the Tim Heald website
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Tim Heald
photo: Jonathan Barker, 2003

Tim Heald, author, journalist, public speaker, lives in Cornwall, England. 

Author of Prince Philip's official biography, Tim Heald has written novels and whodunnits which have been compared with those of Graham Green, Evelyn Waugh and P.G.Wodehouse. He has lived and worked extensively in the USA.

A Fellow of the Royal  Society of Literature, Guest Speaker on the QE2, Visiting Fellow at the Universities of Tasmania and South Australia, he has raced across the Atlantic on behalf of the Daily Express and played Elephant Polo in Nepal for the Sunday Times. During the summer of 2003 he was busy filming his first TV series for Carlton.  The subject of the filming, village cricket, also gives its name to the book which Tim has written to accompany the series. Village Cricket was published on May 1st  2004.  Also published in May was Tim's latest crime novel, Death and the Visiting Fellow.  

Tim Heald learned the rudiments of public speaking at Sherborne School in the early sixties when he was Hon. Sec. of the Debating Society. He continued his studies at Oxford University where he reported on Union debates for Cherwell, the university newspaper.

He also became Hon. Sec. of Balliol College's humorous debating society, the Arnold and Brackenbury, where he crossed satirical swords with the likes of PrivateEye's John Wells and TV's Peter Snow.

For the next few years he was too busy writing for Punch, the Spectator (see Mr Gladstone's Bowler Hat), the Sunday Times (where he worked on the Atticus Column with Nick Tomalin and Hunter Davies) and the Daily Express (a star feature writer from 67 to 72) to do much formal speaking. However he was briefly on the official list of Liberal party parliamentary candidates and delivered a memorable oration to the Salisbury Constituency Association on the party's agricultural policy (about which he was spectacularly ill-informed).

In the eighties he returned to the oratorical fray as Chairman of the British Crime Writers Association (presenting a "Diamond Dagger" to John le Carré at the House of Lords and speaking alongside such dinner guests as Bill Deedes and Chris Patten). He was also  the International Co-ordinator of  the PEN Writers in Prison Committee. PEN is a world-wide writers organisation so he found himself addressing extremely earnest meetings (with simultaneous translation) at conferences in Hamburg, Lugano and Cambridge.

Highlights since then include an Agatha Christie conference at the University in Mexico City (a two-hour key-note speech); the 1993 Royal Warrant Holders' banquet at Grosvenor House (1500 guests in white tie and tails and having to speak AFTER the Welsh wizard Cliff Morgan); Cunard cruises on the QE2 and Caronia; the Balliol College 'Gaudy' (the Vice Chancellor of Oxford, the Lord Chief Justice of England and two hundred beady-eyed university contemporaries!).


Tim with son Tristram at home in Cornwall
 
Then there are the Literary Festivals; at Cheltenham, Fowey, Rye, Miami, Penola South Australia and Hay-on-Wye; numerous engagements around the world on behalf of the British Council; the matriculation address at the University of Tasmania's leading residential college; presenting the prizes at his old school ("If, forty years ago,  any of my friends had predicted that one day I would be standing here, doing this, they would have been removed by men in white coats. And rightly so.").

Last but not least, his daughter's wedding to a Mexican banker in Wiltshire was a most memorable occasion where he only kept control by blowing a referee's whistle and showing his new in-laws red and yellow cards by way of warning..

As a journalist he has travelled widely and unusually. He has played elephant polo with Ringo Starr and Billy Connolly in Nepal; explored Belize and Ulster in an Army Air Corps helicopter; and had a cricket net with Gary Sobers in Barbados. His interviews have ranged from the great and good such as Martin Luther King and Margot Fonteyn to the not quite so good such as Robert Maxwell and the Kray Gang "enforcer", Ronnie Bender...

He has written  more than thirty books including the "Bognor" series of crime novels televised by Thames TV and biographies of such noted raconteurs as Prince Philip, Barbara Cartland and Brian Johnston. 

His recent satirical novel, Stop Press, about journalism, was described by Nick Foulkes in the Literary Review as "Howlingly Funny and Wickedly Amusing". 

Elsewhere his writing has been compared with that of Tom Sharpe, Evelyn Waugh and P.G.Wodehouse,  and the U.K. Press Gazette recently said that:

"Heald can keep a bar amused for hours with countless tales of the nonsenses
 and nightmares of Fleet Street
"

* * * *

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© TIM HEALD 2004

 website by scorpian.net                                                          main photo on this page by Jonathan Barker