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The official Talk Art book

Ilex Press acquires first book from hosts of Talk Art podcast, Russell Tovey and Robert Diament

Ilex Press (part of the Octopus Publishing Group) has acquired Talk Art: Everything You Wanted to Know About Contemporary Art but Were Afraid to Ask by actor and collector Russell Tovey and gallerist Robert Diament. Ella Parsons, Octopus Editor, acquired world rights in all languages from Paul Stevens at Independent Talent. The book will be published on 6 May 2021 at £20.00.

With their popular podcast, Russell Tovey and Robert Diament opened the doors to the contemporary art world. Featuring exclusive interviews with leading artists, musicians, writers, actors and gallerists – including Sir Elton John, Lena Dunham, Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Edward Enninful – Talk Art has established itself as the must-listen cultural podcast and garnered more than 1.5 million downloads since its launch in 2018.

Talk Art, the book, is a visually stimulating and accessible celebration of contemporary art, and a guidebook to navigating and engaging with the art world. Informal and jargon-free, this book proves that art really is for everyone. As Russell says: “All we wanted to do was make art accessible, non-academic, non-elitist, gossipy and fun”. With a wealth of imagery (some never-before-seen in print and some commissioned especially for the book) and an informative and engaging narrative, Talk Art will become the must-have book that art lovers return to again and again.

Russell Tovey is an actor best-known for appearing in The History Boys, Years and Years, The Good Liar, HBO’s Looking and ITV’s The Sister. He is also a passionate art collector, with about 300 pieces. Robert Diament is Director of the Carl Freedman Gallery and Counter Editions (a company that produces prints and multiples by leading contemporary artists such as Tracey Emin, David Shrigley and Martin Creed). Before working in art, he was part of electro pop band Temposhark.

Editor Ella Parsons said of the acquisition: ‘Having been a fan of the Talk Art podcast from the very beginning, it’s hugely exciting to be publishing Russell and Robert’s first book. Their enthusiasm for art is truly infectious, and it has been a joy to work with them on such a brilliant, joyful title.’

Octopus Publisher, Alison Starling, added, ‘Russell and Robert’s aim of making art accessible and enjoyable for all is very much in tune with the aims of the Ilex list and we’re really proud to be publishing Talk Art alongside books from Jerry Saltz, Central Saint Martins and Tate.’


Talk Art: Everything you wanted to know about contemporary art but were afraid to ask by Russell Tovey and Robert Diament will be published by Ilex Press on the 6th of May 2021 at £20.00 as jacketed paperback.

Pre-order your copy online today