Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News (Paperback)
  • Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News (Paperback)

Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News (Paperback)

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Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 17/10/2019
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Waterstones Says

One of the most recognisable faces on television news, Maitlis proves a delightfully witty and engaging navigator through the twists and turns of the broadcast media game. Brimming with behind the scenes gossip and fascinating TV trivia, Airhead is an addictive, one-sitting read.  

If you think you know the news, think again.

In this behind-the-scenes, no holds barred account of life in the seconds before, during and after going on air, Emily Maitlis discloses the wrangling, bust-ups, blow-ups, pleading, last-second script-shreddings, scoops, walk-outs and unexpected love-ins that we never see on-screen.

Covering everything from the Paris terror attacks to Grenfell, #MeToo to President Clinton's love affairs, Boris Johnson, goat yoga, and interviews with everyone from Emma Thompson and Tony Blair to Donald Trump and Russell Brand, Airhead is a brilliant expose of the moments that never make the news.

Featuring THREE exclusive new chapters.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781405938341
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 277 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 24 mm


'A wonderfully sane book for our unhinged times.' - Simon Schama

'Maitlis has written a deliciously funny book about the high-wire act of broadcasting and the madness that surrounds it. Lots of famous presenters have written books but Maitlis' is different . . . Irresistible. She sounds great company . . . Her book's a romp.' - The Times

'Maitlis paints a vivid picture of the intensity and unpredictability that come with her assignments, which punctures the perceived glamour of life reporting the news . . . Her writing is excellent: precise, economical and accessible.' - Guardian

'She is a superb writer, used to throwing together pacy, engaging scripts at a second's notice. Each chapter is dedicated to one of her interviews - it is a sort of greatest-hits compilation.' - The Sunday Times

'[Emily] is so absolutely of the moment, a quasi-memoir could not be better timed. Airhead is a compilation of her greatest hits. And boy are there many . . . narrated in her snappy, chatty style . . . her asides are acerbic, her observations hilarious.' - Evening Standard

'Airhead is, like its author, funny, wise, self-deprecating and insightful.' - You Magazine

'Smart, funny and brilliantly told stories about what goes on behind the scenes of television news. A joy.' - Elizabeth Day

'Revelatory, riveting and frequently hilarious. A joy from beginning to end.' - James O'Brien

'A remarkable journey through the jungle of newsmaking. It combines razor-sharp analysis with compelling narrative drive and wit. A must-read.' - Matthew d'Ancona, Guardian and Evening Standard columnist

'A wonderfully sane book for our unhinged times.' - Simon Schama 

'Emily has a style that would make you enjoy her report on the end of the world. Absolutely irresistible.' - Jeremy Vine 

'The irony of this riveting, enlightening and sometimes painfully honest book is that you couldn't meet less of an airhead than Emily Maitlis - a bold, fearless journalist, a splendidly probing and well-prepared interlocutor, and a warm, sharp and witty woman at the top of her game on and off camera. I'm just very disappointed there's only one chapter about me.' - Piers Morgan 

'An irreverent and amusing account of her media career.' - The Times, 100 Best Books for Summer 

'Smart and Broadcast News-funny, Airhead is peppered with insider anecdotes you could only pick up working on the kind of big news stories that the journalist has covered for decades.' - Daily Telegraph

'Not an autobiography but a serious book about journalism, disguised in anecdotal chapters about her encounters with the great and the good and the rather awful . . . leads the reader towards a deeper understanding of an essential part of our culture: current affairs . . . this is a book that engages at every level.' - Daily Mail

'Fascinating . . . [an] excellent book.' - Mail on Sunday

'A behind-the-scenes look at how news gets made.' - Observer

'She lifts the veil on the inner workings of the BBC, as she reflects on her long career as a journalist.' - Radio Times

'She offers insights into everyone from Donald Trump to Simon Cowell, showing them not just as what they represent, but as individuals with flaws and charm.' - The Press and Journal

'One of the best we've read this year . . . This insightful, hilarious and engrossing memoir from one of our most well-liked TV broadcasters takes you behind the scenes of the biggest news stories in recent years.' - SheerLuxe, 15 Best Beach Reads of 2019 

'Recounts, one guest per chapter, a number of her interviews with the boldest of boldface figures . . . Entertaining.' - Strong Words

'A quick, absorbing read . . . my overriding impression is of rather breathless thoughtfulness . . . her formidable intelligence and self-deprecating awareness shine brightly.' - Times Higher Education

'We love the Maitlis.' - Stylist

'The Newsnight presenter reads her memoirs with her usual dignified delivery . . . Her amusing, internal asides during interviews with Simon Cowell and Bill Clinton have something wonderfully gossipy about them.' - Guardian, The best audiobooks of the year 

'Emily Maitlis is a particular hero of mine . . . I know I'm in for a treat with Airhead.' - Gaby Huddart, Editor-in-chief, Good Housekeeping

'Emily Maitlis is one of my favourite interviewers and I want to read her tales of interviewing people such as Donald Trump, Theresa May and Simon Cowell.' -  Catriona Shearer, Sunday Mail

'A fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into modern television news.' - Time & Leisure Magazine 

'It's a brilliant, often funny, behind-the-scenes account of her working life, written by one of Britain's best television broadcasters. It proves she's far from an airhead!' - John Craven 

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“Very entertaining”

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Her writing is just as she's in interviews and you can basically hear and see her. It gives glimpses into a world so many would love to know more about and that they... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 72

“A Glimpse Behind the Newsnight Stories”

Reveals the personal behind the stories. Nothing too personal - this isn’t her life story- but fascinating insights into the real person bringing the news and her thoughts about it.

A good insight into how the news... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 57

“Describes what goes on behind the camera but lacks excitement that I expected”

The book was an eye opener to what really goes on in presenting the news but I was expecting some juicy dramatic details which this book was lackong. Disappointed but I did finish it.

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 20

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