Whether you want to hear a Hollywood actress spill her ‘uncensored’ diary entries, discover how 90s TV shows influenced a British comedian or listen to a rock star regale the audience with tales from the road, SoGlos has handpicked 11 of the biggest names you can see at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2021.
About the sponsor
Cheltenham Festivals creates experiences which bring joy, spark curiosity, connect communities and inspire change.
Its participation programmes reach out year-round and culminate at the internationally-acclaimed Cheltenham Jazz Festival in May, Cheltenham Science Festival in June, Cheltenham Music Festival in July and Cheltenham Literature Festival in October each year.
Cheltenham Literature Festival takes place from Friday 8 to Sunday 17 October 2021. For more information see soglos.com/Cheltenham-Literature-Festival and to book tickets, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com.
1. Joan Collins at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Star of both television and the silver screen, Joan Collins will be talking to journalist and broadcaster Andrew Pierce about the uncensored diary entries revealed in her book My Unapologetic Diaries.
Describing encounters with the Royal Family, opinions on Donald Trump and offering a glimpse into the life of a celebrity, it’s an event not to be missed!
This event takes place on Saturday 16 October 2021, from 2.30pm. Tickets cost £32, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
2. Josh Widdicombe at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Comedy-lovers can see Josh Widdicombe reminisce fondly with Matthew Stadlen about the shows that united him and his friends back in the 90s.
He will also be speaking about his book Watching Neighbours Twice A Day: How 90s TV (Almost) Prepared Me For Life which focuses on how programmes such as Aussie soap Neighbours and Saturday evening game show Gladiators influenced him in his formative teenage years.
This event takes place on Sunday 10 October 2021, from 7pm. Tickets cost £14 per person, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
3. Jimmy Page at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Led Zeppelin star and solo musician Jimmy Page has lived an amazing life in music, amassing an extravagant archive of costumes, guitars and memorabilia, now published in Jimmy Page: The Anthology.
Join the rock star in a rare interview at Cheltenham Literature Festival as he opens his archives, delving into the story of his incredible life and career.
This event takes place on Wednesday 13 October 2021, from 5.45pm. Tickets cost £14 per person, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
4. Lenny Henry at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Families can join actor, comedian and author Lenny Henry as he talks to author illustrator Nadia Shireen about his first action-packed children’s adventure story.
Along with readings from Lenny’s book The Boy With Wings, guests will be able to ask questions, too.
This event takes place on Sunday 17 October 2021, from 10am. Tickets cost £6 per person, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
5. Sophie Ellis-Bextor at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Candidly reflecting on her life, see singer, writer and spearhead of the lockdown kitchen disco, Sophie Ellis-Bextor will be in conversation with Alex Clark at Cheltenham Literature Festival.
She will be discussing her autobiography Spinning Plates and providing the audience with a glimpse into her world from music to men to motherhood.
This event takes place on Friday 8 October 2021, from 6.15pm. Tickets cost £30 per person and includes a signed copy of Spinning Plates. Visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
6. Shirley Ballas at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Strictly Come Dancing Fans can celebrate as head judge and Queen of Latin Ballroom Shirley Ballas will be recounting her journey to the glamorous world of ballroom in conversation with Tim Hubbard.
Shirley will be discussing her memoir Behind the Sequins: My Life which delves in her past relationships, personal tragedies, and of course, her award-winning dance moves.
This event takes place on Monday 11 October 2021, from 1.30pm. Tickets cost £14 per person, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
7. Dawn French at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Audiences can join author, comedian, and actress Dawn French, alongside Booker Prize winner and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University Bernardine Evaristo as they discuss their bestselling novels which detail the tales of women’s life experiences.
Dawn’s most recent novel Because of You follows the theme of a heart-breaking story about mothers and daughters, while Benardine’s Girl, Woman, Other details black British womanhood. The two will be providing thought-provoking conversation.
This event takes place on Saturday 9 October 2021, from 4.45pm. Tickets cost £14 per person, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
8. Susie Dent at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Audiences at Cheltenham Literature Festival can look forward to hearing Countdown Dictionary Corner icon Susie Dent as she guides guests through her unforgettable stories and fascinating facts.
From ‘tartle’ to ‘snaccident’ – you won’t be lost for words after this linguistic event.
This event takes place on Tuesday 12 October 2021, from 1pm. Tickets cost £10 per person, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
9. Robert Webb at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Award-winning actor and comedian Robert Webb poses the question ‘what if you had the chance to do it all again?’ as he discusses his first novel, Come Again at this year’s Literature Festival 2021.
Robert will join Julia Wheeler to discuss his career and newest venture into fiction.
This event takes place on Sunday 17 October 2021, from 3.15pm. Tickets cost £12 per person, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
10. Joe Wicks at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
The ‘nation’s favourite PE teacher’, Joe Wicks will be hosting a lively event for families to enjoy as he discusses The Burpee Bears, the new picture book characters created by the fitness phenomenon himself.
With lots of fun guaranteed, little ones won’t want to miss this event as they find out about the adventures that Joe has in store for this bear-family and their exercise routines.
This event takes place on Saturday 9 October 2021, from 10am. Tickets cost £6 per person, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
11. Dr Alex George at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021
Initially finding fame on ITV 2’s Love Island back in 2018, Dr Alex George has spent the last year tirelessly on the frontline of the pandemic in his A&E doctor job, as well as lifting spirits of the UK on social media.
After being appointed the UK’s Youth Mental Health Ambassador in February 2021, he has since shared his book Live Well Every Day which is a toolkit for looking after our wellbeing, from food choices to managing life pressures and will be talking about this during his event.
This event takes place on Sunday 10 October 2021, from 12.15pm. Tickets cost £12 per person, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to book.
By Zoe Gater