Saturday 21 October 2017

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Event ended

Editor's Choice

The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017 promises to be a world renowned 10-day celebration of reading, writing and authors once again this autumn – attracting big names at more than 550 local events.

Some of the book world’s biggest names will appear at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017, when the Regency town once again hosts hundreds of events during the famous 10-day literary celebration.

Started by friends in 1949, the world’s first literature festival sees tens of thousands of literary lovers flock to Gloucestershire annually, with this year’s event taking place from Friday 6 to Sunday 15 October 2017.

Festival-goers can expect to see literary legends, politicians and celebrity chefs, as well as comedians, and stars of the stage and screen, all set to descend on Cheltenham for the highly anticipated annual event.

The festival’s fascinating and varied talks cover a broad spectrum of genres under the umbrella theme ‘Who Do We Think We Are?’ which addresses what it means to be British in 2017. Encompassing everything from literary discussion, politics and comedy, to children’s entertainment and poetry, there’s something for everyone.

Find out more information by visiting directly, while SoGlos has picked out some unmissable highlights below.

Fiction and classic literature

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Image © Alisa Connan

Among the names from the literary world are festival favourite Salman Rushdie who will discuss his new novel; thriller writer Paula Hawkins; bestselling author Bernard Cornwell; author of The Sparsholt Affair Alan Hollinghurst; and this year's recipient of The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, Sarah Waters.

Meanwhile, fans of classic literature can see Robert Harris and Mike Poulton talk to Mary Beard about their adaptation of Harris’ Cicero trilogy for the Royal Shakespeare Company; John Carey who will introduce his new version of Milton's Paradise Lost; and acclaimed biographer Claire Tomalin, among many others.

Stage and screen

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Image © Matt Crockett

Away from literature, Russell Brand will discuss his experiences with addiction; and fellow comedians Matt Lucas, Sarah Millican and Robert Webb will talk candidly about their lives.

Other highlights includes interviews with Emma Freud who will speak to Bill Nighy; and an interview with Michael Parkinson.

Jack Whitehall’s agent father Michael Whitehall will present his memoir Backing into the Spotlight with Countdown presenter Nick Hewer; and comedian Andy Hamilton will showcase his debut novel The Star Witness.

Food and drink

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Foodies are in for a treat, with this year’s line-up including favourite chef Nigella Lawson; The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain; Gloucester-born Tom Kerridge.

What’s more, Cheltenham’s icon venue The Daffodil will be the new setting for the festival's food events, with visitors able to enjoy dinner with Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers; and a taste of Japan with former Nobu head chef Scott Hallsworth.

Lifestyle and sport

Cheltenham Literature Festival 2016

There will be two special evenings spanning Knackered Mums Night Out which offers a hilarious journey through the highs and lows of motherhood; and A Night Out For Knackered Dads with a series of speakers telling it how it is.

In the fashion world The Times' fashion director Anna Murphy hails this season's trends; and supermodel Twiggy will make an anticipated appearance, while other lifestyle speakers include YouTube superstar Jim Chapman.

Over to the sporting world, guests include Olympian diver Tom Daley; tennis Judy Murray; England cricketer Mike Brearley; and Yorkshire and England wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow.

Children and family

Cheltenham Literature Festival

There’s plenty for all ages at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, with the dedicated family events offering something for everyone. Names include Children’s Laureate Lauren Child; and comedian Miranda Hart.

With two significant anniversaries in children’s classics, there will be special events to celebrate the legacy of The Famous Five and Where's Wally, which include trails around town.

For little ones there will be events with The Koala Who Could's Rachel Bright; and Sir Charlie Stinky Socks' Kristina Stephenson, while authors for young adults include Gemma Cairney, Melinda Salisbury and Anna Day.

History and current affairs

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Image ©

History buffs can enjoy a host of fascinating talks, with speakers including distinguished historian Simon Schama; and comedian Natalie Haynes who will perform a stand-up show about what ancient civilisations can offer modern life.

Meanwhile, for those interested in politics and current affairs, there will be are rare interview from The Times editor John Witherow; a discussion of unlikely political friendships from MPs Jess Phillips and Jacob Rees Mogg; and a candid interview with Alastair Campbell.

Free activities

Cheltenham Literature Festival 2016

Image ©

There’s plenty to enjoy during the festival without a price tag, with a range of pop-up events, brain teasers, trails, and live music for all ages, in addition to The Den which will be full of book-related fun for families during the weekends.

New for 2017 there will be an after dark Festival Club at Hotel du Vin which offers the chance to enjoy music, conversation and late night literary revelry; while the Lit Crawl returns to take over the streets of Cheltenham for another year.

Find out more information by visiting directly.

The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017
Various venues across Cheltenham
Friday 6 to Sunday 15 October 2017
Times vary per specific event
Ticket prices vary per specific event
(01242) 850270

© SoGlos
Monday 14 August 2017

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Unmissable highlights