Percy Howard Newby wrote twenty-three novels and six works of non-fiction. He was born in East Sussex in 1918. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1939, and visited Egypt for the first time in 1941, as part of the army's Middle East Force. From 1942 Newby was released from the army to teach English Literature at Fouad 1st University in Cairo, where he stayed until 1946. During that time he wrote his first novel. In 1947 he returned to England to write, joining the BBC in 1949 as a talks producer. He created literary-based broadcasting for the Third Programme (which became Radio Three), before becoming controller of that station in 1958, and then Managing Director of BBC Radio in 1975. He retired from the BBC in 1978, having been awarded a CBE. Newby died in 1997, in Oxfordshire.