Ed Balls and Anita Rani among star-studded line-up at this year's Ilkley Literature Festival

A star-studded selection of authors have been secured to headline the bill for this year’s Ilkley Literature Festival.

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 7:54 am
Ed Balls and Anita Rani will discuss their memoirs at this year's Ilkley Literature Festival.
Ed Balls and Anita Rani will discuss their memoirs at this year's Ilkley Literature Festival.

Organisers have announced Booker-prize authors, poets, philosophers, comedians and broadcasters will be heading to the 2021 Ilkley Literature Festival this October, which runs from Friday October 1 to Sunday October 17.

Described as the north’s longest-standing literary festival, this year it will embark on a ‘hybrid’ approach for the first time - offering a mix of Covid-safe in-person events and digital events.

The line-up includes the likes of former MP Ed Balls, Countryside presenter Anita Rani, broadcaster and writer Gyles Brandreth and TV show Countdown’s Susie Dent as well as Miles Jupp, from the hit sitcoms Rev and The Thick of It and BBC 4 Radio, in conversation with novelist Lissa Evans, who also produced and directed Father Ted.

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Booker Prize winner Bernadine Evaristo will also discuss her latest book Manifesto, an inspirational account of her creative rebellion as a writer, teacher and activist.

Live events will take place at the King’s Hall and All Saint’s Church.

Erica Morris, festival director, said: “It’s a joy to be returning to live events this autumn.

“We have listened to our audiences and understand that retaining Covid-secure precautions is important for them to feel comfortable and safe.

“As such, live events will have reduced capacity, one-way systems, and hand sanitiser available.

“At the same time, we are expanding our digital offering, providing more opportunities for audiences to access festival events.

“After the anxieties of the last 18 months or so, one thing the pandemic has highlighted is how culture and the arts enrich our lives, so we hope the festival offers a thought-provoking, entertaining and inspiring tonic.”

The full festival programme is available at www.ilkleylitfest.org.uk and tickets go on sale on Tuesday August 31.

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