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Football book next for Jilly Cooper, author of blockbuster novels

Published 31/07/2016

Jilly Cooper has decided her next book will be about football
Jilly Cooper has decided her next book will be about football

Author Jilly Cooper is best known for her raunchy novels featuring rural locations and countryside pursuits but she has decided her next book will be about football.

Cooper, 79, has sold millions of copies of her blockbusters, including Riders, Rivals and Polo, but says she has taken inspiration from her local football team for her next work.

She told BBC Radio Four's Desert Island Discs: " I've suddenly decided to write my next book about football

"We have a lovely local team called Forest Green and they are absolutely sweet. They went to Wembley this year and took me along. They were beaten by Grimsby which was really heartbreaking."

Introducing her song choice Can't Help Falling In Love With You by Elvis Presley, she said: "Th is is a song that fans sing and to hear 3,000 men sing this song is something."

Asked by host Kirsty Young about how she felt when the jacket cover of her 1985 novel Riders was reissued because it was considered to be too risque, Cooper revealed: "I was furious. Livid."

The cover featured a man's hand grabbing a woman's bottom.

She added that the book was banned by her children's school, telling Young: " I rang them up and said if they banned the book I won't be able to pay the school fees."

Most of Cooper's novels feature a large cast of horses and dogs, as well as beautiful women and handsome men, and Cooper said her affection for animals comes from being "an applause junkie".

She said: "Nothing gives you more applause than a dog."

Her love of her animals meant Cooper detested boarding school as a child, telling Young: "It was awful, I couldn't bear it. It was like prison. I missed my pony, my dog, my brother and my parents, probably in that order."

Cooper also spoke of her devastation at not being able to have children before she adopted son Felix and daughter Emily with her husband Leo, saying: " I can't believe the wellspring of love that pours out of you when you have children."

Introducing her choice of Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley, she said her adult children are "excellent drinking companions" and the song reminds her of getting drunk and dancing round the garden with them.

The book she chose to take to the desert island was the Oxford Book Of Quotations, while her luxury item was "a sack of nuts so I could feed the monkeys and have some pets".

The full interview with Cooper can be heard on Desert Island Discs at 11.15am on BBC Radio Four on Sunday.

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