James Runcie Named ‘Ambassador’ for London Book and Screen Week 2019

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The filmmaker, director, and author behind the popular ‘Grantchester’ series from ITV will be the celebrity spokesperson for London Book Fair’s cross-platform outreach program in March.

At London Book and Screen Week’s CAMEO awards program 2018. Image: London Book Fair, Ed Hill

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Events To Run March 11 to 17
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, London Book and Screen Week is an outreach program of the industry-facing London Book Fair, annually putting events into various venues of the British capital during the fair and heightening the creative-industries synergy of books and film along the way.

This year, it was announced on Thursday (December 13), author James Runcie will be the program’s ambassador, as Jojo Moyes was last year.

London Book and Screen Week is in its fifth iteration this year, with its CAMEO Awards in their third year. The name CAMEO earns its all-caps rendering by standing for Creativity Across Media: Entertainment and Originality.

The program is to run March 11 to 17, with the CAMEO awards program set for March 11, sponsored by Audible and produced in partnership with the Publishers Association.

James Runci

The Scotland-based Runcie is best known for his The Grantchester Mysteries, known as Grantchester in the ITV series, which in April was greenlighted for a fourth season. (More recently, viewers have learned that actor James Norton is leaving the show, Rick Fulton at the Daily Record writing today (December 14) that Norton is headed for a turn as James Bond, a far cry from the priest-sleuth role he’s had in Grantchester.)

Runcie was educated at Marlborough College, Cambridge  and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

He was a founding member of The Late Show, and made documentary films for the BBC for 15 years. He then went freelance to make programs for Channel 4 and ITV, and was artistic director of the Bath Literature Festival from 2010-2013, plus head of literature at the Southbank Centre in London from 2013-2015.

CAMEO Submissions Deadline: February 5

The Runcie announcement also serves as a signal that entries are open for the CAMEOs, with a deadline of February 5.

Entries are open to any individual or organization in the UK which has adapted a book into another format, “or created a book from film, theater, television or an interactive product.”

Judges, according to media messaging this week, will be looking for demonstrations “of both quality and success from entries, including, but not limited to: box office ticket sales; reviews; press coverage; critical acclaim; social media profile; peer-to-peer recommendation, and industry prize nominations.” To be eligible, adaptations must have been released in the UK between April 1, 2017 and December 31 of this year.

More information about entering the competition is here.

In a prepared statement, London Book Fair director Jacks Thomas is quoted, saying, “We’re so pleased that James [Runcie] has agreed to take up the baton as this year ’s London Book and Screen Week ambassador.

“A filmmaker, director, and author—and with a much-anticipated fourth Grantchester season recently confirmed—James is a fantastic success story illustrating the ever-growing creative industries’ cross-collaboration.

“As we prepare to expand the CAMEOs beyond UK borders, putting British intellectual properties front and center on a global stage, we’re delighted to have such a talented champion as James in this leading role.”


More on the London Book Fair is here, and on the topic of adaptation is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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