AS another event is added to the upcoming Ilkley Literature Festival - Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who will be talking about his life and astonishing achievements at Craiglands Hotel on Wednesday, December 5 – it’s time to take a closer look at some of the other big names taking part.

Festival opener Nick Hewer will take the audience on a whistlestop journey through his life so far from A and his appointment on The Apprentice to Z for Zed list. On Friday, September 28 Hewar will take about his later arrival into the public eye and subsequent TV appearances.

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson will turn his attention to music at his appearance in Ilkley on October 4. Talking about his fourth memoir, Johnson explains the music that has followed him throughout his fascinating life.

Host of Classic FM’s morning show John Suchet will return to Ilkley on Saturday, October 6 to tell the tale of Tchaikovsky. Suchet will reveal the complexity of the life of the celebrated, but often misunderstood composer.

On October 11 Joanna Trollope takes to the Kings Hall stage to discuss her life in writing which spans over 30 years and 20 highly acclaimed novels. Trollope will offer an insight into some of her most popular characters as well as review her latest novel, ‘An Unsuitable Match’ published earlier this year.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston soared to fame when he became the first person to complete a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the world. Now, 50 years on from that famous voyage, he comes to Ilkley to reveal the true, extraordinary story of his life.

In his new autobiography Running Free Knox-Johnston paints a vivid picture of his remarkable journey, beginning in June 1968 with setting sail in Suhaili through to the journey’s end on 22 April 1969 when he entered the record books. In 2007, he became the oldest person ever to complete a solo circumnavigation of the globe after carrying out his second voyage at 68 years old.

Knox-Johnston will be talking about his life and astonishing achievements at Craiglands Hotel on Wednesday, December 5.

Ilkley Literature Festival director Rachel Feldberg said,: “Whether you are a passionate sailor or more of an armchair adventurer, Robin Knox-Johnston’s insatiable appetite for life will have you captivated and we are delighted to be bringing him back to Ilkley for a special post-Festival event in December.”

Headlined by Jacqueline Wilson and Horrible Histories creator Terry Deary there are some fantastic family events lined up.

Children aged three and up will love Story Bees Sessions, the hilarious Baby’s First Bank Heist, making their own polar bear puppet-friends with Lily and the Polar Bears and tutti frutti’s magical new show The Snow Queen.

The whole family can get creative making their own Aardman Animation models (choose between Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and old favourite Morph!) and Minecraft fans can learn how to make characters inspired by favourite books. Sibéal Pounder returns to the Festival to share the latest instalment in the spellbinding Witch Wars series and Will Mabbitt introduces the ghoulishly funny Embassy of the Dead.

Melvyn Burgess returns to the Festival with his latest tale of magic and myth, The Lost Witch, leading American author Jewell Parker Rhodes is joined by UK based Muhammad Khan to talk about tackling difficult and important issues through fiction and Guardian journalist Nikesh Shukla talks about his gripping first book for Young People Run Riot.

Tickets for all Ilkley Literature Festival events including Moeen Ali, John Simpson, John Suchet, Carol Ann Duffy and Geoffrey Robertson can be booked online at or by phone on 01943 816 714 (10am – 5pm Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri and 10am-7pm Wed).