Wimbledon BookFest 2014 Is Underway

Literature's leading names join local talent

The eighth annual Wimbledon BookFest is back this autumn with a line-up showcasing literature's leading names and local talent.

Headliners include: global best-seller Alexander McCall Smith; Olivier Award winning actress Juliet Stevenson who will be reading the poetry of Pablo Neruda; TV and radio presenter Clare Balding; comedian Paul Merton, who grew up in Wimbledon and went to Wimbledon College; and Man Booker Prize winning novelist Ian McEwan, who will be in conversation with BBC Radio 4 presenter and BookFest regular, James Naughtie.

Set on the glorious Wimbledon Common, a specially commissioned Big Tent seating up to 500, and an intimate William Morris themed marquee, provide the focal point for the festival.

The Festival, which runs until Sunday (October 12), also includes an eclectic programme of film screenings, live music, workshops, the popular Comedy on Wimbledon Common event with Josh Widdecombe and sports nights with hosts John Inverdale and Brian Moore.

Children's events are at the heart of the programme - with art workshops, storytelling with CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell and the ever popular Wombles sing-along. Caroline Lawrence will be teaching children How to Write a Great Story.  Events for schools include Jacqueline Wilson, Benjamin Zephaniah, Michael Rosen and a special 10 year anniversary event of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Series with Wimbledon writer and Patron, Michelle Paver.

Festival Director, Fiona Razvi said: "The Festival is really evolving with a broader emphasis on arts and culture.  We’re delighted to have such talented writers as Alexander Mc Call Smith and Ian McEwan opening and closing the Festival this year.  We also have sport, politics, and film, music and comedy events in our 10 packed days on the Common."

The closing weekend features:

Saturday October 11

* Paul Merton returns to his Wimbledon roots to talk about his autobiography 'Only When I Laugh.'

* Saturday early evening BBQ (by the Fox & Grapes pub) and the East Dulwich Ukulele Band on the Common followed by Josh Widdicombe headlining ‘Comedy on the Common.’

Sunday October 12

* Headliners Clare Balding and Ian McEwan talk about their latest books.   

*Creative writing workshop at gothic Southside House.  Kick-start your creativity with teachers from Roehampton University in this beautiful venue.

October 6, 2014

Related links
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Paul Merton returns to Wimbledon on October 11

Paul Merton returns to Wimbledon on October 11