One for the Diary: Variety of authors and celebs will be heading to Books by the Beach

Actors, broadcasters, literary heavyweights, best-sellers and a sporting hero line up for Books by the Beach in Scarborough.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 8th February 2018, 10:30 am
Hugh Fraser
Hugh Fraser

Various venues – from a church to a candle-lit kitchen – will host events from Wednesday April 11 to Sunday April 15.

Star names include Jeremy Vine, Ruth Jones, Robert Daws, George Costigan and Hugh Fraser.

Former MI5 boss Stella Rimington and crime-writers Tony Parsons and Denise Mina are also on the book bill.

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Peter Guttridge

“There’s a festival feast with everyone’s favourite flavour,” said event director Heather French.

“There’s themed lunches and a fruity Brazilian breakfast with journalist Rosie Millard at the Palm Court.

“Share secrets and sensationalism with Rosie as she discusses her latest saucy novel,” said Heather.

“I’m particularly excited to welcome Orange Prize Winner Lionel Shriver. I’m a big fan of Lionel’s work and I’m thrilled she agreed to take part. It’s a real coup for Scarborough,” said Heather.

Ben Aaronovitch

Shriver’s novel We Need to Talk About Kevin won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005. It was adapted into the 2011 film of the same name, starring Tilda Swinton.

This year is a year of commemorations – 100 years of Votes for Women and the bicentenary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

There’s a candlelit dinner at Wykeham Abbey Old Kitchen with bestselling writer David Hewson and his retelling of Romeo and Juliet on Thursday April 12 at 7.30pm.

“But hurry, tickets will go like hot cakes,” said Heather.

Marty Jopson

Hewson is a festival regular. He was a journalist at was The Scarborough Evening News before heading to London to work for the Nationals and then turning his hand to crime writing.

The Crescent Hotel will be flying the flag for Votes For Women on Wednesday April 11 and inviting diners to share lunch with Suffragette expert Diane Atkinson.

Martyn Hyde and Stephen Dinardo, owners of Eat Me Cafe in Hanover Road, again support Books by the Beach.

They are putting on a festival lunch at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on Friday April 13.

Peter Guttridge

They will bring a taste of London serving pie, mash and liquor as author Ben Aaronovitch shares tales about his writing for Dr Who and the best-selling Rivers of London series.

Crime writer Dame Denise Mina shares the stage with Saul David as they discuss true crime to fiction – centred on a notorious 1950s Glasgow murder and the infamous Jack the Ripper at Scarborough Library on Friday April 13 at 5.30pm.

Journalist and author Tony Parsons will be chatting to crime-writing and movie critic Barry Forshaw about his DC Max Wolfe series on Saturday April 14 at 1pm and top thriller writer Robert Goddard introduces Panic Room, his new page turner on Thursday April 12 at 3pm.

There’s Renoir’s Dancer in Scarborough Art Gallery on Wednesday April 11 at 1pm. Expert Catherine Hewitt reveals the story of Suzanne Valadon, the Impressionists’ model who had hidden talents.

Anne Bronte fans are invited to St Mary’s Church in Scarborough to hear about the other side of the overshadowed younger sibling of Charlotte and Emily. Author Samantha Ellis is the Bronte aficionado on Thursday April 12.

Anne wrote Agnes Grey and the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. She was a regular visitor to Scarborough and is buried in St Mary’s churchyard.

Ben Aaronovitch

Lucy Mangan invites readers to cast their minds back to childhood and their old favourites.

“Whether you’re a Famous Five fan or loved Milly Molly Mandy, it’ll be fun reminiscing with her memoir Bookworm,” said Heather.

A unique drama production will be presented in the Town Hall council chamber. Written, directed and performed by Libby Pearson and her Me and Thee Theatre.

“Drama works so well within the festival and I’m delighted to be building on our strong partnership with the Stephen Joseph Theatre, too,” said Heather.

The Theatre in The Round is the setting for guest Jeremy Vine on Saturday April 14 at 3pm. Award-winning comedy actor and screenwriter Ruth Jones will be launching her debut novel Never Greener on Sunday April 15 at 7pm.

“It will be the perfect finale,” said Heather.

Actors George Costigan, Robert Daws and Hugh Fraser will be appearing together at Scarborough Library on Sunday April 15.

Hugh has featured at Books by the Beach before and was keen to return.

There’s also a celebrity scientist as BBC’s One Show presenter Marty Jopson explores the science of food.

Another star of the small screen Yorkshire vet Julian Norton will be telling tales of creatures great and small.

Former head of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington appears in town. Royal secrets will be shared when biographer Katie Nicholl tells about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the wedding of the year. As royal correspondent she’ll also be taking part in the popular Sunday papers panel with fellow journalist Rosie Millard.

Amnesty International’s special guest Bali Rai will be discussing his work The Colour of Humanity and Maria Billington brings her usual flair to the festival with a taste of Pure Nostalgia.

“The festival opens with a new look at the classics and Greek mythology. Former stand up comedian and broadcaster Natalie Haynes will be opening the festival with her novel The Children of Jocasta - a new look at the Oedipus story.

“She’s a fantastic speaker and she’ll give Books by the Beach a lively launch,” said Heather.

Joanne Harris and the #Storytime Band are also on the guest list. Joanne began writing stories on Twitter and as they grew in popularity she set them to music with songs and images. That’s how the #Storytime Band emerged.

Novelist and biographer Nicholas Shakespeare brings Churchill to life and Ben Smith Marathon Man will talk about his exploits.

“Ben is an inspiration to all sportsmen and women as he ran 401 races in 401 days and all for charity.

“I hope the variety of events I’ve programmed this year bring pleasure to our wonderful audiences,” said Heather.

Critic and crime writer Peter Guttridge, historian and author Allan Mallinson, Barry Forshaw, broadcaster Gerry Foley and festival patron and former head of BBC Radio Helen Boaden will host events.

“Roll on April and join us for festival fever,” said Heather.

Marty Jopson