PLAYERS by Jilly Cooper


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Cooper (Class, 1981; Riders, 1986) returns with a good-humoredly glitzy, vulgar romp through the British TV industry. There's trouble at Corinium Television--plenty of trouble. Chairman Baron Tony Baddingham--attractive in "a brutal sort of way"--is under fire because of all the trashy programs he's been showing, and also because he spends far too much time making programs he can sell to hungry American public-television stations. His arch-rival, Rupert Campbell-Black (the priapic equestrian of Riders), has now cleaned up his act and is Her Majesty's Minister of Sport. He is joining up with another of Baddingham's enemies, fabulously popular talk-show host Declan O'Hara, to overturn Baron Tony by buying his TV franchise out from under him (apparently, in England, television franchises are awarded rather like Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets). In the meantime, Rupert is sleeping with Baddingham's girlfriend, fiery American documentary filmmaker Cameron Cook--but he's really lusting after Declan's young daughter. And when the dust clears--and Baddingham is banished--he'll actually get her. Overlong and very British--but, still, more full-bodied than a certain American brand of popular fiction, and, here, with a touch of male-directed cheesecake and a seamy inside peek at Britain's TV world.

Publisher: Ballantine
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