It’s about to begin

The Chubb Bulleid Marquee has gone up in the beautiful gardens of the Bishop’s Palace, the chairs are neatly arranged and the technical whizzkids have completed their wizardry behind the scenes. In short, the stage is set for the 25th Wells Festival of Literature to begin.

Our Silver Anniversary starts tomorrow, on Friday 13 October, with a sell-out event in which Nick Clegg discusses his thoughts on Politics Between the Extremes (and undoubtedly Brexit) with respected journalist Jonathan Rugman.

That’s just for starters. Over the following eight days you can choose from a wide range of speakers with a genuinely broad appeal, many of whom are attracting headlines in their own fields.

Renowned poet Owen Sheers has just won a stunning three BAFTA Cymru awards for his moving work The Green Hollow, a memorial to the Aberfan disaster. He’ll be reading from this and other work on Friday 20 October at 8.00pm.

June Sarpong  ‘appeared’ on BBC Radio Somerset earlier in the week discussing her latest project, Diversify, a challenging yet inspiring book designed to promote more inclusivity and integration.  What June has to say on the subject is definitely worth hearing. She will be speaking on Wednesday 18 October at 8.00pm.

Rowley Leigh has taken over the iconic Parabola restaurant at the Design Museum in Kensington. Rowley and fellow ground-breaking chef Peter Gordon will be talking to Caroline Waldegrave about their influence on British food at 10.30 am on Saturday 21 October.  Sounds tasty!

Professor Stephen Westaby, the eminent yet maverick world-renowned heart surgeon, will be talking to Dr Rachel Clarke, journalist turned junior doctor, at 5.30pm on that day. Both have strong views on the NHS!

Daisy Goodwin brings Queen Victoria to life on our TV screens every Sunday. You can find out more about this magnificent monarch at Daisy’s event on Tuesday 17 October at 8pm.

The Festival also features an event which stars a group of people whose names are not widely known. Not yet! Our new event Write Up! Speak Up! gives local writers and performers a chance to have their say. It made for a hugely enjoyable evening in 2016 and this year’s phenomenal mix of talent, compered by BBC broadcaster Simon Parkin, promises to be even more entertaining. 7.00pm Sunday 15 October.

All in all there’s going to be plenty of excitement and entertainment in Wells over the next few days. Make sure you catch some of it.

Wells Festival of Literature

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