The Wokingham Paper

X Factor star Dermot O’Leary joins literary festival line-up

Dermot O'Leary will be discussing his new book at this year's Henley Literary Festival
Dermot O'Leary will be discussing his new book at this year's Henley Literary Festival

X Factor host and Radio 2 presenter Dermot O’Leary has been added to the already stellar line-up for this year’s Henley Literary Festival.

The star, who joins Fearne Cotton, Roddy Doyle, Katherine Grainger and Nick Clegg and many, many others on the jam-packed bill, will appear in conversation with Heat magazine’s Boyd Hilton at The River and Rowing Museum at 5pm on Sunday, October 8, where he will talk about his broadcasting career and highly-anticipated children’s book, Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape. He will be joined by the book’s illustrator, Nick East.

The book is based on Dermot’s real-life cat Toto who was rescued as a kitten alongside her brother, Silver.

Dermot said: “The idea first came to me when my wife and I rescued two stray cats from an olive grove in Italy. One of them, Toto, has been blind from birth, but we quickly realised she had ninja-like reactions.

“Like a lot of cat owners (or cat servants), we like to imagine our pets having secret lives when we’re out or asleep. So before I knew it I was writing about Toto and her brother Silver’s nocturnal adventures around London.

“I really hope that children who pick it up enjoy reading the adventures of our little Italian underdog (cat).”

Events director Harriet Reed said: “We couldn’t think of a better way of bringing our best-yet line-up of family events – from Rob Biddulph and Katherine Rundell to Greg James and Alison Steadman – to a close than with this very special event with Dermot.”

Full information and tickets are available at from 9am and by phone on 01491 575 948 (10am-4pm,Monday to Friday).


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