Ilkley Literature Festival 2022 headliners announced


SCREEN stars, poets, politicians, actors and adventurers will travel to Ilkley for its famous literary festival this autumn.

The festival opens with Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan on Friday October 7 and will run until October 23.

Headlines announced include actor, Gavin & Stacey co-creator and author, Ruth Jones, discussing her uplifting new novel Love Untold, a heartwarming tale of mothers, daughters and ultimate chances.

Ardal O’Hanlon, star of another iconic TV comedy series, Father Ted, will present his dark and satirical novel about Irish politics, Brouhaha, hailed as a loud crime mystery.

Festival favorite Gyles Brandreth returns with his thunderous romp through British history, A History of Britain in Just a Minute, inspired by the iconic Radio 4 show.

Much-loved presenter Gabby Logan, born in Leeds, talks about The First Half – her heartfelt memoir detailing her brother’s untimely death, her father’s alcoholism and navigating sexism at work. And broadcaster Melvyn Bragg offers a personal glimpse into her life with Back in the Day, her gripping memoir that revisits her younger years.

Adventurer and TV presenter Leo Houlding will talk about his book Closer to the Edge, an insight into the extreme life of a mountaineer.

Lord Chris Pattern explores the extraordinary historical moment when Hong Kong was returned to the Chinese, with his five-year diary of the event, The Hong Kong Diaries. Sir Vince Cable, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, will talk about his new book, How to Be a Politician.

Named the best place to live in the UK by The Sunday Times, Ilkley has hosted the annual book festival for nearly half a decade. Founded in 1973, it is the oldest literary event in the North, appreciated by writers, readers and publishers for its warm welcome and its varied programming. Its impressive reputation rests on its ability to bring writers of national and international significance to West Yorkshire audiences.

At an exclusive Nordic event, Malorie Blackman – who has shaped British literature for over 30 years with over 60 books – will turn up at Bradford Grammar School to discuss Just Sayin’; her thought-provoking account of life as a storyteller, sharing her life lessons and writing tips.

This year’s festival features over 90 in-person and digital events. Lectures and workshops are held at All Saints Church, Ilkley Grammar School, Ilkley Playhouse and King’s Hall.

Five festival themes feature on the programme: The Things We Leave Behind, Hidden Figures, The Books That Made Us, Big Britain vs Little England and Explore Moor – a pun on the famous Ilkley Moor. These take place throughout in-person and digital events, workshops and micro-commissions.

Erica Morris, director of the Ilkley Literature Festival, said: “The aim of the festival is to bring people together to create conversations, tackle tough topics and encourage exploration. It’s a fantastic chance to broaden our horizons after the past difficult years. The books are real adventures in other lives and worlds. We hope that our annual literary celebration will provide a tonic for the public, whom we look forward to welcoming to glorious Ilkley.

Tickets will go on general sale from Tuesday, August 30. The Friends of the Festival benefit from a priority reservation period from Wednesday August 24th. Friends memberships can be purchased through the festival website at where you can also view the full programme.


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