Ben West has written on a wide variety of subjects for numerous newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Th e Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Daily Mail, Vogue, The Spectator and Reader’s Digest. Travel writing has taken him to more than 25 countries, including seven in Africa, and his first trip to Cameroon netted him four tropical diseases. He is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. He was chief property correspondent of the Daily Express and the Sunday Express from 1999 to 2001, at which time penning one too many features on the joys of bungalow living became too much. He had a weekly column in the Financial Times from 2006 to 2008, and his books include London for Free (Pan, 1996), Buying a Home: Th e Virgin Guide (Virgin Books, 2003), The Rough Guide to Family Fun in Ireland (Rough Guides, 2004) and Buying a Property Abroad (Cadogan, 2004). His theatre show, Gertrude’s Secret, featuring Prunella Scales, Natalie Cassidy, Angela Griffi n and around 30 other actors, has been touring a number of London and regional UK theatres since September 2006.