A star-studded line-up, including travel writer and former Monty Python member Michael Palin, has been unveiled ahead of this year’s much anticipated Wimbledon Book Festival, writes Smriti Gopal.

Other confirmed names are Darcey Bussell, Kate Adie, Jung Chang, Cerys Matthews, Wayne Hemingway, Andrew Motion, Howard Goodall, John Boyne, Peter Snow, Dan Snow, Max Hastings and the headline event with James Naughtie in conversation with Roddy Doyle.

Festival director Fiona Razvi says: “The festival is into its seventh year now.

“Last year’s Wimbledon Book Festival attracted 6,000 people during its nine-day event but this year, with a full extra week, we hope to increase that number to 8,000.”

A huge draw for many people this year will be Palin, 70, who is loved by any fan of cult comedians Monty Python, but also for his insightful travel writings and programming.

A second name to look out for is local author Michelle Paver.

The 40-year-old novelist and children’s writer, a former Wimbledon High School student, is best known for her Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series.

Razvi says: “We are delighted to once again bring such high-calibre writers and performers to Wimbledon for BookFest.

“We’re always keen to attract a wide range of people who want to come learn about new things and just enjoy life.

“BookFest really is about having space in life to think about the big things – a time to wonder in the beautiful environment of Wimbledon Common.”

Wimbledon Book Festival events will be taking place at different venues across the borough with the opening day seeing a series of poetry performances in Wimbledon town centre and popular literary characters roaming Waterstones.

Tickets go on sale to the public on July 8, venues include Wimbledon College, King’s College and a number of temporary tents set up on Wimbledon Common.


Wimbledon Book Festival, September 28 to October 13 Ticket prices vary, visit wimbledonbook fest.org