We’re thrilled that this autumn’s Henley Literary Festival will be the biggest yet as it expands to nine days for the first time and offers 170 talks, Q&As, performances and workshops for adults and children featuring novelists, sports stars, historians, broadcasters and many more.
Bestselling novelists will include Frederick Forsyth, Anthony Horowitz, Kate Mosse, Sebastian Faulks, Clare MacKintosh, Irvine Welsh and Louis de Bernieres. Two of the best-loved children’s writers of the last 50 years, The Tiger Who Came To Tea & Mog creator Judith Kerr and War Horse author Michal Morpurgo, will also appear at the Festival. And highly rated debut novelists will include Sharlene Teo, Justin Myers and AJ Pearce.
Football, rugby and cricket are all covered as former England stars Kevin Keegan, Rob Andrew and Chris Lewis will discuss their autobiographies, as will current international cricketer Moeen Ali, while wheelchair basketball star turned broadcaster Ade Adepitan and medal-winning Olympian rowers Alex Gregory, Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley will also appear. Food and drink will be covered by Jack Monroe, in conversation with Emma Freud, Kate & Giancarol Caldesi and Oz Clarke.
From the world of entertainment Countdown presenter Nick Hewer, Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones, The Thick of It star Rebecca Front and comedians Robin Ince and Richard Herring all feature. MPs past and present include Alan Johnson, Oliver Letwin, Paddy Ashdown, Angela Eagle, Kenneth Baker and Austin Mitchell. Blogger Chidera Eggerue, podcaster Emma Gannon and ‘Instapoet’ Nikita Gill will all speak at the Festival as will Everyday Sexism founder Laura Bates, Pam Ayres and columnists Bryony Gordon and Lucy Mangan. Broadcasters include BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, Channel 4 News reporters Michael Crick and Cathy Newman, John Simpson and Fearne Cotton
Events for children range from a sensory storytelling for babies and a mocktail-making workshop to Horrid Henry creator Francesca Simon and What the Ladybird Heard illustrator Lydia Monks.
History will be covered by Max Hastings, Antonia Fraser, Tracy Borman and many more. Jane Hawking will reflect on seeing her memoir of life with Stephen Hawking turned into the award-winning Theory of Everything. while Baroness Helena Kennedy will look at how the British justice system is failing women.
Venues include a riverside ballroom, the UK’s fourth-oldest theatre and a boat on the Thames.
Tickets go on sale to Friends of the Festival on Monday 16 July and on general sale the following Monday 23 July.