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Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Tuesday, 3 January 2006

Ben Schott - Capturing 2005

Ben Schott's modern almanac makes space for celebrity intrigue
In a HardTalk Extra interview screened on 23 December, Gavin Esler spoke to the author Ben Schott, who has made a career out of bringing old literay formats, like almanacs, back into fashion.

Ben Schott has been praised as the master of spectacularly useless information.

His first book, Schott's Miscellany, quickly became an international best-seller.

His latest book, Schott's Almanac, is again satisfying the public's demand for obscure information.

But more ambitiously, it also attempts to piece together the vital information that will define 2005 for future generations, covering everything from general election results to celebrity gossip.

Gavin Esler asks Ben Schott to justify his selections.

HARDtalk Extra can be seen on BBC World at 0430 GMT, 0830 GMT, 1130 GMT, 1530 GMT, 1930 GMT, 0030 GMT.

It can also be seen on BBC News 24 at 04:30 and 23:30.

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