Big names at Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival

'Dogfather', Graeme Hall star of Channel 5’s Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly

Meet 'Dogfather', Graeme Hall star of Channel 5’s Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly - Credit: Channel5

From the 'Dogfather' to a duchess with a would-be prime minister in between, Harrogate's autumn literature festival lines up an impressive cast.

Billed as one of the UK's best literary festivals, Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival runs from October 21-24 at The Crown Hotel, Harrogate. 

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York 

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York - Credit: RaworthsHLF

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York will speak about her latest novel, Her Heart for a Compass, loosely based on the life of her ancestor Lady Margaret Montagu Scott, set amongst the drawing rooms of Victoria's court, and the grand country houses of Scotland and Ireland. 

Well-known  'Dogfather', Graeme Hall star of Channel 5’s Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly, imparts his wisdom on how to build the best relationship with your dog, told through the stories of some of the special dogs he’s loved and trained throughout his career.

Graeme will be revealing his advice about how to train a happy, healthy dog, so from the old dogs who may need some new tricks to your newly adopted pandemic pooch this event could change yours, and your dog’s life!

Launch speaker will be Paul Kenyon, a distinguished BBC correspondent and BAFTA award-winning journalist and author. He has reported from danger-zones around the world for BBC Panorama – from tackling Gaddafi's son in a cage full of lions, to secretly filming Iran's secret nuclear sites.His latest book is a darkly humorous and horrifying history of some of the strangest dictators that Europe has ever seen.

Other highlights include: 

Dr Kate Vigurs

Dr KateVigurs - Credit: RaworthsHLF

Dr. Kate Vigurs, author of Mission France: The True History of the Women of the SOE, tells the story of the thirty-nine female SOE agents who when ordered by Churchill to ‘set Europe ablaze’ went undercover in France, to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance.

Go Big, How To Fix Our World with Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband - Credit: RaworthsLFF

For the past four years Ed Miliband has been discovering and interviewing brilliant people all around the world who are tackling problems, transforming communities and pioneering global movements. At this rare moment in history when people everywhere see the need for big change, and the scale of the challenge is daunting, the opportunity for what is possible is far greater

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Led by Donkeys with James Sadri & Oliver Knowles

The story of How Four Friends With A Ladder Took On Brexit. What started as an anonymous night-time guerrilla poster campaign by four friends determined to expose the lies, lunacy and hypocrisy of Brexit, Led By Donkeys quickly became the biggest entirely crowdfunded political campaign in British history. Meet the people behind the posters.

Dr Waheed Arian, In The Wars

Having survived the civil war in Afghanistan, Waheed Arian arrived alone in the UK aged 15. He went on to study medicine at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Now an NHS Doctor & Radiologist, he’s using smartphones and volunteer specialists to provide life-saving medical advice to doctors working in areas of conflict

Robin Ince and The Importance of Being Interested

Comedian Robin Ince quickly abandoned science at school, bored by a fog of dull lessons and intimidated by the barrage of equations. Twenty years later, Ince fell in love and now presents one of the world’s most popular science podcasts.

Funny You Should Ask with the QI Elves

The QI Elves are the brains behind the hit panel show QI and the hugely popular podcast No Such Thing As A Fish. Every week the Elves appear on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show’s Why Workshop where they answer the ponderings and wonderings of Radio 2’s most inquisitive listeners. They will answer questions such as ‘If spiders can walk on the ceiling why can’t they get out of the bath?’ and ‘How can I live forever?’

SCOFF with Pen Vogler, A History of Food And Class In Britain

In this fascinating social history of food in Britain, Scoff examines the origins of our eating habits and reveals how they are loaded with centuries of class prejudice. Covering such topics as fish and chips, roast beef, avocados, tripe, fish knives and the surprising origins of breakfast. 

Spa Wars, with Melanie King

English spas have a long and steamy history, from the thermal baths of Aquae Sulis in Bath to the Victorian mania for hydrotherapy and Turkish hammams in Harrogate. The Secret History of English Spas brings to life the social and cultural history of our obsession with drinking and bathing in spa waters. 

In conversation with author Monique Roffey - 2020 Costa Book of the Year winner

Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born British writer of novels, essays, literary journalism, and a memoir. Her most recent novel, The Mermaid of Black Conch, won the Costa Book of the Year Award 2020 with her award winning book about an ancient Taino woman cursed to be a mermaid who is caught in contemporary times.