Events Archive - Henley Literary Festival

Sat 2 Oct - Sun 10 Oct 2021

Sat 2 Oct - Sun 10 Oct 2021

What's On

Daily

July 2021

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September 2021

John Lewis-Stempel (Virtual)

6:30 pm - 06 Sep 2021
Author of Sunday Times bestsellers The Running and The Wood, John Lewis-Stempel is the only person to have won the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing twice.
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Cecelia Ahern (Virtual)

8:00 pm - 06 Sep 2021
Cecelia has sold more than 25 million copies of her books worldwide, with PS I Love You and Love, Rosie being made into major films, and now joins us live from Ireland.
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Lia Middleton (Virtual)

6:30 pm - 13 Sep 2021
Inspired by her own experience of post- natal anxiety and mental health struggles as a new mother, Buckinghamshire-based criminal law barrister Lia presents her first novel When They Find Her.
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Michael Holding (Virtual)

8:00 pm - 20 Sep 2021
In July last year during a rain delay in a Test, West Indies cricket legend turned commentator Michael spoke out emotionally about the racism he had suffered, and had seen all around him throughout his life.
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October 2021

Gyles Brandreth

10:00 am - 02 Oct 2021
Truly a man of many talents: broadcaster, actor, politician, theatre producer, journalist and mug-maker.
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Sebastian Faulks

12:00 pm - 02 Oct 2021
The bestselling author of Birdsong makes a welcome return to Henley with the much- anticipated Snow Country.
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Jenny Pearson: The Incredible Record Smashers

12:00 pm - 02 Oct 2021
Shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book of the Year for her debut The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates, Jenny Pearson joins us at Henley to share her latest funny story: The Incredible Record Smashers.
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Mark Powers & Dapo Adeola: Space Detectives

12:00 pm - 02 Oct 2021
Join Spy Toys author Mark Powers and Waterstones Children’s Prize winner and Look Up! Illustrator Dapo Adeola as they take us to the world’s first orbiting city, Starville, for some interactive, intergalactic fun!
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Liz Pichon: Random Acts of Fun

2:00 pm - 02 Oct 2021
The Tom Gates series is 10 years old this year! Come and join Liz Pichon to hear about Tom’s newest adventures in Ten Tremendous Tales and Random Acts of Fun.
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Hannah Lee: Rapping Princess

2:00 pm - 02 Oct 2021
My Hair author Hannah Lee and illustrator Allen Fatimaharan present their new rhyming picture book; you could even come dressed as a prince or princess!
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Steven Lenton: Genie & Teeny

4:00 pm - 02 Oct 2021
Join award-winning author and illustrator Steven Lenton on a magical adventure as he introduces you to his brand new characters. Find out all about their magical world, and join in with Steven as he brings them to life on paper.
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Elizabeth Day

8:30 pm - 02 Oct 2021
We’re delighted to welcome Elizabeth Day, host of the How To Fail podcast and the bestselling book of the same name to Henley.
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Frank Gardner

10:00 am - 03 Oct 2021
The BBC’s Security Correspondent returns to the Festival to discuss his career on screen and on the page.
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That’s Not My…Storytime

10:00 am - 03 Oct 2021
Fiona Watt’s bestselling That’s Not My... series has been capturing the imagination of babies, toddlers and their grown-ups for over 20 years.
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Kate Mosse

12:00 pm - 03 Oct 2021
Kate returns to Henley to take us to 16th century Europe. Her latest historical epic The City of Tears is the highly anticipated follow-up to her Sunday Times number one bestseller The Burning Chambers.
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James O’Brien

4:00 pm - 03 Oct 2021
James has over a million listeners each week for his LBC radio show and a Parliamentary Book Award for his Sunday Times bestselling debut.
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Ed Miliband

6:30 pm - 03 Oct 2021
The former Labour leader, now Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, looks to the future in Go Big: How to Fix Our World.
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Ed Miliband (Livestreamed)

6:30 pm - 03 Oct 2021
The former Labour leader, now Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, looks to the future in Go Big: How to Fix Our World.
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Ruby Wax

8:30 pm - 03 Oct 2021
Ruby Wax joins us for the first time with A Mindfulness Guide for Survival, a typically frank and funny look at dealing with the human roller coaster that is day-to-day life.
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Ruby Wax (Livestreamed)

