All About Jill  – The Life & Death of Jill Dando

(First published by Little Brown 2002)

Book cover for All About Jill by David James Smith

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Jill Dando was on the edge of happiness. The ‘golden girl’ of the BBC she was in love and about to be married, with the expectation of starting a family. Then came the morning of Monday 26 April 1999, when she met her killer on her own doorstep, a shocking tragedy in an ordinary London street.

In this moving and intimate biography, David James Smith explores the life and death of the woman who charmed middle England, especially its men, and inspired love and loyalty in nearly all who knew her. Here too is a woman plagued by doubts and disappointments; an ambitious woman who felt betrayed by the BBC, who contrived to create a public image of herself as ‘bland’, while privately she was having a ball.

Written with the co-operation of Jill’s family, fiance Alan Farthing and the police, All About Jill supplies the richly detailed context of a celebrated life and inexplicable death.


Latest News

  • The Sleep Of Reason – The James Bulger Case by David James Smith:
    Faber Finds edition with new preface, available September 15th, 2011.

  • Young Mandela the movie – in development.

    From The Guardian
    Read the article

    In the Diary column of The Independent, April 13th, 2011

    More on my previously unsubstantiated claim that the writer-director Peter Kosminsky, creator of The Promise, is working on a drama about Nelson Mandela. I’ve now learnt that the project is a feature film, in development with Film 4, about the young Mandela. Kosminsky is currently at work on the script and, given the complaints about the anti-Jewish bias of The Promise, it is unlikely to be a standard bland portrait of the former South African president.

Latest Review

    New York Times – J. M. Ledgard
  • Nelson Mandela was circumcised as a 16-year-old boy alongside a flowing river in the Eastern Cape. The ceremony was similar to those of other Bantu peoples. An elder moved through the line making ring-like cuts, and foreskins fell away. The boys could not so much as blink; it was a rite of passage that took you beyond pain. read full review

See David James Smith…

Jon Venables: What Went Wrong
BBC 1, 10.35
Thursday, April 21st, 2011