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Alan Bennett to broadcast live to the nation from Primrose Hill library

PUBLISHED: 15:27 07 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:07 07 September 2016

Alan Bennett at Primrose Hill Community library.  picture: Nigel Sutton

Alan Bennett at Primrose Hill Community library. picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A Question and Answer session with playwright Alan Bennett will be broadcast to the nation from Primrose Hill Community Library as part of the BBC’s new arts season.

Alan Bennett at the official opening of Primrose Hill Community library with  Dame Joan Bakewell and library supporters in October 2012Alan Bennett at the official opening of Primrose Hill Community library with Dame Joan Bakewell and library supporters in October 2012

As reported in the Ham&High, longtime resident Mr Bennett, 82, helped to set up the library in Sharpleshall Street which was rescued by campaigners and volunteers after Camden council axed its budget and threatened it with closure in 2012.

The History Boys and The Lady In The Van author is to be the focus of a new film about his life based on his diaries over the past decade which will be followed by a question and answer session to be broadcast live to cinemas throughout Britain on November 16.

Marijke Good, who chairs the library, said: “We are thrilled to host such a high profile event in our library and are so grateful to Alan Bennett for his unwavering support. Long live the library.”

A BBC spokesman said the programme will be: “A candid look into the mind of Alan Bennett, Britain’s best-loved writer, who, at 82, shows no signs of slowing down.

“Inspired by his acerbic and often hilarious diaries, this film shows Bennett as he’s never been seen before - following him to New York, the scene of his early triumph in Beyond The Fringe, to accept an award from the city’s Public Library...to his local community-run library in Primrose Hill which, he despairs, some would rather see turned into a Pizza Hut.”

It will include the premiere of Alan Bennett’s Diaries, a new film about the writer, followed by the Q&A at the library.

Alan Bennett’s Diaries is directed by Bafta and Emmy Award-winning director Adam Low, produced by Martin Rosenbaum for Lone Star Productions, and commissioned for BBC Two by Mark Bell, Head of Arts Commissioning BBC.

The programme will be part of a new BBC2 Saturday night season beginning on October 1.

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