8:30 pm - 03 Oct 2021
In recent years the comedian and broadcaster has added No.1 bestseller and a Masters from Oxford to her illustrious CV.
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Richard Fortey

10:00 am - 04 Oct 2021
An outstanding palaeontologist and natural historian, Richard’s fascinating memoir A Curious Boy: The Making of a Scientist takes us on a journey from botany and birds to fossils, and fungi.
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Peter Oborne

12:00 pm - 04 Oct 2021
In The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump & The Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism, Peter Oborne argues that the current Prime Minister and previous US President lied again and again to secure victory.
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Iain MacGregor

2:00 pm - 04 Oct 2021
60 years after the construction of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, is the historical account of when the US confronted the USSR during the Cold War.
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Sarah Sands

2:00 pm - 04 Oct 2021
The Interior Silence is the result of a pilgrimage to 10 monasteries round the world.
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John Simpson

4:00 pm - 04 Oct 2021
The BBC’s World Affairs Editor has been reporting from China since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and now for the first time is using the details of some of his hair-raising experiences there.
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Jenny Packham

4:00 pm - 04 Oct 2021
From wedding dresses and stores across the world, to bespoke outfits for Adele and the Duchess of Cambridge, Jenny is one of Britain’s leading designers and couturiers.
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Gavin Barwell

4:00 pm - 04 Oct 2021
Previously Conser vative Par ty Chief Operating Officer under Michael Howard and David Cameron, the former MP for Croydon, and Housing Minister, reveals how government operates in times of crises.
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John Simpson (Livestreamed)

4:00 pm - 04 Oct 2021
The BBC’s World Affairs Editor has been reporting from China since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and now for the first time is using the details of some of his hair-raising experiences there.
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Tom Allen

6:30 pm - 04 Oct 2021
The Live at the Apollo and Just A Minute star reveals all in his hilarious, heart-breaking and honest memoir No Shame.
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Angela Gallop

6:30 pm - 04 Oct 2021
In How to Solve a Crime, Angela Gallop takes readers behind the police tape and into the heart of the crime scene
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Michael Cashman

6:30 pm - 04 Oct 2021
In the nostalgic and fearless One of Them we see every aspect of Michael’s life, from co-founding Stonewall with Ian McKellen to memorable encounters with David Hockney, Elton John and Joan Collins.
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Tom Allen (Livestreamed)

6:30 pm - 04 Oct 2021
Growing up in a 90’s working class suburban family as the youngest member of the Noel Coward Society and with a fondness for Victorian clothing, Tom was the eternal outsider.
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William Waldegrave

10:00 am - 05 Oct 2021
The former Cabinet Minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, looks at the future of Britain.
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Ed Balls

12:00 pm - 05 Oct 2021
Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor, Strictly Come Dancing star...now Ed arrives in Henley with Appetite, a memoir with a twist: part-autobiography, part-cookbook.
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Vanessa Frake

12:00 pm - 05 Oct 2021
After 16 years in high-security women’s prisons, dealing with notorious inmates including Myra Hindley and Rosemary West, Vanessa thought she had seen it all.
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Adam Andrusier

12:00 pm - 05 Oct 2021
As Adam turned from collector to dealer – inspiring Zadie Smith’s novel The Autograph Man – he discovered that with life, as in autographs, not everything is as it seems, as he discovered fraudulence in his own family.
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Ed Balls (Livestreamed)

12:00 pm - 05 Oct 2021
Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor, Strictly Come Dancing star...now Ed arrives in Henley with Appetite, a memoir with a twist: part-autobiography, part-cookbook.
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Max Hastings

2:00 pm - 05 Oct 2021
The former Telegraph editor returns to Henley to bring another slice of military history alive in Operation Pedestal:The Fleet that Battled to Malta 1942.
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Hayley Mills

2:00 pm - 05 Oct 2021
60 years after being voted Britain’s biggest star, Hayley comes to Henley with her much-anticipated memoir of her teenage decade in Hollywood.
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Max Hastings (Livestreamed)

2:00 pm - 05 Oct 2021
The former Telegraph editor returns to Henley to bring another slice of military history alive in Operation Pedestal: The Fleet that Battled to Malta 1942.
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Julia Stonehouse

4:00 pm - 05 Oct 2021
In John Stonehouse My Father:The True Story of the Runaway MP, his daughter Julia reveals the full true story, in a tale that involves spies from the communist Czech secret service, a three-way love affair and much more.
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Matthew D’Ancona

