Line-up announced for Henley Literary Festival

PUBLISHED: 09:53 17 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:53 17 August 2015

Ben Fogle

Ben Fogle


It’s time to get those tickets for the Henley Literary Festival, which runs from 28 September to 4 October 2015. With some 170 events plus a packed-out Children’s Festival programme, there really is something for everyone.

Speakers include Brian Blessed, Jane Hawking, Lynda La Plante, Sue Perkins and the Archbishop of York. Historic Fawley Court is opening its doors to the public for the first time in 175 years for a special event with Downtown Abbey writer Jessica Fellowes.

Adventurers Ranulph Fiennes and Ben Fogle will be returning, while fiction events include international bestseller authors. Festival favourites Rachel Johnson, Melvyn Bragg, Gill Hornby and Princess Michael of Kent will also be discussing their latest novels.

History will loom large as ever, including Max Hastings on World War Two, Peter Snow on Waterloo and Bonnie Greer on Rosa Parks. Food-writers Ella Woodward, Prue Leith, Shivi Ramoutar and Celebrity Masterchef winner Lisa Faulkner will all be appearing at the festival, as will music stars Tracey Thorn, Bob Harris and Dean Friedman. From stage and screen there is Brian Blessed, Virginia McKenna, Sue Perkins and Pam St Clement, while sport will be represented by former England cricket coach David Lloyd and Australian Rugby World Cup winner Michael Lynagh. Politicians past and present include Vince Cable, Caroline Lucas, Charles Clarke and William Waldegrave.

Other speakers over the week include columnists Polly Vernon, Bryony Gordon, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Will Hutton, campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and raconteur Gyles Brandreth, who hosts the Festival’s first literary lunch at Henley’s Hotel du Vin.

Programming director Tom Ryan said: “After a record festival in 2014 with attendance up by 15% for the second consecutive year, we are delighted to bring such a wide range of speakers to the town that we love.”

See the full programme at

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