7 highlights of Guildford Book Festival 2020

Richard Osman. Image: Penguin Books

Richard Osman. Image: Penguin Books - Credit: Archant

Tickets are on sale now for the event this October featuring Richard Osman, Susie Dent, Gyles Bandreth and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Adel Parks. Image supplied

Adel Parks. Image supplied - Credit: Archant

Now in its 31st year, Guildford Book Festival is recognised as the premier literary event in the South East, and brings leading writers to town to inspire, inform and entertain.

The festival, which will be hosted from October 4 to 10 prediminantly at The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre will look a little different this year, with social distancing measures in place and a number of virtual events also taking place.

Here is our pick of the highlights.

Sunday October 4 - In conversation with Richard Osman

Hugely popular TV producer and presenter of Pointless and House of Games talks about his lifelong love of crime fiction and his debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club. Set in a luxury retirement village off the A21 in Kent, the book stars four retirees who meet every Thursday to investigate unsolved killings. But, when a local property developer shows up dead, The Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Can the unorthodox but brilliant gang of four catch the killer, before it’s too late? Packed with humour, and twists and turns a plenty, it’s a warning never to underestimate the elderly!

Monday, October 5 - Susie Dent

Ben Collins was The Stig on Top Gear for eight years. Image: Dickie Dawson

Ben Collins was The Stig on Top Gear for eight years. Image: Dickie Dawson - Credit: Archant

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Susie Dent has been the resident word expert on Channel 4’s Countdown for more than 20 years, and is the author of several books including Dent’s Modern Tribes and her latest title, Word Perfect: Curious Coinages and Etymological First Aid for Every Day of the Year.

From 1 January to 31 December readers of the new book will discover the origins of a single word or phrase for every day of the year. From the dramatic true story of stealing someone’s thunder to the original Jack the Lad, from the origin of freelancer (from knights who were free to use their lance for whoever paid most) to secretaries, (the keeper of secrets) Word Perfect brings life and fun into words and language.

Monday October 5 - Meet the Authors: Sabine Durrant and Adele Parks in conversation with Fanny Blake

Two leading writers talk about how they create the twists and turns to build suspense and unsettle the reader with reference to their latest psychological thrillers. Sabine Durrant talks about her nerve-tingling new book, Finders, Keepers, while festival favourite Adele Parks, presents her 20th novel Just My Luck, another number one bestseller.

Both will be interviewed by Fanny Blake, former publisher and author of more than a dozen books including her latest, A Summer Reunion.

READ MORE: Find out what books have shaped the life of Former Top Gear’s The Stig Ben Collins

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Image: Lovelight Photography

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Image: Lovelight Photography - Credit: Archant

Wednesday October 7 - Catherine Belton on Putin’s people

The hacking of the 2016 US elections. Sponsorship of extremist politics in Europe. War in Ukraine. In recent years Vladimir Putin’s Russia has waged a concerted campaign to expand its influence and undermine the West.

Investigative journalist Catherine Belton will delve deep into the workings of Putin’s Kremlin when talking about her chilling exposé of the KGB’s renaissance, Putin’s People.

Thursdsay October 8 - Recipes from my Greek Kitchen with Irini Tzortzoglou

The Masterchef 2019 champion introduces her favourite Greek family recipes. From everyday, accessible dishes to tips and tricks for when you want to impress, not only is she a fabulous cook, but she is a great teacher, too.

With over 80 recipes, from breakfasts to quick dinners, delicious salads to Christmas and dinner party feasts, her book, Under the Olive Tree: Recipes from my Greek Kitchen, mixes classic combinations with her personal touches. Born in Crete, Irini studied at Kingston University, and is a retired banker and a grandmother and will be bringing with her some Greek canapés to taste.

Susie will be speaking at Guildford Book Festival. Image: Stewart Williams

Susie will be speaking at Guildford Book Festival. Image: Stewart Williams - Credit: Archant

Friday October 9 - Ben Collins presents a history of Britain’s most iconic car

Ben Collins is a former racing driver and ex-Stig on Top Gear, who has driven Aston Martins as a stunt man in every James Bond film since Quantum of Solace.

He presents a history of Britain’s most iconic car beloved of engineers, speed freaks and spooks alike. From the Roaring 20s to 2020, through its use by spies in World War II and its vital role in the James Bond movies, including the latest film, No Time to Die, it’s the story of triumph of innovation and design, and of an extraordinary car that has blazed a trail to become one of the world’s best-loved machines.

Saturday October 10 - Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock’s Grand Tour of the Solar System and Gyles Brandreth

Young space enthusiasts can get set for a cosmic trip of a lifetime with space scientist, and Guildford resident, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock’s Grand Tour of the Solar System. Join this epic adventure through the solar system, visiting the most magnificent sights and spectacles through outer space, from planets and moons to asteroids, comets and satellites

Later in the day Gyles Brandreth who will present an entertaining evening of theatrical anecdotes taken from his new anthology.

To book tickets visit Yvonne-Arnaud.co.uk and for general information visit guildfordbookfestival.co.uk

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