The Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival has announced it is planning a return to its full live programme in September, with Dame Darcey Bussell (pictured, below right), Celia Imrie and Richard Dawkins headlining.
Taking place between 15th–19th September, the Devon event will also include a number of discussions, such as the challenges of getting older by Dame Joan Bakewell, what makes a great prime minister by historian Sir Anthony Seldon, and the meaning of belonging by anti-racism campaigners Kehinde Andrews and Anita Sethi. Radio 4’s "More or Less" presenter and FT columnist Tim Harford will deliver the annual Susan Ward Memorial Talk, in memory of the festival’s founder, asking if statistics are always to be believed.
Leading fiction writers appearing this year include Ann Cleeves, Deborah Moggach, Kate Mosse, and Louise Doughty. This year will also feature a book group event, with audiences invited to read debut novel The Lamplighters (Pan Macmillan) by Emma Stonex and then talk to her about it.
This year the festival hasn’t been able to hold events in local schools because of Covid-19 restrictions, but from September Kehinde Andrews and comedian Tez Ilyas will be visiting schools to talk about issues including mental health and racism. The historical fiction writer Caroline Lawrence will also be talking about her popular novels in a special transition event for Year 6 children from local primary schools including St Peter’s Primary, Colyton Grammar and Exmouth Community College.
The festival aims to be entirely live and in person subject to any prevailing restrictions. The programme will also include, however, two online events with biographer Victoria Glendinning talking about the John Lewis retail phenomenon, and historian James Fox on the history of colour. A selection of other events in the programme will be filmed and available for audiences to view online for several days.
Tickets are on sale to Friends of the Festival from 5th July and to the general public from 12th July, from budlitfest.org.uk.
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