The Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature, Film and Music - Event Listing

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace - Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

One of the major events of Britain’s autumn literary season, Britain’s best boutique festival will return to the magnificent Blenheim Palace from Thursday 24th – Sunday 27th September. The four day festival will see acclaimed speakers from around the world gather from a range of creative fields including literature, fashion, food, film and music, bringing visitors exceptional events held in the beautiful surroundings of iconic Blenheim Palace.

Highlighted speakers this year will include Turkish Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, Dr Maki Mandela discussing the life, legacy and art of her father, Nelson Mandela and Alfred Brendel, one of the greatest pianists of all time.

To keep updated with the full programme of speakers and events for this year’s Festival, please visit the website:

Alexander Armstrong talks to Paul Blezard – ITV Preview Screening: Land of the Midnight Sun

11am | Saturday 26 September 2015 | £12 | Blenheim Palace, The Gallery

Actor, comedian and television presenter Alexander Armstrong will discuss his new documentary and book Land of the Midnight Sun which recounts his epic 8,000-mile journey around the Arctic. The talk will be accompanied by preview clips from the documentary before they are premiered on ITV later this year. Known as one half of comedy duo Armstrong & Miller and host of popular BBC daytime quiz show Pointless, Armstrong’s new documentary takes him in a new direction as he ventures cross Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and Alaska, witnessing the natural wonders of the world and discovering the region’s attraction for its inhabitants.

Gino D’Acampo talks to Donald Sloan – ITV Preview Screening: Gino D’Acampo

2pm | Saturday 26 September 2015 |£12 | 2 Hours | Blenheim Palace, The Gallery

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Celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo will introduce clips from his upcoming television series and discuss the subjects of food, Italy and his new show with the head of Oxford Gastronomica Donald Sloan.

Orhan Pamuk talks to Boyd Tonkin: A Strangeness in my Mind

6pm | Thursday 24 September 2015 | £12 | 1 hour | Blenheim Palace, The Orangery

Nobel-prize-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk will talk to The Independent journalist and chair of judges for the 2016 Booker international prize Boyd Tonkin about his new and ninth novel A Strangeness in My Mind – an unforgettable love story and a modern epic. It is a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s most influential writers. Pamuk was the second youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. His books have been translated into 46 languages and he is also the holder of The Peace Prize, the most prestigious award in Germany in the field of culture, along with many other international literary awards.

Maki Mandela talks to John Battersby – Mandela: Life, Legacy and Art

12pm | Thursday 24 September 2015 | £12 | 1 Hour | Blenheim Palace, The Orangery

Dr Maki Mandela, the daughter of Nelson Mandela, will talk to leading South African journalist John Battersby about her father’s life and legacy and about the works of art that he created in later life.

Makaziwe ‘Maki’ Mandela is the daughter of Nelson Mandela and his first wife, Evelyn Mase. Nelson Mandela is perhaps the most famous statesman of the latter part of the 20th century. He also took up art in later life, and Maki Mandela will talk about the works of art he produced that include sketches of Robben Island, where he was imprisoned, and the famous Hand of Africa.

Maki Mandela was educated at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa. In 1993, she earned a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, USA. She is a businesswoman and founder of the House of Mandela wine label. She has worked at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Battersby is a former editor of The Sunday Independent in Johannesburg and former correspondent for the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor.

Madeleine Shaw – Get the Glow: Recipes to Nourish you from the Inside Out

2pm | Sunday 27th September 2015 | £12 | Blenheim Palace, The Indian Room

Madeleine Shaw, a nutritional health coach, food blogger and creative cook based in London will show how eating well can become a way of life and make you healthier and happier. She will share her perspective on a healthy lifestyle without refined sugar and how a good diet and positive thinking can help to heal gut issues and increase vitality. Her popular recipe book Get the Glow includes wheat-free and sugar-free recipes to encourage a healthier way of life and greater wellbeing.

Bel Mooney’s Lifelines: Words to Help You Through

12pm | Sunday 27 September 2015 | £12 | 1 hour | Blenheim Palace, The Marlborough Room

One of Britain’s best-known writers, Bel Mooney will offer some advice on getting through the tough times we all face at some point in our lives.

Mooney has been a journalist and broadcaster for more than 40 years. For the last ten years, she has been writing a column (first for The Times and now for the Saturday edition of the Daily Mail) advising readers on relationship and emotional issues.

Her new book is an uplifting anthology that draws on the column, incorporating some of her columns, answers to specific problems and inspiring quotations from the page and shares some of the life experiences that have taught the author about the workings of the human heart.

Mooney has written for many publications including the Daily Mirror, The Sunday Times, The Times and Daily Mail. She has also written 25 books including six novels and many books for children including the ‘Kitty and Friends’ and ‘Bonnie the dog’ series.

Dan Jones talks to Paul Blezard: Magna Carta – The Making and Legacy of the Great Charter

2pm | Thursday 24 September 2015 | £12 | 1 Hour | Blenheim Palace The Orangery

Bestselling historian, journalist and broadcaster Dan Jones will bring to life the Magna Carta on the 800th anniversary of its signing in 1215. Jones will explain how the Magna Carta came to be granted, what it meant in its day and what it should mean for us today.

Jones is author of The Sunday Times bestsellers The Plantagenets and The Hollow Crown. He writes for leading national newspapers, and he has presented television programmes for the BBC and Channel 5 including Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty: The Plantagenets and Great British Castles. He is a prospective trustee of The Great Charter Foundation, a charity established to further the principles of the Magna Carta. Here he will talk to journalist and author Paul Blezard.