Paul Merton, Jojo Moyes and Sir Alastair Cook Are Added to Literary Festival Line-Up

More brilliant top names have been announced for this year’s Henley Literary Festival including Paul Merton, Jojo Moyes, Sir Alastair Cook, Michael Parkinson, Konnie Huq and David Nicholls.

Paul is the man with the fastest comic mind on television, as viewers of Have I Got News For You know. He has compiled a collection of his favourite humour writing in Funny Ha,Ha and is expected to sell out quickly, as is Sir Michael, who will regale us with tales of his broadcasting career and his friend, the footballing legend George Best.

Regarded as England’s most successful batsman, Sir Alastair joins us for an unmissable, no-holds-barred discussion on his cricketing career, life and future plans post retirement.

The Festival’s finale event offers the unique chance to see Me Before You author Jojo and One Day novelist David, both with much-anticipated new books, in conversation.

For younger readers Konnie Huq, Blue Peter’s longest-serving female presenter will talking about her first children’s book Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World.

Henley’s own Anna Pasternak will discuss her biography of Wallis Simpson Unititled, painting a very different portrait of the woman who became such a despised figure.
Another local author is Dame Stephanie Shirley who will talk about her memoir Let it Go.

Woman’s Hour host Jenni Murray returns after a previous sell-out with A History of the World in 21 Women.

The Festival is also reflecting the increased awareness of mental health issues. Telegraph columnist and Mad Girl author Bryony Gordon, whose podcast interview with Prince Harry about his own issues proved such a landmark, hosts a special Mental Health Mates session.

Other speakers announced today include fashion icon Pearl Lowe, at an event organised by online style and interiors magazine thehomepage, and Caroline Crampton with her book The Way to the Sea on the fitting setting of a boat on the Thames.

They join previously announced speakers including Tim Rice, Nadiya Hussain, Michael Rosen and Jacob Rees-Mogg, with tickets going on sale in July.

Event Director Harriet Reed Ryan said: “I think the latest names show the wonderful range of the festival. It is easy to say we have something for everybody but quite another thing to make it happen, but I think that in this year we really do provide for all tastes and ages.”

The Henley Literary Festival runs from 28 September to 6 October.  For more details go to


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