Kirsty Wark and Stuart Maconie

The festival will host many other well-known names from the worlds of journalism and broadcasting with Sally Magnusson, Melvyn Bragg, Stuart Maconie, George Monbiot, John Sweeney, Tom Holland, Andy Kershaw and Jeremy Paxman among those joining the line-up.
“It’s a huge logistical challenge,” explains Festival Director Kay Dunbar. “We have over 100 speakers coming to the festival and 100 events to coordinate.”
A large team of people is needed to run the festival and they work hard to make sure that everything goes smoothly. This year’s festival programme boasts a vast range of speakers and an eclectic selection of topics including science, history, memory, literature, nature, art, politics and religion. Festival-goers have lots to choose from.
Well-known politicians Jonathan Aitken, Ann Widdecombe, Alan Johnson, Roy Hattersley and Michael Meacher will take to the stage for events during the festival. There will also be award-winning writers, such as Louis de Bernières, Helen Dunmore, Philippa Gregory, Joanna Trollope and Penelope Lively, who will discuss their work and reflect on their careers.

“Visitors can see all sorts of events at the festival,” says Kay Dunbar. “You can hear a discussion about economics one minute and then be listening to a politician talk about their childhood the next.”
There are still tickets available for many events and can be booked through Theatre by the Lake by calling 017687 74411 or online at