Douglas Hurd was the chair of the Booker Prize judges in 1998 along with Nigella Lawson, Penelope Fitzgerald, Valentine Cunningham and Miriam Gross. He is a politician, biographer and novelist.

Douglas Richard Hurd, Baron Hurd of Westwell, served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, as Minister for Europe (1979-83), Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1984-85), Home Secretary (1985-89) and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1989-95).

In 1997, he was elevated to the House of Lords where he served until his retirement from the house in 2016. His books include Robert Peel: A Biography and, with Edward Young, Choose Your Weapons: The British Foreign Secretary - 200 Years of Argument, Success and Failure and his memoirs.