'One of the smartest, funniest and most sweet-natured people I ever encountered ... Her voice lit up Radio 4's News Quiz, she was brilliant on QI and she tirelessly travelled the UK as one of the most respected and loved comics on the circuit.' STEPHEN FRY Stephen Fry spoke for much of middle England when he responded to the news of Linda Smith's tragic death of cancer, aged 48, earlier this year. Linda was the brilliant mainstay of Radio 4s The News Quiz, Just a Minute, and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue for many years. She was just establishing her career on TV through blistering performances on Have I Got News for You, QI and Room 101, when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Linda was one of the few women to conquer the male dominated world of comedy and she had the wit and the charm to win over millions of male and female fans in equal measure. She had an eye for the absurdities of modern life and loved to prick the egos of the pompous and the vain. She could be savage about the people she despised too. When she spoke of the "dead devil-eyes of Nicky Campbell" she meant it. When she called David Mellor, "the thinking woman's fat ugly bastard", she meant it even more. When she called David Blunkett "Satan's bearded folk singer", it was a simple statement of fact. No wonder then Linda was voted the 'wittiest person alive' by Radio 4 listeners in 2002. In this brilliant anthology, we go right back to the start of Linda's career and re-live her very best material from the picket lines of the Miners' Strike, to the Edinburgh Festival and on to her mainstream success on BBC radio and TV, and as touring comedian loved up and down the country. THE ESSENTIAL LINDA SMITH is being compiled and edited by her partner of twenty-three years, Warren Lakin. The book also carries contributions from her extensive fan club including: Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Clive Anderson, Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Alan Davies, Jack Dee, Dawn French, Stephen Fry, Tony Hawks, Eddie Izzard, Matt Lucas, Nicholas Parsons and Alexei Sayle amongst others. It will be the must-have gift for comedy fans and Radio 4 listeners this Christmas.