The Colman Getty PEN Quiz 2006

HarperCollins triumphant in Colman Getty PEN Quiz!


 * Last night’s Colman Getty PEN Quiz saw HarperCollins narrowly beat main sponsors, Colman Getty, to take this year’s title, with Pan Macmillan taking third place. Members of the winning HarperCollins team included literary and media heavyweights Francis Wheen, Philip Hensher, John Walsh, David Swarbrick, Robert Lacey and Philip Norman, alongside the publishers themselves, including Victoria Barnsley and Amanda Ridout.

The night’s proceedings were expertly supervised by Quizmistress Mariella Frostrup, who asked to be known as ‘Mother’, and kept a room full of 350 riotous writers, publishers, agents and other media stars under strict control.

 * As the evening drew to a climax, Piers Morgan took the stage to call the raffle. Not impressed with the money raised for PEN by the sale of the raffle tickets alone, Piers soon whipped the audience into a bidding frenzy over the prizes. Starting with £400 on an England away shirt signed by Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard, bidding continued with a boxed set of adult edition Harry Potter books signed by J.K. Rowling going for £600 to film producer Eric Abraham, and a visit to the set of His Dark Materials, starring Daniel Craig, going to broadcaster Daisy Goodwin, who outbid herself to meet the new James Bond. The bidding reached a charitable climax when the winner of a year’s membership to the QI club bid for his own prize to eventually pay £300! Piers’s rabble rousing raised an additional £2,500 for PEN.

English PEN are delighted to have raised over £45K from the evening. The Quiz provides essential funds to support PEN’s work defending freedom of expression, campaigning on behalf of persecuted writers worldwide and promoting literature and literacy. Jonathan Heawood, Director of English PEN, said: ‘This was the best Quiz yet. We spend most of the year looking out for the human rights of authors around the world so it’s great to see everyone having so much fun.’

PEN would like to thank Colman Getty PR for acting as Principal Sponsors, Charles Russell and AP Watt for sponsoring Quiz rounds, Gavin Martin Associates and the Robert Gavron Charitable Trust for sponsoring printing costs, Here for designing tickets, programmes and the presentation, Moet Hennessy, William Hill and Hotel Chocolat for providing prizes, Foyles and Piatkus Books for providing vouchers and books for volunteers, Alain de Botton, Foyles, Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais, HarperCollins, Frank Lampard, Nigella Lawson, Philip Pullman, the QI Club, Wayne Rooney, J.K. Rowling, Martin Rowson, Jon Snow and U2 for donating raffle prizes, Lord John Julius Norwich and Sophie Heawood for assistance with Quiz questions, all volunteers, the PEN Quiz committee, and special thanks to Piers Morgan and Mariella Frostrup.

Teams for 2006 included the Association of Authors’ Agents, Baker Tilly, The Biographers’ Club, Bloomberg, Charles Russell Solicitors, Colman Getty, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, Faber & Faber, Foyles, Granta/Portobello Books, HW Fisher, HarperCollins, Hodder Headline, JFL Search & Selection, The Literary Review, Little, Brown Book Group, The Mail on Sunday, Midas PR, Mills & Boon, Nielsen Book, The Observer, Orion Book Group, Pan Macmillan, Penguin, Piatkus Books, Poet in the City, Prospect/Political Quarterly, Random House, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, The Romantic Novelists’ Association, Simon & Schuster, The Times and the William Morris Agency.

Photographs by Max Grizaard


For more information about this year’s Quiz and previous Quizzes click here

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