Decca Aitkenhead is an award-winning journalist (Catherine Pakenham Award 1996, Interviewer of the Year in 2009) for The Guardian newspaper, where she interviews leading figures in public life. She was born in Wiltshire in 1971, and studied politics and modern history at Manchester University, where she began her career in journalism at the Manchester Evening News. She has been a columnist and features writer for most national newspapers and magazines, and a regular contributor to BBC radio and television. She lives in rural Kent with her two young sons. In 2000 she wrote a travel book, The Promised Land, about going around the world in search of perfect Ecstasy.