Monday, 08 August 2022

X Factor presenter to appear at festival

X Factor presenter to appear at festival

BROADCASTER Dermot O’Leary is to promote his debut children’s book on the final day of this year’s Henley Literary Festival.

The X Factor host and BBC Radio 2 presenter will talk about Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape at the River & Rowing Museum on Sunday, October 8 at 5pm .

O’Leary and the book’s illustrator Nick East will be interviewed by Boyd Hilton, entertainment director of Heat magazine.

O’Leary, who has also presented Big Brother’s Little Brother and the BBC’s Comic Relief appeal, was inspired to write the book by his own cat Toto, whom he rescued as a kitten alongside her brother Silver.

He said: “The idea first came to me when my wife and I rescued two stray cats from an olive grove in Italy.

“Toto has been blind from birth but we quickly realised she had ninja-like reactions.

“Like a lot of cat owners (or cat servants), we like to imagine our pets having secret lives when we’re out or asleep.

“So before I knew it, I was writing about Toto and Silver’s nocturnal adventures around London.

“I really hope that children who pick it up enjoy reading the adventures of our little Italian underdog (cat).”

Harriet Reed, the festival’s events director, said: “We couldn’t think of a better way of bringing our best line-up of family events yet to a close than with this very special evening with Dermot.”

For more information and to buy tickets, visit

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