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Sara Cox on her new BBC2 book club Between The Covers

Sara Cox for Between The Covers
(Image credit: BBC/Cactus TV)

Sara Cox will be chatting all things-book with a host of celebrities and authors in her new seven-part book club series, Between The Covers

TV presenter and Radio 2 DJ, Sara Cox, will be welcoming a whole host of celebrities including Graham Norton, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Will Young, Alan Davies and Meera Syal, to chat about all-things book for her new  BBC2  series Between The Covers.

Each week four famous faces will bring along their all time favourite book and get stuck into some reviews of recent book releases.

"It’s like a really warm and welcoming book club but without the wine and crisps! It’s not remotely chin-strokey! It's all about having fun and celebrating brilliant books from different genres. We want people at home to think ‘Oh, I like the sound of that one. I might give it a try!’"

Sara Cox speaks to us about her new BBC series Between The Covers

Tell us about some of the celeb guests you’ve got on?

Sarah Cox: "We've got Tom Allen, Phil Wang, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Sara Pascoe kicking off the series. Sara has just written a brilliant book called Sex Power Money. Graham Norton is a guest later on, he’s just written his third novel and Richard Osman is a guest too, his book has just broken all records for a first book-deal.  But it’s not just about the celebrities, we're celebrating a whole range of different authors and genres. Our book pick for week one is Matt Haig’s new novel The Midnight Library."

Tom Allen Between The Covers

Comedian and presenter Tom Allen will be sharing his favourite books with Sara (Image credit: BBC / Cactus TV)

Which books or choices took you by surprise?

SC :"I was surprised to find myself engrossed in a court room murder thriller, that was definitely a new experience for me and Alan Davies new autobiography, Just Ignore Me, is one I will never forget. I just loved it, it’s so beautifully written but also incredibly sad. It makes you want to travel back in time to look after the young Alan. That book will stay with me forever."

When did your own love of reading begin?

SC: "I read a lot when I was a teenager and would always take a few fat novels with me on holiday. I loved Jackie Collins.  Hollywood Wives was great because it was quite naughty and fruity and I loved Jilly Cooper as well, Riders was a favourite because I loved horses so much."

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Sophie Ellis Bextor Between The Covers

Sophie Ellis-Bextor is joining Sara Cox in the studio for the first episode (Image credit: BBC / Cactus TV)

As a mum of three, how do you encourage your own children to read?

SC: "I don’t actually mind what they read as long as they’re actually reading and it’s age appropriate. I’m not a book snob, I’m not going to try and push them in a certain direction, reading is reading, so whatever it is as long as they’re enjoying it and getting something from it, that’s great. My youngest has got a Beano subscription and loves reading that."

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You wrote your own memoir last year, Till The Cows Come Home, how did you find the process?

SC: "I actually loved it because it used up a part of my brain that I don’t use for radio. I was ringing my dad up a lot, asking things like what the name of a bull was that he bought in 1976. I think my parents were starting to dread my calls! I was also travelling up and down to Bradford to film Back in Time For Tea, so being contained in a speeding tube for a few hours a week with no other distractions was quite helpful!"

Sara Cox and Sara Pascoe Between The Covers

The two Saras  guest Sara Pascoe chats to host Sara Cox (Image credit: BBC / Cactus TV)

No doubt it requires a lot of self-discipline!..

SC: "Yes. I would say things to myself like, ‘Right, I’m not allowed to make a cup of tea until Pop Master is on’, I’d have Ken Bruce on in the background. I also started writing at a private members bar because I knew I wouldn't fall asleep in public whereas  at home on the sofa, the sun would start coming through the window, I'd have my laptop on my knee, my head would start nodding."

Would you like to write another book?

SC: " Yes, that’s what I’m doing now actually. It's  been interesting because for Between The Covers I've been listening to audiobooks on the way to work, on the exercise bike, while I was cooking, every single opportunity as well as reading in bed at night and between all that I've been writing my own book.

"I was doing so much reading and getting through so many books I thought, 'Doing this book show is going to put me off reading for life!' but that hasn't happened at all. That would have been a very cruel irony!  Instead, what  it has done is made me realise I have got time in my life to read, I don’t have do be doing my supermarket order, I don’t have to browse online in bed at night, or be watching  stuff on my Ipad. You can make the time if you want to, it's just getting into that habit again."

Sara Cox for Between The Covers

Sara Cox with some of the books that are going to be reviewed on her new show Between The Covers (Image credit: BBC/Cactus TV)

What books are on your bedside table at the moment?

SC: "I'm reading The Binding by Bridget Collins which is SO good and I'm also reading Caitlin Moran's latest book More Than A Woman. I love Caitlin's writing. I remember reading her book How To Be A Woman in the bath and I got to bit where she writes, 'Say out loud "I am a feminist". I was there sitting in the bath saying,  'I am a feminist'.

I've also read her book How To Build A Girl. She's very good at untangling your own thought process, she's working-class like me. I’m sat here now in this lovely house I never dreamed I'd own, but I spent a lot of my childhood in a council house and was always a little bit embarrassed about my working-class background. Nowadays  I couldn’t be more proud of it. I’m still working class at my very core, in my heart, like a stick of rock. It's almost as if her writing gave me permission to embrace that and go, ‘Actually I am working class, that’s how I feel’ and I love that.

Between The Covers starts on BBC2 on Friday 9 October 7.30 pm (see our TV Guide for more shows to enjoy).