6:30 pm - 05 Oct 2021
Having edited The Spectator and written for The Guardian and New York Times, Matthew has risen through the babble of political columnists to become a respected voice of reason.
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Stuart Lawrence

6:30 pm - 05 Oct 2021
Now in this special all-ages event, his brother Stuart (an educator and motivational speaker) comes to Henley to discuss his book for young people, Silence is Not An Option: You Can Impact the World for Change.
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Rob Beckett

8:30 pm - 05 Oct 2021
Class has been at the centre of countless conversations in this country for centuries. But rarely as candid, charming and hilarious as A Class Act: Life as a Working-Class Man in a Middle-Class World.
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Rob Beckett (Livestreamed)

8:30 pm - 05 Oct 2021
Class has been at the centre of countless conversations in this country for centuries. But rarely as candid, charming and hilarious as A Class Act: Life as a Working-Class Man in a Middle-Class World.
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Peter Hain

10:00 am - 06 Oct 2021
Before his long and distinguished career in British politics – including serving as Secretary of State for both Wales and Northern Ireland – Lord Hain achieved notoriety in his native South Africa, where he was dubbed ‘Public Enemy Number One’, after organising militant anti-Springbok demonstrations.
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Jeremy Paxman

12:00 pm - 06 Oct 2021
After Friends in High Places and The English, the University Challenge host returns with his latest brilliant social history Black Gold.
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Marina Wheeler

12:00 pm - 06 Oct 2021
The Lost Homestead: My Mother, Partition and the Punjab is Marina’s family memoir, recounting the story of her mother Dip Singh’s experience living through Partition, weaving a story of loss and new beginnings, personal and political freedom into the broad history of the region.
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Simon Thurley

2:00 pm - 06 Oct 2021
The former English Heritage and Museum of London chief argues that while the Tudors are our favourite royal dynasty, it is the Stuarts who provide the excitement.
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Alan Johnson

4:00 pm - 06 Oct 2021
A Festival favourite returns, as the former Home, Health & Education Secretary turned acclaimed author discusses his long and varied career with Daniel Hahn. A winning storyteller, with his bestselling series of memoirs, he has now written his first novel.
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Christina Lamb

4:00 pm - 06 Oct 2021
An opportunity to hear from one of the most courageous and talented journalists of her generation.
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Alan Johnson (Livestreamed)

4:00 pm - 06 Oct 2021
A Festival favourite returns, as the former Home, Health & Education Secretary turned acclaimed author discusses his long and varied career with Daniel Hahn.
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Robert Webb

6:30 pm - 06 Oct 2021
Known for his comedy partnership with David Mitchell,TV hits Peep Show and Back plus his No.1 Sunday Times bestseller memoir How Not to Be a Boy, Robert brings his comic talents to bear in his first novel Come Again.
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Robert Webb (Livestreamed)

6:30 pm - 06 Oct 2021
Known for his comedy partnership with David Mitchell,TV hits Peep Show and Back plus his No.1 Sunday Times bestseller memoir How Not to Be a Boy, Robert brings his comic talents to bear in his first novel Come Again.
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Anya Hindmarch

8:30 pm - 06 Oct 2021
From the I’m Not a Plastic Bag campaign to hosting a sleepover at Peter Jones department store, who better to share her tips on tackling the stresses of modern living than globally renowned businesswoman, fashion designer and mother of five Anya?
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Sophie Ellis-Bextor

8:30 pm - 06 Oct 2021
Spinning Plates is an apt book title for a pop star, Strictly Come Dancing finalist, broadcaster, charity campaigner, model and mother to five sons, Sophie, whose kitchen discos were a lockdown highlight for families across the UK.
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David Profumo

10:00 am - 07 Oct 2021
Now in The Lightning Thread, David turns to a passion that began in childhood and continues to this day: the restorative power of nature and fishing.
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Dame Elizabeth Anionwu

12:00 pm - 07 Oct 2021
Overcoming the discrimination she faced in 1940s Britain as the child of a white mother and black father - both Cambridge students at the time, Dame Elizabeth went on to become one of the country’s greatest nurses.
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Jeevan Vasagar

12:00 pm - 07 Oct 2021
The former Singapore correspondent for the Financial Times masterfully takes us through the intricate history, present and future of this unique diamond-shaped island one degree north of the equator, where new and old have remained connected.
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Dame Stephanie Shirley CH

