James Naughtie became a household name first as presenter of Radio 4’s The World at One and then in 1994 of The Today Programme. He presents Radio 4’s Bookclub and is BBC News Books Editor and special correspondent for BBC News, while his own writing has been published to critical acclaim, from political portraits (The Rivals, The Accidental American) and history (The New Elizabethans) to his political thriller, The Madness of July and recently released novel, Paris Spring. Naughtie has chaired both the Man Booker and Samuel Johnson judging panels.
Commenting on the 2016 shortlist, Jim said: “These four authors have different voices, and they’re all original and powerful. No one could read this shortlist – whether one of the novels, the poems or the short stories – without feeling the presence of that talent. It springs from the pages. When you close the books you know you’re going to pick them up again and you also know, with certainty, that these writers are going to weave a lot of magic in years to come.”