Sunday, 26 September 2021

Former ministers to speak at festival

TWO former home secretaries and the creator of the best-selling children’s series Horrid Henry will appear at this year’s Henley Literary Festival.

Lord Baker, who had spells as chairman of the Conservative Party and Education Secretary, will look at The Seven Deadly Sins. 

Former Labour minister Alan Johnson returns to the festival for a third time to discuss In My Life, his book looking at the role music has played in his life.

Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon will appear with illustrator Charlotte Cotterill to discuss their new book Hack and Whack as part of the event’s school programme.

Author Kate Mosse will be coming to the festival for the first time to promote her latest novel The Burning Chambers. She is the founder of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and is best known for Labyrinth.

Another debutant will be Antony Horowitz, who will discuss his official James Bond prequel Forever And a Day. He will also hold a schools event on the latest installment of his Alex Rider series.

Other new additions to the children’s programme include Michelle Robinson with a Ten Fat Sausages event for pre-schoolers and The 1,000-Year-Old Boy author Ross Welford.

Writer and political adviser Ed Husain will discuss his book The House of Islam while comedian Robin Ince returns with his new book I’m A Joke & So Are You.

Authors who have already been announced include children’s author Sir Michael Morpurgo, politician Sir Oliver Letwin, poet Pam Ayres and Everyday Sexism founder Laura Bates.

This year’s festival — the 12th — has been expanded from a week to nine days, running from Saturday, September 29 to Sunday, October 7. Tickets will go on sale in July.

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