Wimbledon BookFest 2014 star-studded line-up is announced

Wimbledon Guardian: Writer and broadcaster Clare Balding is among celebrities set to talk at the October festival (photo: Bill Waters) Writer and broadcaster Clare Balding is among celebrities set to talk at the October festival (photo: Bill Waters)

Book-lovers pay attention - tickets go on sale next Tuesday for Wimbledon's eighth book festival featuring a star-studded line-up of best-selling authors.

Headline speakers at this year's BookFest include actress Juliet Stevenson, TV presenter Clare Balding, comedian Paul Merton and renowned writers Ian McEwan and Alexander McCall Smith.

Set on Wimbledon Common, a specially-commissioned Big Tent seating up to 500 and a William Morris-themed marquee will open to readers on Friday, October 3 for 10 days.

Talks, film screenings, live music and workshops are among an eclectic range of events planned, as well as the popular Comedy on Wimbledon Common event with Josh Widdecombe and sports nights hosted by John Inverdale and Brian Moore.

Children will be kept entertained with art and writing workshops, storytelling with CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell and a Wombles sing-along.

Jacqueline Wilson, Benjamin Zephaniah and Michael Rosen will lead events for schools and there will be a special 10-year anniversary event of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Series with Wimbledon writer and patron Michelle Paver.

Other programme highlights include Victoria Hislop discussing her new work The Sunrise, former Home Secretary Alan Johnson talking about his memoirs and a literary lunch with Wimbledon writers Penny Vincenzi and Sophie Kinsella.

The University of Roehampton is the festival's lead education partner this year, with Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul O'Prey, Adam Foulds, and poets David Harsent and Fiona Sampson from the institution set to take to the stage.

Founded in 2007 by Fiona Razvi and Tony Kane, the festival works with local community groups, schools and businesses to develop the role of arts in Merton.

Wimbledon BookFest; Wimbledon Common; Friday, October 3 to Sunday, October 12. 

To book tickets, visit wimbledonbookfest.org, or call 020 8545 8342 on Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm, or buy in person at Wimbledon Library, Thursdays and Fridays, 9.30am to 1.30pm

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