Brooke Magnanti is a Bristol-based researcher with a forensic science doctorate in human identification, but is better known as Belle de Jour. Magnanti started an award-winning blog in 2003, and her best-selling anonymous books were adapted into a television series starring Billie Piper. Magnanti reflects on both her research and her life as Belle de Jour, and the questions being raised about technology and ethics of online and real life identities, particularly in the age of digital social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Brooke Magnanti is a research scientist, blogger and writer, who, until her identity was revealed in November 2009, was better known by the pen name Belle de Jour. Her diary, published as the anonymous blog Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl became increasingly popular, as speculation surrounded the identity of Belle de Jour, and whether the diary was even real. Remaining anonymous, Magnanti went on to have her experiences published, as The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl in 2005 and The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl in 2006.
In 2007, Belle’s blogs and books were adapted into a television program, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, starring Billie Piper as Belle, with the real name Hannah Baxter. Having also written as a newspaper columnist, Belle moved into fiction publishing. In November 2009, reportedly fearing an ex-boyfriend was about to reveal her real identity, Magnanti revealed to a newspaper her real name and current occupation as a researcher in child health at the University of Bristol.
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