Stars revealed for Scarborough's Books by the Beach - when and how to get tickets

Books by the Beach - Scarborough’s book festival - is back  with headliners including Jeremy Vine and Polly Toynbee  on Saturday June 12 and Sunday June 13.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 12:55 pm
Updated Monday, 12th April 2021, 12:58 pm
Broadcaster Jeremy Vine returns to Books by the Beach
Broadcaster Jeremy Vine returns to Books by the Beach

Authors will be appearing in-person at a number of venues around the town and tickets go on sale online for on Friday April 16 at and via are only so many tickets available due to social distancing and reduced venue capacity so early booking is being encouraged.

Heather French, festival director. said: “It’s gives me the greatest pleasure to bring an in-person festival back to Scarborough after a very difficult year for us all. We are so lucky to have a star studded weekend of top authors visiting our coastal town and there is something for everyone’s taste."

The event is headlined by one of the UK’s best-known broadcaster Jeremy Vine. It will be Jeremy's second visit to the festival. He will be speaking about his debut novel The Diver and the Lover - a book based on true historical events surrounding a Salvador Dali painting. His event is Saturday at 7.30pm at Queen Street Church.

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Egyptologist Joann Fletcher

BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner will also be appearing. In 2004, Frank survived an Islamist ambush whilst reporting in Riyadh. He was shot and left for dead. Against all odds he survived, and in 2006 published his memoir Blood and Sand. He now writes chart-topping thrillers and will be discussing his new book Outbreak Saturday 12 June 5pm at Queen Street Church.

There are a number of events at St. Mary’s Church including bestselling writer Rowan Coleman who introduces her Bronte mysteries under the pen name of Bella Ellis on Saturday June 12 at 1pm. The series sees the Bronte sisters turn detectives before they become famous authors.

Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and contributing editor David Walker will be taking us through the ups and downs of the last decade at St Mary's Church on Saturday June 12 at 3pm. Award-winning journalist Horatio Clare takes us on a journey of personal discovery with his new memoir Heavy Light on Sunday June 13 at 10am at the YMCA Theatre.

Positive life changes are high on the agenda for British Bake Off winner David Atherton at St Mary's Church on Sunday June 13 at 3pm David will be talking about his new cook book Good to Eat and sharing his ideas on how to make recipes healthier and tastier for all the family.

Julian Norton

There’s a Yorkshire theme running through the festival this year with a visit from our favourite TV vet, Julian Norton. Julian will be sharing heart-warming animal tales from his new book All Creatures at Queen Street Church on Sunday June 13 at 5pm.

Fiction writers Salley Vickers and Clare Chambers will be sharing the stage at St Mary's Church on Sunday 13 June at 1pm. Salley will be talking about her latest novel Grandmothers - a beautifully observed story of three different women and their relationship with the younger generation. Clare Chambers’ new book Small Pleasures is her first novel in 10 years and was a BBC 2 Between the Covers Pick and Radio 4 Book at Bedtime.

Books by the Beach opens and closes with a strong nod to history. Senior Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum Claire Wilcox is the festival’s opening event at Queen Street Church on Saturday June 12 at 10am. In her book Patch Work Claire reveals how clothes tell stories and hold memories. Her expert knowledge from courtly history to modern haute-couture ensures this event will be hugely informative and stylish…

Ancient Egypt: Secrets from the Coffin sees Scarborough's Professor Joann Fletcher ‘close the lid’ on the festival. Jo is a wonderful speaker and regularly appears on TV. She will be sharing sarcophagi discoveries and tales of a famous mummy - a must see finale at Queen Street Church on Sunday June 13 at 7.30pm.

"The authors are very keen to meet their readers and I hope the town will support them by buying tickets to see their events. More than ever the festival is reliant on people coming to these live performances. We’ve all had enough of Zoom - let’s get out and meet like-minded people to talk about books again in-person!

Heather said: “I must add huge to my sponsors, working partners, volunteers and fabulous patron Helen Boaden. Their support is invaluable to Books by the Beach."