed by brilliant panels. I can’t wait to hear what the viewers think of the brilliant books we’ve chosen. My “to be read pile” is groaning with these fabulous guests’ BYOBs.”


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