Big names at Stratford Literary Festival

By IH 13/02 Updated: 02/04 09:16

Buy photos » Jeremy Paxman. (s)

WELL-KNOWN faces will not be in short supply at the fifth Stratford Literary Festival.

The festival runs from April 22 to May 7 and headline speakers include journalist and Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman, Woman’s Hour presenter Dame Jenni Murray, bestselling author Iain Banks, BAFTA-nominated film maker Ben Anderson, Lindsey Hilsum international editor of Channel 4 news, cook and novelist Prue Leith and Chinese writers Mo Yan and Lu Jiande.

Those who enjoy some verse are in for a treat with current Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy making an appearance, as will her predecessor Sir Andrew Motion, and also the acclaimed poet Simon Armitage.

And there will be a chance to take part in the festival’s annual poetry competition sponsored by Victoria Jeffs Estate Agents.

There will also be a chance to meet novelists including Patrick Gale, SJ Watson, Mavis Cheek, and Rachel Joyce.

There will a few laughs, with the festival playing host to a recording of BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue at Warwick Arts Centre on May 6, and Oddsocks Theatre Company will be doing their thing.

In addition to the main festival, the traditional Family Fun Day on May 7 at KES School offers a fun packed day with craft-making workshops, entertainers and author events including MacKenzie Crook – star of The Office and Pirates of The Caribbean - who has written and illustrated his first book for children.

Festival Director Annie Ashworth said: “The range of names and events we have this year is incredible and we’re sure there’s something for everyone, at any age.

Fellow Director Natasha Roderick-Jones added: “Our schools programme is also an area that’s rapidly growing and we’re doing more and more community work, with projects such as Telling Tales where we are working on a year-long programme with local charity Kissing it Better.”

For tickets and full festival programme details visit www.stratfordliteraryfestival.co.uk.

Buy photos» Carol Ann Duffy. (s)

Buy photos» Iain Banks. (s)

Buy photos» Prue Leith. (s)

Buy photos» Dame Jenni Murray. (s)

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