2:00 pm - 07 Oct 2021
Philanthropist, entrepreneur and Henley resident, Dame Stephanie returns to the Festival following the paperback release of her memoir Let It Go.
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Jon Sopel

2:00 pm - 07 Oct 2021
UnPresidented is the Americast host’s gripping, witty and insightful account of a US election campaign even more turbulent than the one he covered in 2016, as Biden andTrump battled against the backdrop of a pandemic devastating the country.
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Tom Bradby

4:00 pm - 07 Oct 2021
His three decades at ITN have included notable stints as royal correspondent and political editor, before his current role as News at Ten anchor. Not only one of our most respected broadcasters, Tom is also a bestselling author.
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Tom Bradby (Livestreamed)

4:00 pm - 07 Oct 2021
His three decades at ITN have included notable stints as royal correspondent and political editor, before his current role as News at Ten anchor.
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Jack Dee

6:30 pm - 07 Oct 2021
From nosy neighbours and tricky teenagers to financial failings and coping with Christmas, Jack is here to help with his hilarious What Is Your Problem? Comedy’s Little Ray of Sleet Grapples with Life’s Major Dilemmas.
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Saul David

6:30 pm - 07 Oct 2021
Founded in 1940 as a small, volunteer- dependent outfit, Britain’s Special Boat Service was the world’s first maritime special operations.
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Jack Dee (Livestreamed)

6:30 pm - 07 Oct 2021
From nosy neighbours and tricky teenagers to financial failings and coping with Christmas, Jack is here to help with his hilarious What Is Your Problem? Comedy’s Little Ray of Sleet Grapples with Life’s Major Dilemmas.
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Brian Bilston

8:30 pm - 07 Oct 2021
A social media phenomenon and Costa- nominated for his debut novel Diary of a Somebody. But who is Brian? Here is your chance to find out on National Poetry Day.
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Mum’s Night Out: Laura Brand

8:30 pm - 07 Oct 2021
The last year has tested even the most proactive parents when it comes to keeping children engaged and entertained. Step forward illustrator and Instagram star Laura with The Joy Journal for Magical Play: Easy Activities & Creative Craft for Kids and their Grown-Ups.
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Lucinda Hawksley

10:00 am - 08 Oct 2021
From some of the most significant moments in history to everyday joys and sorrows, Letters of Great Women combines biography, archival images and transcribed letters by everyone from Katherine of Aragon, Cleopatra and Florence Nightingale to Nina Simone, Greta Thunberg and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
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Simon Heffer

12:00 pm - 08 Oct 2021
Henry ‘Chips’ Channon:The Diaries made headlines earlier this year. Now comes Volume Two, again edited by Sunday Telegraph columnist and author Simon, who joins Oldie editor Harry Mount to discuss the Southend MP’s inside account of 1938-1943.
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Jane Gordon

12:00 pm - 08 Oct 2021
When the journalist – best known for columns in the Sunday Telegraph and The Mail on Sunday – found herself hospitalised after a car accident, she had to confront what it might be like to be infirm.
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Sir Vince Cable

2:00 pm - 08 Oct 2021
The former Liberal Democrats leader returns to Henley to discuss his latest book, The Chinese Conundrum: Engagement or Economic War.
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Jonathon Porritt

4:00 pm - 08 Oct 2021
Few people know the dangers of climate change as well as campaigner Jonathon, a former Friends of the Earth director, Green Party co-chair and WWF trustee.
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Jonathon Porritt (Livestreamed)

4:00 pm - 08 Oct 2021
Few people know the dangers of climate change as well as campaigner Jonathon, a former Friends of the Earth director, Green Party co-chair and WWF trustee.
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Alexander McCall Smith

6:30 pm - 08 Oct 2021
After selling 40 million books, the much-loved author comes to Henley. The Joy and Light Bus Company is the latest edition in the The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.
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Tracey Thorn

6:30 pm - 08 Oct 2021
From her huge success in Everything But the Girl with her husband Ben Watt, to her acclaimed solo career, Tracey made a huge mark in the studio and on the stage - and has proved equally talented on the page.
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Giles Terera

8:30 pm - 08 Oct 2021
It is the stage musical of a generation.When Hamilton opened in London, National Theatre regular Giles became a star playing the role of Aaron Burr.
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Mel Giedroyc

