The Wokingham Paper

Sonning woman to speak at Henley Literary Festival

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THE FINAL speaker announced for this year’s Henley Literary Festival line-up is Sonning resident, book lover and Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Maidenhead MP will have stepped down from the role by the time she speaks at the event on Monday, September 30.

And she will be missing parts of the Conservative Party autumn conference to talk about her favourite reads.

Mrs May, whose constituency includes parts of Woodley, Sonning, Twyford and Wargrave, is the second Prime Minister to appear at the event – Sir John Major was a previous speaker.

And organisers are delighted to have Mrs May join a line-up that includes David Suchet, Gerald Scarfe and Monty Panesar.

Festival director Harriet Reed-Ryan said: ‘We are thrilled that Theresa May has agreed to come. We knew that she has a great interest in books because of her regular visits to the Bell Bookshop.

“I think the fact that she is coming shows what a strong link she has to the town and how she enjoys coming here. It will be a very special event.

“She will be the second former Prime Minister who has come to the festival – we had John Major here in 2012.”

Also appearing are cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, former England captain Alastair Cook, Vic Marks and Derek Pringle.

BBC newsreader George Alagiah and BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner are both coming to talk about their latest novels as is former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis.

Ms Reed-Ryan said: “We are lucky to have so many talented writers coming to the festival, not least those who have achieved in other fields as well as complete newcomers with debut novels. I think it is a really broad list with some terrific books that should keep everyone entertained and stimulated.

“We are hugely excited for what should be a tremendous nine days for the town with hundreds of extra visitors and coverage in the media.”

Tickets go on sale to Friends of the Festival on Tuesday July 16 and then to the general public on July 22.

For more information visit or call 01491 575948.

Here’s who’s speaking at the 2019 Henley Literary Festival …

Hope Adams, Jonathan Aitken, George Alagiah, Malcolm Alexander, Kate Atkinson, Dave Ball, Johnny Ball, Siana Bangura, Shahidha Bari, Fiona Barton, Laura Bates, Hannah Beckerman, Poorna Bell, Mary Berry, Tamsin Blanchard, Henry Blofeld, Steph Booth, Roger Bootle, Tracy Borman, Melvyn Bragg, Gyles Brandreth, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Jack Brown, John Browne, Daisy Buchanan, Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi, Countess Carnarvon, Derek Cattani, Cara Courage, Alastair Cook, Mary Chamberlain, Edd China, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Nicholas Coleridge, Sara Collins, Ray Connolly, Paul Conroy, Dr Jon Copley, Matt Coyne, John Crace, Caroline Crampton, John Craven, Abi Daré, Anne de Courcy, Ella Dove, Jeremy Dronfield, Marcus du Sautoy, Travis Elborough, Janet Ellis, Harriet Evans, Penny Farmer, Clarissa Farr, Lisa Faulkner, Rachel Felder, Peter Fiennes, Antonia Fraser, Frank Gardner, Mike Gayle, Amelia Gentleman, Bryony Gordon, Thomas Grant, Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, Duncan Hamilton, Robert Hardman, Robert Harris, Charlie Hart, Max Hastings, Nicola Headlam, Simon Heffer, Melissa Hemsley, Mick Herron, Katie Hickman, Lindsey Hilsum, Victoria Hislop, Jonathan Hoban, Rachel Hore, Jessica Huie, Konnie Huq, Hurrah for Gin, Nadiya Hussain, Lotte Jeffs, Amanda Jennings, Lisa Jewell, Dom Joly, Steve Jones, Lesley Kara, Erin Kelly, Emma Kennedy, Simon Kernick, Kurt Kleinmann, Tony Laithwaite, Serena Lake, Prue Leith, Tony Little, David Lough, Pearl Lowe, Andrew Lownie, Beth Lynch, Roy McFarlane, Iain MacGregor, Molly Mahon, Vic Marks, Brian Masters, Theresa May, Donald McRae, Paul Merton, Giles Milton, Sophia Money-Coutts, Jojo Moyes, Muddy Stilettos, Claire Mulley, Chris Mullin, Jenni Murray, Terry Newman, David Nicholls, Judith O’Reilly, Julianne Pachico, Monty Panesar, Michael Parkinson, Anna Pasternak, Ingrid Persaud, Jason Plato, Dougie Poynter, Lara Prescott, Derek Pringle, Sonia Purnell, Monisha Rajesh, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Rachel Reeves, John Rendall, Tim Rice, Chris Riddell, David Robson, Catherine Rogers, Richard Roper, Michael Rosen, James Runcie, Chris Ryan, Brough Scott, Gerald Scarfe, Elif Shafak, Dr Richard Shepherd, Martin Sixsmith, Caroline Slocock, Olly Smith, Anna Soubry, Peter Stanford, Dame Stephanie Shirley, Jack Straw, Geoffrey Streatfield, Joa Studholme, David Suchet, Julie Summers, Zeba Talkhani, D.J. Taylor, Laura Thomas, The Unmumsy Mum, Terry Waite, Kirsty Wark, Alison Weir, Stephen Westaby, David Whitehouse, Kate Williams and Stephanie Wrobel.

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Steve Smith

I imagine it will be the honour … of her life.

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