Comedy and poetry as Helen Lederer and Jackie Kay head to Scarborough's Books by the Beach

Comedienne Helen Lederer is one of the guests at Scarborough's Books by the Beach (Photo: Tony Woolliscroft)Comedienne Helen Lederer is one of the guests at Scarborough's Books by the Beach (Photo: Tony Woolliscroft)
Comedienne Helen Lederer is one of the guests at Scarborough's Books by the Beach (Photo: Tony Woolliscroft)
Comedian Helen Lederer and National Poet Jackie Kay are heading to Scarborough for Books by the Beach festival which runs from Friday June 7 to Sunday June 9.

Helen Lederer has shared stages with comedy names Ben Elton, Harry Enfield, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Rick Mayall and was a regular on the 80s stand-up circuit and new-wave sketch shows.

It was a tough road to success and in conversation about her new memoir Not That I’m Bitter Helen will share how hard it was for a woman to break through.

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She will be at Queen Street Methodist Central Hall on Saturday June 8 at 7.30pm.

Festival organiser Heather French said: “After reading her open and very honest memoir, I can’t wait to meet Helen. She shines through as razor-sharp, zany and very funny.

“I know the audience will have great fun with her. She’s starred in many popular shows from Absolutely Fabulous to French and Saunders and The Young Ones, and she is instantly recognisable.”

Another festival guest is one of the UK’s most cherished poets Jackie Kay and her event takes place at Queen Street Methodist Central Hall on Sunday June 9 at 5pm.

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Jackie was the National Poet for Scotland from 2016 to 2021. She is a novelist and writer of short stories and has achieved acclaim for all aspects of her work.

Jackie will be performing poetry from her awaited new collection entitled May Day. As the title suggests, these poems cast an eye over several decades of political activism, from the solidarity of the Glasgow of Jackie’s childhood, accompanying her parents’ Socialist campaigns, through the feminist, LGBT and anti-racist movements of the 80s and 90s, up to the present day with Black Lives Matter.

Heather said: “Jackie’s warmth and wit are infused throughout her poetry and her event promises to be a festival highlight.

" We have a large poetry-writing community in Scarborough and I hope local creatives will take this great opportunity to come along and listen to Jackie. She’s a wonderful advocate for the spoken word.This year’s full festival programme is at www.booksbythebeach.co.uk and tickets available online and at YMCA Theatre box office.

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