The Viney Agency


General Sir Richard Dannatt

Paul’s career in media began at The Independent and Time Out as an arts correspondent before becoming a television producer, mainly with Channel Four - for whom he filmed arts documentaries from Bangalore to Johannesburg, New York to Cannes. His company, Edenwood Productions, has produced a diverse output, from the RSC film of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the BBC’s Love and Betrayal in India: White Mughals presented by William Dalrymple.

As an author his three published books so far are A Good Likeness: A Personal Story of Adoption, Let Me Eat Cake (a personal history of the sweet stuff), and Is Anybody Up There? (a meditation on the world’s great faiths). He has also written two plays, both drawing on his undergraduate interest in psychology – Psyche (Northcott Exeter & Arts London) and A Painful Case (Exeter & Nuffield Southampton).

Paul is a born and bred Londoner from an Irish background but has lived for the last fifteen years in Colyton, East Devon, where he has become prominent in campaigns fighting regional corruption and saving the NHS from privatisation. His ardent support for helpless causes is further apparent in his abiding passion for Charlton Athletic FC. He is married with four children in their twenties.


Praise for A Good Likeness

Beyond the personal journey this is also a passionate and deeply political examination of loss, bereavement and identity. How do we know who we are? Do we have a right to know? Are we in fact born or made. Paul Arnott handles these big questions in the same way a great novelist would: here are the themes; now go and think… His writing is dazzling, and it will be a shame if more books do not follow this one.  (Independent on Sunday)

There are many challenging paradoxes explored in this wonderful, multifaceted voyage-of-discovery book, A Good Likeness – Paul Arnott’s moving and often hilarious quest to find his natural parents. ….. What this book does, I think, whether for adoptive parents, adopted children, birth parents or the general reader is throw open the doors on a subject that is still unnecessarily taboo. (Literary Review)

Praise for Let Me Eat Cake

Paul Arnott is a fine historian, adept at telling such wonderful stories, but more importantly it’s his warm, affectionate take on growing up and out that makes this such a lovely book ...(The Independent on Sunday)

Arnott keeps pulling you back to the past, to times when, unlike now, simple pleasures were allowed to exist. He’s an expert nostalgist – when he takes you back to the 1970s he tells you about things that were old even then … This is a lovely book – Arnott has written a story that is by turns thoughtful and comforting and nostalgic as hell. (Guardian)

Arnott writes extremely well, icing his prose with subtle, ironic humour .. a light, funny, informative, highly enjoyable confection that offers much instant gratification. Enjoy. (Daily Mail)

If T.S.Eliot’s life was measured out in coffee spoons, Arnott’s has been punctuated by bars of dairy milk chocolate. His sweet, funny, sugar-coated memoir is light as a fairy cake. (The Times)

Leading from the FrontReligious fundamentalism tells us what we must believe; atheism tells us why we shouldn’t. But what does faith mean to the majority of us who aren’t quite so certain? In this entertaining guide to religion as it is lived, Arnott draws on his own Anglican upbringing and further encounters with Sikh bus drivers, Greek Orthodox tour guides, and a friend who runs the Hari Krishnas flapjack company to explore the impact our spiritual side really has on our day-to-day existence. Funny, accessible and far from polemical, this is an open-minded and insightful look at what we believe and why we believe it.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Is Anybody Up There? (Hodder & Stoughton, 2009); Let Me Eat Cake (Hodder & Stoughton, 2006); A Good Likeness (Little, Brown, 2003)