BBC relaunches Love To Read campaign at Hay

BBC relaunches Love To Read campaign at Hay

The BBC today relaunched Love to Read, a campaign that celebrates reading for pleasure, at Hay Festival. 

The campaign is the rebranded incarnation of the BBC's year-long Get Reading campaign, launched at the end of last year, which aims to encourage people to read by recognising the work of well-known authors. It will culminate in a #LovetoRead Weekend on 5th and 6th November 2016.

The BBC's latest line-up includes a raft of new programming, documentaries such as The Marvellous World Of Roald Dahl, with specially commissioned illustrations from Quentin Blake, and The Secret Life Of Sue Townsend, narrated by Julie Walters, as well as a BBC Four documentary about the founding of women-only publisher Virago, entitled The Virago Story. 

The channel also throws a spotlight on the imaginary worlds of George R.R. Martin, Agatha Christie, John le Carré and others with presenter Andrew Marr, as he deconstructs three genres of popular fiction: fantasy epics, detective fiction and the spy novel in a new three-part series, Secrets Of Genre Fiction. It will also run a documentary, B Is For Book, following a group of Hackney primary school children over the course of a year as they begin their journey as young readers.

A Horrible Histories special on Staggering Storytellers and authors including, among others, Jacqueline Wilson, David Baddiel, Liz Pichon and Frank Cottrell-Boyce, are set to feature in Awesome Authors at CBBC Live in Birmingham, an event held in partnership with Birmingham City Council and the Library of Birmingham, as announced last week.

On radio, Radio 4 will feature dramatisations of Dahl’s autobiographies Boy and Going Solo; cartoonist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe will tell the "little-known" story that united Walt Disney and Roald Dahl; and actor Charles Dance will takes up the role as urbane storyteller in dramatisations of five classic tales by Dahl. On Radio 3, meanwhile, bestselling author Julia Donaldson will talk about the origins of The Gruffalo and the secrets to writing for children. The station will also feature three special editions of The Essay: The Mabinogion Revisited; The Book That Changed Me and The Essay: Letters To Writers, while Free Thinking, Radio 3’s arts and ideas programme, will dedicate a special edition to the latest research into reading habits.

The campaign will culminate in a #LovetoRead Weekend on 5th and 6th November 2016, during which BBC presenters from across all local, regional and network stations and channels will provide "inspiration" for new reading material through their own recommendations, and presenters from local radio stations will do readings from their favourite books in their local libraries.

The BBC is partnering with some of the UK’s leading literacy and literary organisations for #LovetoRead including Society of Chief Librarians, The Reading Agency, The Scottish Library and Information Council, National Literacy Trust, Book Trust, Scottish Book Trust, The Publishers Association and the Booksellers Association.

Jonty Claypole, BBC director of Arts, said: “Authors and books have always been at the heart of the BBC, but with #Lovetoread 2016 our ambition is to move reading further up our agenda; to include more people, let everyone have a say on the books that matter most to them and importantly inspire a new generation to love reading. We’ll work with leading partners and use the BBC’s full range of services - TV, radio and online, national and regional - to inspire the whole of Britain to join a unique national conversation about books.”