Top line-up for Petworth Literary Festival

Sir Vincent Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, BBC Radio Two presenter Jeremy Vine, mountaineer Chris Bonington, Strictly Come Dancing performers Ann Widdecombe and the Rev Richard Coles and historical author Kate Williams are among the writers presenting at this year's seventh annual Petworth Literary Festival.

Thursday, 28th September 2017, 10:19 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:27 pm
Vince Cable
Vince Cable

Artistic director Stewart Collins said: “Since its early establishment as a literary weekend, seven years ago, the festival has now expanded to a week-long programme, establishing its presence as an important feature of the annual Petworth diary for audiences and speakers from across the UK and beyond. It is an opportunity to celebrate the written word with renowned authors, keen to visit this beautiful part of the world to take part in a festival that now has a considerable pedigree and reputation.

“This year’s Festival runs from October 31-November 5.”

Stewart added: “I couldn’t possibly pick out individual highlights as literally every event is potentially just that, but I would have to say that we really do seem to be building momentum as a literary festival of both significance and also variety. Much as with our summer festival these are two qualities that are clearly loved in our part of the world, and I have absolutely no doubt our ever-growing audience will snap up the tickets for this November’s week given the range of events on offer.

“The programme includes a broad range of subjects from politics, through history and current affairs, to biography, food, music, local walks and acts of derring-do. There’s also a schools poetry event with Rachel Long, presented in partnership with the West Sussex branch of The Arts Society.”

Tickets go on sale today (September 28) via or via telephone on: 01798 344576.

Tuesday, October 31: 7.30pm Jeremy Vine – What I learnt: What my listeners say, St Mary’s Church.

Weds, November 1: 2pm Matthew D’Ancona – Post Truth, St Mary’s Church; 4.30pm Ann Widdecombe – Strictly Ann, St Mary’s Church; 7.30pm Rev Richard Coles – Bringing in the Sheaves, St Mary’s Church.

Thurs, November 2: 11am James Wong – How to eat better, Leconfield Hall; 2pm Jim Al’Khlalili – What’s Next? Leconfield Hall; 4.30pm Rodric Braithwaite – Armageddon & Paranoia, Leconfield Hall; 7.30pm Kate Williams – The Edge of the Fall, Leconfield Hall.

Fri, November 3: 11am David Bathurst – Big Walks of the South, Leconfield Hall; 2pm Min Kim – Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung, Leconfield Hall; 4.30pm Gary Younge – Another Day in the Death of America, Leconfield Hall; 7.30pm Charlotte Green – The News is Read, Leconfield Hall.

Sat, November 4: 11am Schools Poetry Event with Rachel Long, United Reformed Church; 2pm Chris Bonington – A Life Spent Climbing on the Edge, Leconfield Hall; 4.30pm Simon Jenkins – On the Sacred and Secular, Leconfield Hall or URC; 7.30pm Craig Brown – Ma’am Darling, Leconfield Hall.

Sun, November 5: 11am Vince Cable – Open Arms, Leconfield Hall; 2pm Jeremy Brock with Douglas Rae, Leconfield Hall; 3.30pm Kieran Larwood – The Gift of Dark Hollow, United Reformed Church; 4.30pm Richard Ingrams – Ludo and the Power of the Book, Leconfield Hall; 7.30pm John Lloyd, James Harkin, Anne Miller – Leconfield Hall.

For more info, become a sponsor/friend/volunteer, call 01798 343055 or email [email protected]