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Reading Richard and Judy

Borrowing the idea from Oprah Winfrey, one television book club has reshaped British fiction. What do publishers make of R&J's choices?

By Elena Lappin   March 2006

In January 2004, Bob Geldof appeared on the Richard and Judy daytime television programme as a special guest on an episode of their new weekly book club, loosely modelled on Oprah Winfrey’s in the US. Invited to discuss Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor, a little-known novel about Irish emigrants on board a ship to New York in 1847, Geldof called it “absolutely gorgeous” and “a modern masterpiece in which history never supersedes the story.” He described how he raced home from a late-night gig to finish the book, and quoted entire passages from memory. Richard and Judy chattily…

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