Celebrities lined up for Cheltenham Literature Festival
By David Wood
A host of celebrities will once again be appearing at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2023.
The festival has announced this year's must-see line-up, consisting of 500+ events encompassing art and design, classic literature, current affairs, faith and philosophy, fiction, poetry and spoken word, history, memoir, food and drink and more.
From Friday 6 to Sunday 15 October, the festival will offer visitors the opportunity to take the pulse of contemporary culture, hosting thought-provoking discussions and exploration of emerging trends across politics, culture and lifestyle.
World-class novelists, incisive global thinkers, bright new voices, bold explorers and conversation-starting creators all await them this October.
The world's longest-running literature festival, with a history spanning more than seven decades, continues to break new ground with a programme featuring the world's foremost writers, thinkers and performers.
Among those set to appear in Cheltenham this October are authors Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Rose Tremain and Sebastian Faulks.
Beloved stars of television, film, music, and comedy are also celebrated at the festival. From hit series Succession, actor Brian Cox discusses his rags to riches story from a difficult childhood in Dundee to the heady days of international fame in memoir Putting The Rabbit in The Hat.
Elton John's lyricist Bernie Taupin discusses the dramas and accolades of his musical career while prolific screenwriter, producer and director Richard Curtis sits down with Scarlett Curtis for The Sunday Times Culture interview.
Famed for his collaborations with Morecambe and Wise, Kenny Everett, David Frost and the I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue team, legendary comedian Barry Cryer is celebrated by son Bob Cryer with Jack Dee, Arthur Smith and Helen Atkinson-Wood.
Richard E. Grant talks to Emma Freud about his memoir A Pocketful of Happiness, the majority of which was written in the last year of his wife Joan Washington's life.
Strictly superstar and Queen of Latin Ballroom Shirley Ballas chats to host Cathy Newman about her new novel. Elsewhere QI Elves James Harkin and Anna Ptaszynski host a hilarious evening of sports-based facts; comic Adrian Edmonson traces his journey through life and comedy.
Tennis guru Judy Murray considers how she has built her knowledge of the tennis world into her debut novel, The Wild Card.
Val McDermid joins fan, friend and fellow Scot, former first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon in conversation about her lauded career which has seen her sell over 18 million books. Sturgeon will also appear on Desert Island Books, discussing the titles she would be happily marooned with.
Long-standing festival favourite The Election Generals returns with Broadcasting House presenter Paddy O'Connell, former BBC Political Editor John Sergeant, and new recruit Nicky Morgan to analyse the year in politics.
William Hague, Robert Colville, Faiza Shaheen and Nicky Morgan come together for The Times Debate: Fixing Broken Britain, chaired by John Pienaar.
Ashes-winning former cricket captain and psychoanalyst Mike Brearley comes to Cheltenham for Sunday lunch, where he will speak to Matthew Stadlen about his extraordinary life and career, on and off the field.
David Mitchell presents Unruly, his history of England's earliest kings and queens. Michael Palin sets out in the footsteps of his Great Uncle Harry, following his trail across the world and revealing the story of the British Empire.
Comedian David Baddiel offers a new perspective on the desire for divinity, as well as offering a new perspective on the ancient debate of whether God truly exists.
TV presenter and broadcaster Gaby Roslin chats to Bryony Gordon about her mission to spread joy and help us discover the simple pleasures to be found in our everyday lives. Ruby Wax and Buddhist Monk Gelong Thubten come together to discuss how to navigate tough times.
More locally, founder of Cotswolds Distillery Dan Szor reveals the art of whisky distillation and maturation.
The Literature Festival is hosted by Cheltenham Festivals, and each year its programme is a reflection of the charity's mission to bring joy, spark curiosity, connect communities and inspire change via a year-round programme of activity.
Booking for the Literature Festival opens to Cheltenham Festivals members on Wednesday 30 August and general booking opens on Wednesday 6 September 2023.
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