Former Prime Minister David Cameron headlines Harrogate book festival - plus full programme

David Cameron
David Cameron

A former British Prime Minister will be joined by more than 20 recently published authors - ranging from much loved television presenters and historians to speech writers, business leaders and music critics - at Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival.

Over the course of the festival’s four days – which is being held in the town’s Crown Hotel from Thursday, October 17- David Cameron and his fellow guest speakers will not only entertain their audiences but inspire and educate them too!

Now in its ninth year, The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival is considered one of the finest events of its kind and is delivered again by Harrogate International Festivals.

The opening day begins with a literary lunch featuring Simon Weston, who received 46 per cent burns when his troopship was struck by an Argentinian Exocet missile in the 1982 Falklands War, and concludes with a rare public appearance by the former premier, who reportedly squirreled himself away in a shepherd’s hut to write For The Record, a memoir of his time leading Her Majesty’s Government.

Other household names appearing over the next three days include Shoestring and Waking the Dead actor Trevor Eve; BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, war reporter Damien Lewis, business titan Sir Tim Waterstone, Music writer Stuart Cosgrove and former ITN Royal correspondent Tom Bradbury.

Returning to his native roots on the Saturday is former Harrogate Advertiser reporter, John Craven, who in 1972 launched the world's first television news bulletin for children, John Craven's Newsround. After more than 3,000 editions, John left in 1989 to present the hugely successful Countryfile where he has remained ever since.

The festival’s final day welcomes amongst others British writer, law lecturer and historian, Onyeka Nubia; historian and chief curator for the Royal Palaces, Tracy Borman; and Sky News and ITN anchorman, Mark Austin.

Zoe Robinson, Raworths’ managing partner, said: “Over the last eight years the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival has grown in importance and stature and, in my opinion, is rightly considered one of the best in the country.

“We are very proud of our long-standing association with this event, and this year’s list of guest speakers, which is as diverse as it is long, is really exciting.

“Thanks to the expertise of Harrogate International Festivals, The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, is where authors want to be seen and, more importantly, heard.”

Helen Donkin, Harrogate International Festivals Literature festivals manager, said: “We are incredibly excited to be once again delivering October’s Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival.

“Thanks to it being firmly established as one of the leading literature festivals in the UK, it means we are able to attract high calibre guest speakers, and I’m absolutely delighted with this year’s star-studded line up.”

Tickets for the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival go on sale from the Harrogate International Festivals box office from Monday August 19.

Tickets: 01423 562303

Full programme:

Thursday 17 October

12pm: Yorkshire Post Literary Lunch: Simon Weston CBE

4pm: Sadie Jones: The Snakes

6pm: Julian Norton: On Call with The Yorkshire Vet

8pm: David Cameron: For the Record

Friday 18 October

9:30am: Ayisha Malik: This Green and Pleasant Land

11am: Kate Bradbury: The Bumblebee Flies Anyway

12:30pm: Peter Hanington: A Single Source

2pm: Phillip Collins: Start Again

3:30pm: Damien Lewis: SAS Shadow Raiders

5pm: Sir Tim Waterstone: The Face Pressed Against A Window

6:30pm: Louise Minchin: Dare to Tri

8pm: Matt Coyne: Man vs Baby

Saturday 19 October

9:30am: Rhik Samadder: I Never Said I Loved You

11am: S.G. Maclean: The Bear Pit

12:30pm: Jessica Fellowes: Bright Young Dead

2pm: Thomas Grant: Court Number One

3:30pm: Jon Bentley: Autopia

5pm: John Craven: Headlines and Hedgerows

6:30pm: Lauren Booth: Finding Peace in the Holy Land

Sunday 20 October

10:30am: Onyeka Nubia: England’s Other Countrymen

12pm: Tracy Borman: Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him

1:30pm: Mark Austin: And Thank You For Watching

3pm: Music in the ‘60s and ‘70s with Stuart Cosgrove, Ken McNab and Tom Doyle

4:30pm: Trevor Eve: Lomita For Ever

6pm: Tom Bradby: Secret Service

7:30pm: Nikki Welsh: The Pocket Guide to Beer