Famous names join literary event at Althorp

Alistair Darling
Alistair Darling
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POLITICIANS, actors and journalists will be among a host of familiar names speaking at the ninth Althorp Literary Festival.

It will be held at the stately home from Friday, June 15 to Sunday, June 17 and the famous figures talking about their books include actor John Challis, pictured top, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, middle, and Radio Two presenter Jeremy Vine, bottom.

Alistair will be talking about his book Back from the Brink which focuses on 1,000 days in Number 11. He will also discuss the Downing Street pressure cooker and his relationship with Gordon Brown and provide a unique perspective on the events that rocked international capitalism. He will be speaking between 3.30pm and 4.30pm on the festival’s first day.

Best known from the hit BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, star John Challis will be talking about his autobiography Being Boycie from 10.30am to 11.30am on the Saturday.

He will discuss his touching story and the highs and lows of his career from his early days in a troupe of travelling actors to his starring roles on stage and television.

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine, the lively and self-depracating voice of Radio 2, will be discussing It’s All News to Me.

The book paints a vivid picture of being at the BBC for 25 years along with our obsession for news, the power of real life stories versus the media’s desire to shape them. He will be talking on Saturday from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.

Also speaking is Charles Spencer whose book Impressions of Althorp will be launched the same week as the festival and covers his time in charge of the stately home. He will be talking from noon to 1pm on Friday.

Playwright Michael Frayn will be talking about his novel Skios, all about the world of farce, on Saturday between 10.30am and 11.30am.

Outspoken art critic Brian Sewell will be speaking about his book Outsider – which charts his early life – on the festival’s final day between 2pm and 3pm.

Tickets for the festival are on sale now. For further information on all the speakers and to book tickets, visit www.althorp.com/literaryfestival.