Literary Lunch: Life comes full circle for ex-Post reporter

It was a case of coming full circle for one of Yorkshire's most famous sons yesterday.

Leeds-born John Craven, presenter of the BBC's Countryfile programme, was the Yorkshire Post Literary Lunch's special guest and recalled the first time he attended the event – as a reporter for the newspaper. "One of the speakers was Brendan Behan, the Irish novelist," he said. "He used to say he wasn't a writer with a drink problem but a drinker with a writing problem."

Mr Craven spoke of his pride in the iconic John Craven's Newsround – the first-ever news bulletin for children.

"Children didn't like news. They were always told to shush by their parents when it was on and didn't care what was happening in the world. Some people didn't think they should, but we weren't attacking the garden of childhood – we were helping them look over the wall."

Josceline Dimbleby, former wife of television presenter David, told the audience at Harrogate's Majestic Hotel that her book, Orchards in the Oasis – Travels, Food and Memories, didn't sit neatly into any one category.

"It's four in one – memoir, travelogue, recipe book and photographic record," she said.

Also appearing was Robin Pilcher, son of novelist Rosamunde and a best-selling author in his own right. His book, A Matter of Trust features finely-drawn characters, dramatic conflicts and suspense.

Mr Pilcher also talked about his work helping short-story writers develop their craft.