The Book Club


The Book Club returns for 2017
Tuesdays at 10pm from April 18 on ABC & ABC iview

Jennifer Byrne, Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger are back for the eleventh year to debate the latest publishing trends, hottest releases, must-read classics and guest picks when The Book Club returns on Tuesday April 18.

The premiere episode includes two special guests; crime writer and Gold Dagger winner Michael Robotham and feminist writer, broadcaster and public speaker, Clementine Ford whose debut Fight Like a Girl was voted number one in the program’s Top Five audience poll last year. The group will discuss Australian author Kathryn Heyman’s literary thriller Storm and Grace, before delving into J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.

Guest panelists throughout the season include Omar Musa, C.S. Pacat, Adam Liaw, Zoe Norton Lodge and Michael Williams.

The series will end with two Sydney Writers’ Festival specials, broadcasting on Tuesday May 30 and June 6, featuring a panel of international Sydney Writers’ Festival guests.

This year ABC Arts is also pleased to present Off the Page, a 20 x 5-minute ABC iview series exploring the art of words in all their forms – from authors to songwriters; the spoken word to the art of typography. The first four episodes will be published on ABC iview on 13 April, then the remaining 16 episodes will roll out fortnightly over the year.

The Book Club is produced by ABC TV. Series Producer: Marie Davies; Executive Producer: Jo Chichester; Head ABC Arts: Mandy Chang.

For a rich archive of past and present Book Club episodes and information check out the website:

The Book Club airs Tuesdays at 10pm from April 18 on ABC and ABC iview


Jennifer Byrne says goodbye to ABC

ABC Australia

Jennifer Byrne, host of ABC’s The Book Club, will step aside from her long-running role after The Book Club’s Christmas Special which goes to air on 19 December, 2017.

Jennifer says, "What a joy these past 11 years have been. And what a privilege to share my love of books with a wide, loyal audience on the national broadcaster. You don’t get better jobs – or better co-conspirators than Jason and Marieke, who’ve been with me from the start. We’ve had huge fun, tangled with some brilliant minds (and books), and read like threshing machines.

“For me it’s now time for a break, both to explore what might come next and remember what it’s like to read for pleasure alone. I’m proud we’ve run so long and strong. International authors were often astonished – and envious – that a show like ours existed, let alone endured. Thanks to the ABC which backed us, to the publishing industry which embraced us - and deepest thanks to the readers who travelled with us. I’ve loved the journey more than I can say.”

Jennifer and fellow book lovers Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger have been the go-to team for book-lovers for over a decade. Born out of My Favourite Book in 2004, a 90-minute Sunday night special that reached over a million viewers, First Tuesday Book Club established itself in 2006, as a reliable guide to the best in books, reading and smart conversation.

Attracting giants of the Australian and international literary scene to both The Book Club and Jennifer Byrne Presents, guests have included JK Rowling, Helen Garner, Bill Bryson, Paula Hawkins, Jeanette Winterson, Richard Flanagan, Tim Winton, Alan Cumming, Richard E Grant, Junot Diaz, Peter Carey, Michael Palin, Michael Robotham, Di Morrissey, Toni Jordan, Will Self and Jon Ronson, to name a few.

A well-credentialed Jennifer Byrne was the perfect choice to host the new show when it began: not only is she an avid reader, but she had previously worked as Publishing Director at Reed Books. Having trained as a print journalist - she was at one-time Assistant Editor at The Age’s Monthly Review - Jennifer moved on to television, where she became a Logie-winning television reporter for the Sunday program and spent seven years travelling the world for 60 Minutes. She then went on to present ABC TV’s Foreign Correspondent.

David Anderson, ABC Director of Television says, “For 11 years Jennifer Byrne has been entertaining book lovers with her erudite mix of guests; heartily arguing over new releases, disputing the classics, grappling with the best summer reads, and managing to do it all with a healthy dose of laughter, affection and insight.

"We will be sad to see The Book Club go, but understand Jennifer’s decision and thank Jennifer, Marieke and Jason for the hours of reading, thinking, and talking they have shared with our audiences.”