Roddy Doyle, Ian Rankin and Salman Rushdie are some of the authors revealed on the line-up at the Times and the Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.
The 10-day festival which takes place from 6th to 15th October and this year’s theme is "Who Do We Think We Are?", exploring British identity and local community with Fingersmith author Sarah Waters and Alan Hollinghurst confirmed as panellists.
The event, now in its 68th year, will boast around 1,000 speakers. Speakers will include new children's laureate Lauren Child and children's author and illustrator Judith Kerr, creator of The Tiger Who Came to Tea (HarperCollins). Other participants include actor Bill Nighy, comedian and author Matt Lucas and chef Nigella Lawson as well as Armando Iannucci and Twiggy. Edward St Aubyn will discuss his contemporary reimagining of "King Lear" while Simon Schama introduces the second instalment of The Story of the Jews (Vintage).
The festival will have five guest curators to bring "fresh perspectives and voices" to the event: Will Gompertz, BBC arts editor, writer and academic, Sarah Moss, Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House with Jess Phillips, author and Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley joining Nikesh Shukla, author, editor and campaigner.
The line-up will explore "the very latest in fiction" as well as history, art, classic literature, music, entertainment, current affairs, science, sport, food and lifestyle. Scottish Laureate Jackie Kay and Lemn Sissay discuss race, identity and "what it really means to truly belong" while a children’s and YA programme will offer a range of workshops and sessions for younger people. Last year's "lit crawl" will return, turning a "bar crawl into a fast-paced night of literary delights".
The spa town in Gloucestershire will host writers, performers, politicians, poets and leading opinion-formers gather to “celebrate the joy of the written and spoken word” and discuss “Britain’s rich literary and cultural heritage”. Schools, young people and the local community will also experience a year-round programme of educational workshops, talks, projects and inspiring activities.
Cheltenham Festivals members can book tickets from 30th August with public booking opening on 6th September at 1pm.
For more information, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com.