Palin, Cowell and Bragg to headline Greenwich Book Festival

Palin, Cowell and Bragg to headline Greenwich Book Festival

Michael Palin, Cressida Cowell and Billy Bragg are among the headliners for this year's Greenwich Book Festival. 

Diana Evens, Robin Stevens and Bernadine Evaristo are also on the line-up as the festival at the Old Royal Naval College returns for its fifth year from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th June with its “strongest line-up yet” and a programme shaped by the themes of social activism, different perspectives and women’s voices.

Palin will deliver a globe-trotting presentation about his book Erebus: The Story of a Ship (Random House); activist and musician Bragg will discuss what actions we can take to protect democracy; while former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman and Women’s Prize shortlistee Diana Evans join a panel celebrating the launch of New Daughters of Africa Anthology (Myriad Editions). Working class activist Kerry Hudson Caroline Criado Perez and LGBT poet Jay Bernard will also join the festival. 

This year's family programme will see How to Train Your Dragon (Little, Brown) author Cowell offer tops on how to become a writer while The Gruffalo (Macmillan Children's Books) illustrator Axel Scheffler will deliver a live drawing session based on the kinds and Robin Stevens will celebrate the fifth anniversary of Murder Most Unladylike (Puffin).

Patricia Nicol, Greenwich Book Festival Director, said: “Soon after moving to Greenwich in 2010, I was struck by the idea that these magnificent Thameside buildings would make a wonderful backdrop for a festival of words and ideas. The University of Greenwich enabled that dream to become a reality. The aim has always been to create an event that works for all ages and backgrounds and that celebrates London, reflecting its energy, eclecticism and diversity. This is our fifth festival and it feels our strongest line-up yet, with headliners like Michael Palin and Cressida Cowell, the incisive poetry of Jay Bernard’s Surge, and events ranging from Billy Bragg on activism to Axel Scheffler on kindness. 

“I love the Open House Weekend aspect to GBF. I’m sure most of the millions of tourists who flock to the landmark Old Royal Naval College site annually, have very little idea of all that goes on behind its elegant Wren and Hawksmoor façades. Even after five years, I still get a behind-the-scenes-at-the-museum kick from how our festival allows the public in: with events in classrooms, state-of-the-art lecture-theatres, the recently refurbished Dreadnought building, and spread out on the ORNC’s majestic lawns.”

Full line-up and tickets available here