has been shortlisted for many major book awards, including the Guardian Award for Children's Fiction.
b. 1970, Birmingham, England
Educated at Lordswood Boys' School, Birmingham, Gayle had a range of careers on his mind when he started thinking about what to do with his life, but writing books was not one of them. He thought about social work and teaching before deciding on music journalism. His first foray into writing was for the university magazine (see publishing, newspapers and magazines). He then went on edit a music fanzine and joined a Birmingham listings magazine. Gayle moved to London and embarked on a postgraduate diploma in journalism. While freelancing, he started to write for the recently launched Bliss; they needed an agony uncle and Gayle got the job. My Legendary Girlfriend (1998), his first novel, was started because he thought he had a story to tell that people would like, saying that the universality of getting dumped-the wallowing in self-pity, the pining, the lack of dignity-had too much comic potential not to write. Gayle's work thus far is characterised by the way he uses relationships, which gives his novels a popular feel. One critic called him a romantic novelist and Gayle has been dubbed in the media as the male Helen Fielding.
As a freelance journalist he has contributed to the Sunday Times, the Guardian, The Times, the Express, FHM, Cosmopolitan, More, B, Just Seventeen, Bliss, the Scotsman and Top of the Pops magazine. Gayle's subsequent novels Mr Commitment (1999) and Turning Thirty (2000) have also achieved notable success. His work has been published in Europe, Australia and North America.
Ghir has worked in theatre, film (see film andcinema) and television, playing roles as diverse as Aslam in the 1986 film Rita, Sue and Bob too, Terry Singh in the television series Body and Soul and a part in Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle with the Théâtre de Complicité. Although he has appeared in The Real McCoy and the popular television medical drama Holby City, as well as making a guest appearance in The Bill, since 1998 Ghir has become best known as part of the enormously popular Goodness Gracious Me comedy team, along with Meera Syal, Nina Wadia and Sanjeev Bhaskar. He played the role of Ali's servant in the television production of Arabian Nights (2000).
b. 1956, Calcutta, India
Ghosh grew up in East Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran and India, and after graduating from the