Tuesday, 03 August 2021

TV’s toughest quizmasters come face to face

TWO of the country’s best-known interrogators will come face to face at the Henley Literary Festival.

TWO of the country’s best-known interrogators will come face to face at the Henley Literary Festival.

Anne Robinson, the one-time Weakest Link and Watchdog presenter, will interview Jeremy Paxman, the University Challenge host and former Newsnight presenter.

Paxman, who lives near Stonor, will be talking about his autobiography, A Life in Questions, which is due to be published early next month, so this will be the first time he speaks about it in public.

The event will take place at Christ Church in Reading Road on Sunday, October 2, the last day of the week-long festival.

Robinson confirmed her attendance last week, to the delight of the festival organisers. Founder Sue Ryan said: “It’s a brilliant combination and quite a coup for us. Anne is a great supporter of our festival but she is filming for most of September and October and when we first asked she did not know where she would be. We decided to wait and hope and a few days ago she confirmed that she could do it.

“Jeremy is known as the greatest political interviewer of our time and we needed someone equally professional to do the interview. Anne told me that she and Jeremy had once jokingly devised a programme that they planned to call Mr and Mrs Nasty!”

Paxman has appeared at the festival twice previously while in 2014 Robinson chaired a debate about phone hacking. In another late addition to this year’s programme, Katherine Grainger, who won her fifth Olympic medal in the double sculls in Rio, will interview broadcaster Jenni Murray, who lives in Maidenhead.

Mrs Ryan said: “Katherine bought several tickets before she went to Brazil but Jenni had already sold out so she asked us if a ticket became free could she have it.

“We were still deciding who should do the interview, so we replied saying what about taking a seat on the stage?

“She has done some presenting and a lot of public speaking so who could be better to talk to Jenni about the 21 inspirational women who helped define Britain’s history?” Other additions include humorist Craig Brown, who has sold out on all his eight previous visits, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, the lawyer, blogger and wife of Nick Clegg, and comedian John Bird for the staged reading of a new play by Eleanor Bron at the Kenton Theatre.

This year’s festival’s runs from September 26 to October 2. For more information or tickets, call (01491) 575948 or visit www.henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk

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