Visit Somerset Ambassadors


Lord Jeffrey Archer

Lord Jeffrey Archer
“I was born in London, but brought up in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. My mother Lola, educated at Redmaids’ School in Bristol, was the driving force in my life, and had great ambition. When my father died when I was only twelve, she juggled three jobs, selling advertising space for a local entertainment guide called ‘What’s on in Weston’; at the weekends she worked behind the reception desk at the Rozel Hotel on the seafront; and she had her own column in the Weston Mercury called ‘Over the Teacups’, where I made a regular appearance as Tuppence.”
 
“I had a wonderful time growing up in Somerset, where I sold ice-creams on the beach in the summer holidays. When I was seven years old, a proper age to begin one’s love of cricket, I watched my first county match, Somerset v Surrey at Clarence Park, Weston-super-Mare. Somerset were skittled for 36. Bedser, Laker and Lock dismissed us with alacrity.  With schoolboy fervour, I still expected that we would rout the county champions and dismiss them for 35.  P B H May thought nothing of my opinion and scored an untroubled century, which I reluctantly acknowledged in my Playfair scorebook.  Five years later, in 1952, with Somerset remaining at the foot of the County Championship table on every intervening year, I assumed it would only be a matter of time before I was selected to play for my county.  By the time I was 17, Somerset had climbed to third place in the county championship table, so I took up athletics.” 
 
Jeffrey was educated at Wellington School, and then Brasenose College, Oxford, where he gained an athletics blue, was President of the University Athletics Club, and went on to run the 100 yards in 9.6 seconds for Great Britain in 1966.  He was an MP for five years, and has now spent twenty-seven years as a Member of the House of Lords.
 
He has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 275 million copies in 97 countries and more than 37 languages. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (nineteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries).
 
Jeffrey set his internationally best-selling series, The Clifton Chronicles in Somerset.
 
“I’d always wanted to set a book in the West Country, where I grew up, so when I reached the age of 70 and wanting to give myself a new challenge, I decided to write a seven-book series spanning 100 years. Many people have commented that there are some autobiographical elements to Harry Clifton, not least being brought up in Bristol, in the west of England, both being writers, and both of us being married to strong, independent, successful women.”
 
Jeffrey’s latest novel, Heads You Win was published in paperback on May 2nd, and his new novel, Nothing Ventured, the first in a new William Warwick series, will be out in September this year.  His novel, Kane and Abel, written 40 years ago, is now on its 121st reprint.
 
Jeffrey is also an art collector and amateur auctioneer, conducting around 25 charity auctions a year, and has raised over £51m in the last 30 years for good causes.  He has been married to Dame Mary Archer DBE, Chairman of the Science Museum Group, for 53 years, and they have two sons, two grandsons, and one granddaughter.
 
“I try and get down to Somerset at least a couple of times a year, which includes my role as patron for the RNLI in Weston-super-Mare, where I’ve been supporting their fundraising appeal for a new lifeboat station, which of course is hugely important to the county. And last year, I was delighted to be invited to become an Ambassador for Visit Somerset. I hope you will all take the opportunity to visit this beautiful county, and enjoy all the great attractions, beaches and countryside it has to offer…By the way, we’re going to win the county championships for the first time this year!”
 
www.jeffreyarcher.com
Follow Jeffrey on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @Jeffrey_Archer
 
 

Visit Somerset Ambassador

Lord Jeffrey Archer

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