James Runcie is a writer, director and literary curator. He is the author of The Grantchester Mysteries, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Commissioning Editor, Arts at BBC Radio 4.
He was born in 1959, educated at Marlborough College, Trinity Hall Cambridge and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He was a founder member of The Late Show, and made documentary films for the BBC for fifteen years. He then went freelance to make programmes for Channel 4 and ITV.
His most well known films are: J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life, Hilary Mantel: A Culture Show Special, My Father, Great Composers: Bach, Shanghai Jim: J.G. Ballard in China and Miss Pym’s Day Out.
He was Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival from 2010-2013, and Head of Literature at the Southbank Centre in London from 2013-2015 where he directed readings of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, Plato’s Symposium, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and a tribute to Seamus Heaney.
With David Kynaston, he curated the London Library Festival Words in the Square in 2016 and continues to interview writers at literary events, mainly at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. He has interviewed Marilynne Robinson, Richard Ford, Hilary Mantel, J.K. Rowling, Orhan Pamuk, Elif Shafak, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Andrew Solomon, Alice Oswald, Philippe Sands, Nina Stibbe, Kamila Shamsie, Aminatta Forna, Kate Mosse, Salley Vickers, Martin Parr, Hisham Matar, Howard Jacobson, Mohsin Hamid, Richard Holloway, Julian Fellowes and Judith Kerr.
James Runcie lives in Scotland.