Christopher Stevens is an author and a national newspaper journalist. His last book, GALTON AND SIMPSON: THE MEN WHO INVENTED SITCOM (Michael O’Mara Books) was launched at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank in September 2011, when he interviewed Ray Galton and Alan Simpson on stage. The book is a celebration and an anthology of Britain’s greatest comedy writing duo, and draws on their complete archive of more than 600 scripts, including much material that was broadcast but not kept on tape. It is also based on many hours of interviews with Galton and Simpson, the creators of Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe And Son.
His authorised biography of Kenneth Williams, BORN BRILLIANT (John Murray), was published in October 2010. It was broadcast as Radio 4’s Book Of The Week, as well as being shortlisted for the Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography. The Sunday Telegraph called it “illuminating” and “underpinned by a warm sympathy”; “impeccably researched, compelling and, despite everything, sympathetic,” said the Scotsman. Christopher Stevens was the first biographer to be granted access to the entire archive of Kenneth Williams’ journals and papers, comprising 43 volumes of diaries, thousands of letters and approximately five million words.
His other books include A REAL BOY (Michael O’Mara Books), a memoir about his family’s struggle to bring up their profoundly autistic son, David, which was published in February 2008 and serialised in the Daily Mail. It was described by the Sun as “incredibly moving.” The book was given the stamp of approval by the National Autistic Society, whose president, Jane Asher, called it “wonderfully honest”. On the lighter side, in 2008 Christopher Stevens wrote a guide to mnemonics and traditional memory rhymes called 30 DAYS HAS SEPTEMBER, which for many weeks was the best-selling reference book on Kindle as well as an activities handbook for fathers with young children, THINGS TO DO WITH DAD (Michael O’Mara Books). He also edited Will Hutton’s best-selling compilation of essays, ON THE EDGE (Jonathan Cape, 2000), a study of the repercussions of globalisation.
Christopher’s latest book, WRITTEN IN STONE, was published by Virgin Books in October 2014. An entertaining time-travelling jaunt through the Stone Age origins of our modern-day language, WRITTEN IN STONE uncovers the most influential and important words used by our Neolithic ancestors and shows how they are still in constant use today.
Christopher has more than 25 years experience working as a newspaper journalist. Fifteen of those were as a senior sub-editor at The Observer in London, on the News and Political Comment sections; before that, he worked at several award-winning provincial newspapers, including the Western Daily Press in Bristol. He now works as the Daily Mail’s TV reviewer.
He has been a guest at numerous literary festivals, including the Times Cheltenham Literature Festival and the Glasgow Book Festival. He lives in Bristol with his wife, Nicola, and his teenage sons, James and David.