8:30 pm - 08 Oct 2021
From hosting Light Lunch and The Great British Bake Off, to starring in the West End, the comedian, actor and writer – one half of the much-loved double act Mel & Sue - will delight Henley with her tender, smart and funny novel The Best Things.
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Mel Giedroyc (Livestreamed)

8:30 pm - 08 Oct 2021
From hosting Light Lunch and The Great British Bake Off, to starring in the West End, the comedian, actor and writer – one half of the much-loved double act Mel & Sue - will delight Henley...
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Ingrid Seward

12:00 pm - 09 Oct 2021
His death this year aged 99 was truly the end of an era. The first major biography of the Queen’s consort in almost three decades, Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century, was first published last autumn and is packed with revealing behind-the-scenes details.
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Joseph Coelho & Fiona Lumbers

12:00 pm - 09 Oct 2021
Author Joseph Coelho – also a performance poet & playwright – joins Grandpa’s Gift illustrator Fiona Lumbers for this calm event around their latest picture book.
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Antonia Fraser

2:00 pm - 09 Oct 2021
One of our most respected historians returns to the Festival with her latest book, The Case of the Married Woman: Caroline Norton, A 19th Century Heroine Who Wanted Justice For Women.
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Rich Knight: If I Ran the Country

2:00 pm - 09 Oct 2021
Radio 4’s Rich Knight aims to answer all your questions (and those of your grown-ups) in this funny, fact-packed interactive session on how to build a nation, be a good leader and political problem solver.
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Antonia Fraser (Livestreamed)

2:00 pm - 09 Oct 2021
One of our most respected historians returns to the Festival with her latest book, The Case of the Married Woman: Caroline Norton,A 19th Century HeroineWhoWanted Justice For Women.
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Ruth Jones

6:30 pm - 09 Oct 2021
Ruth has a gift for creating stories and characters that capture the country’s hearts.
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Transworld Proof Party: Bonnie Garmus

6:30 pm - 09 Oct 2021
It’s one of next year’s most talked-about novels and series, with Brie Larson starring in the AppleTV adaptation, but you can hear all about it in Henley this autumn – and take away a beautiful proof with you!
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Grace Dent

8:30 pm - 09 Oct 2021
From Frazzles to foie gras, Grace makes her Henley debut as she takes us on her culinary journey.
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Sky’s the Limit Limerick Competition

8:30 pm - 09 Oct 2021
Taking inspiration from the museum’s autumn and winter exhibition Skyscape: The limitless art of the sky, they’ll be setting limerick challenges to test the most proficient poets.
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Clare Balding

12:00 pm - 10 Oct 2021
Even beloved broadcaster and bestseller Clare makes mistakes! In Fall Off, Get Back On, Keep Going she shows us how to move on from them.
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Clare Balding (Livestreamed)

12:00 pm - 10 Oct 2021
After previous Festival sell-outs, The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop author Clare returns to Henley with her first non-fiction book for children: Fall Off, Get Back On, Keep Going.
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Guy Parker-Rees: Elephant Me!

2:00 pm - 10 Oct 2021
Guy Parker-Rees, illustrator of international bestseller Giraffes Can’t Dance, comes to Henley for a draw-along and to share his latest picture book.
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Jeffrey Archer

4:00 pm - 10 Oct 2021
Days ahead of publication, Lord Archer joins us in Henley with his book Over My Dead Body.
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Jeffrey Archer (Livestreamed)

4:00 pm - 10 Oct 2021
Just a year after John Grisham’s exclusive online event, we have a new title holder for the highest-selling author to appear at Henley Literary Festival, with over 275 million copies worldwide.
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Fi Glover & Jane Garvey

8:30 pm - 10 Oct 2021
Having hosted Saturday Live and Woman’s Hour respectively, Fi and Jane launched the award-winning, chart-topping podcast Fortunately in 2017, interviewing everyone fromTom Kerridge to Dawn French. Now they join us with the hilarious and perceptive Did I Say That Out Loud?
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Joanna Lumley

6:30 pm - 28 Oct 2021
Who better to celebrate the record-breaking reign of the Queen than another national treasure, keen royalist Joanna? A Queen for All Seasons: A Celebration of the One and Only Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee, is a collection of special writings and illuminating insights marking the monarch’s unprecedented seven-decade reign.
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