Liz has contributed widely to news and arts programmes, both in Britain and abroad. Her unique position as a book industry insider with the perspective of an objective observer enables her to comment insightfully on the book business, and as a result she has been a frequent guest on such programmes as Radio 4’s Today, You and Yours, Woman’s Hour, Open Book and Front Row, and Radio5Live, as well as BBC TV’s Newsnight and World.
From 2007 through 2013, she hosted a series of podcasts with leading figures from the book trade for the London Book Fair.
She has also appeared as a commentator on aspects of popular music and culture, and on women in music, and from 2003-4 featured on the arts strand of BA’s inflight entertainment programme.
In 1981, Liz wrote a documentary for Capital Radio, Forever Young: Bob Dylan at 40.
A selection of Liz Thomson’s broadcast work:
Democracy Now! on PBS
An hour-long special edition from New York celebrating Bob Dylan’s seventieth birthday, with Liz in conversation with Bob Fass and Amy Goodman.
The Rock Book Show Interview
New York, May 2011 – Liz talks to Kimberly Austin about the restoration of No Direction Home.
No Direction Home: The Life & Music of Bob Dylan
Liz and Patrick Humphries remember New York Times journalist Robert Shelton, the critic who wrote the celebrated review credited with launching Dylan’s career. Liz also recalls her backstage encounter with Dylan at the Hammersmith Apollo in November 2003.
A selection of London Book Fair podcasts hosted by Liz Thomson
Helen Fraser reflects on her distinguished career in publishing as she steps down from her post as Managing Director of the Penguin Group (31 March 2011)
James Daunt, founder of the boutique bookselling chain that bears his name and Managing Director of Waterstones on the reinvention of Britain’s flagship chain (22 November 2012)
Jamie Byng, Managing Director of Canongate Books, publisher of The Life of Pi and Barack Obama, on the audacity of hope – and the audacity of risk (1 March 2011)
Elif Shafak, Turkey’s best-selling author, talks about the confluence of east and west in her fiction and a life spent commuting between cultures and languages (4 April 2013)
Andrew Franklin, the refreshingly outspoken founder of Profile, on what it takes to be a successful publisher, conglomerate or independent, in a challenging market (17 December 2012)
Patrick Ness, best-selling children’s and YA author, on writing and teaching and why authors must resist the snobbish impulse (3 December 2012)
Peter James knew what he wanted to do when, aged eight, he read his first Sherlock Holmes mystery. He is now the author of 35 novels and his Roy Grace detective series has sold 18 million copies worldwide (15 March 2012)
Liz has interviewed authors at the Hay, Dartington and Southbank literary festivals, and on platforms in Dubai and Sharjah. She has discussed censorship with Margaret Atwood, Kenyan corruption with Michela Wrong, the origins of the First World War with Tim Butcher, and chaired a round-table on liberal interventionism with aid worker Conor Foley, journalist Hala Jaber and writer and activist Zena el Khalil. She has also talked fiction with such best-selling novelists as Rachel Billington, Victoria Hislop, Kate Mosse and Peter James.
In June 2017 at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Literary Festival, Liz interviewed Polly Toynbee and David Walker about their latest book Dismembered, which examines the dismantling of the state by the Conservative government.
And at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2017 Liz interviewed:
- James Rhodes – How to play the piano;
- Elena Lappin – Tea is for translation;
- Steve Smith – European revolution; and
- Kitty Ferguson – Stephen Hawking: an unfettered mind.
Publishing now – and how we got here from there
Among the bookmen: a view from the editor’s chair
Publishing Masterclass, University College London
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around: Joan Baez raises her voice
The Sixties: Take Thirteen
8 December 2000, Revised December 2003
Lonesome roads: converging on a study of popular music
Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool