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'A captivating family detective story - and a poignant social history of Britain.' The Observer

Monday 27 November, The Lotos Room at The Beaumont

We are delighted to present the next event in our popular literary series on Monday 27 November with author Rory Cellan-Jones reading from his memoir Ruskin Park: Sylvia, Me and the BBC.

Ruskin Park is an absorbing, poignant and fascinating account of family and the hidden lives of those we feel we should know best. Set against the backdrop of the mighty institution of the BBC and post-war Britain, this is a riveting memoir from one of UK broadcasting's best-known names.

Prior to the reading and discussion, guests are invited to enjoy drinks with canapés in the Lotos Room's lobby. Each guest will also receive a copy of Ruskin Park: Sylvia, Me and the BBC as part of their ticket, with an opportunity for signing after the talk.


Ticket Price: £40, including a hardback copy of the book

Time: 18.30pm - cocktail reception with canapés | 19pm - reading, discussion and Q&A

Location: The Lotos Room at The Beaumont

The Author

Rory Cellan-Jones was the BBC's principal technology correspondent until 2021. He now writes an influential Substack column on medical innovation and tech. Through this and his 320k+ X followers @ruskin147 he spreads awareness of technological developments in the fields of medicine, health care and - more specifically - Parkinson's. Together with Jeremy Paxman and several others he has begun a new podcast on Parkinson's called Movers and Shakers. He is also known across the world for documenting his journey with rescue dog #SophiefromRomania.

The Book

Rory knew he was the child of a love affair between two BBC employees. But until his mother died and he found a file labelled 'For Rory' he had no idea of the extent of their relationship, and why his unconventional childhood had so tested the bond between him and his mother. 'For Rory,' his mother had written on the file, 'in the hope that it will help him understand how it really was …' What Rory uncovered in the papers, letters and diaries is a romantic relationship between Sylvia and James, the restrictive forces of post-war respectability and the prejudice that ended it. It is also an evocation of the progressive, centrifugal force at the centre of all their lives - the BBC itself. The drama moves from wartime radio broadcasts, to the glamour of 1950s television studios, to the golden era of BBC drama.