Celebrity Interviews

Mad about Betty

Belgravia magazine Betty Boothroyd, Baroness Boothroyd of Sandwell, is no stranger to history. In 1992 she became the first woman in 700 years to be elected Speaker of the House of Commons. Now the Belgravia resident is looking to make another kind of mark on history: a monument to the
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Sarah Waters: the wordsmith

Sarah Waters has reason to look tired: 2006 has been a rollercoaster year for the Welsh writer. The Night Watch was published to critical acclaim, short-listed for the Orange and the Man Booker, for which it was the bookies favourite, and fell at the post both times. “Always the bridesmaid?” I ask, half joking. She laughs. “I was thinking that. Considering how much of a winner you feel when you get on the shortlist, you do feel like an absolute loser when you don’t win. It’s dreadful isn’t it?” she answers.
The Booker was an ordeal, the writer admits. “The cameras [at the Booker] make it dreadful. I have enjoyed the Orange parties but the Booker is so formal. Everybody is in bloody dinner suits or whatever. It just feels a lot grimmer.”

The Xmas factor

“We’ve made certain subjects that affect women our speciality,” Annie explains. “We talked about the things that affect us, obviously relationships, children, holidays, and we realised that we’ve always had a bit of a joke about Christmas.”

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