Big names set to appear at Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival

THE second Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival – jointly organised by the Ham&High and the London Jewish Cultural Centre – kicks off on Sunday and boasts 50 events over three days with 78 authors.

Almost 1,800 tickets have already flown out of the door, and several events are already sold out. But there’s still time to book for some fascinating line ups. Highlights include:


• At 11am John Lanchester discusses his accessible book on the global financial crisis Whoops! With the BBC’s ever capable economics editor Stephanie Flanders.

• At 12.15pm a panel of experts including novelists Joanna Briscoe, Louise Doughty and Andrew O’Hagan, and UCL English professor John Mullan discuss their choices of the “Ten Books to Read Before You Die.”

• At 12.30pm veteran actor Ron Moody, famed for playing Fagin in the classic film Oliver, talks about his long career and newly published memoir A Still Untitled (Not Quite) Autobiography.

• At 3.30pm award winning investigative journalist Zaiba Malik talks to Guardian columnist Tanya Gold about her memoir of growing up a British Muslim in the 70s and 80s – We Are A Muslim Please.

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• At 5.30pm actress and quick witted Loose Women panellist Lynda Bellingham recounts the ups and downs of her career and love life as revealed in her recent autobiography Lost And Found.

• At 6pm Camden Town actor Simon Callow talks about his part memoir My Life In Pieces – a collection of his journalist writings bound together with autobiographical details and incisive portraits of the performers who have inspired him.

• At 7pm hugely popular novelist Joanna Trollope talks about her latest novel – set in Highgate – The Other Family.


• At 11am Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas discuss their phenomenal cupcake business The Primrose Hill Bakery which supplies beautifully decorated buns to the rich and famous.

• At 7pm art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon gives an illustrated talk on the dark and dangerous life of Renaissance painter Caravaggio as told in his new book A Life Sacred and Profane.

• Also at 7pm The Other Hand novelist Chris Cleave talks about the runaway success of his book.

• Again at 7pm TV child psychologist Professor Tanya Byron and Fiona Millar, former press secretary to Cherie Blair, talk about women’s experiences of juggling home, work and childcare.


• At 11am Daisy Hay reveals the heady idealism and complex personal relationships between Shelley, Byron, their wives and lovers, as told in her book Young Romantics.

• Also at 11am feminist social researcher Kate Figes talks to Suzanne Franks – the author of A Parents Guide to the New Teenager about modern relationships and family life as told in her recent book Couples: The Truth.

• Again at 11am husband and wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French – who write successful crime novels under the pen name Nicci French, talk about working with your spouse and writing as a pair.

• Continuing the crime theme, at 12.30pm Jane Robins talks about her pacy true crime book The Magnificent Spilsbury And The Case Of The Brides In The Bath, which unearths the birth of forensic science and a gruesome case of an Edwardian bigamist who drowned his wives.

• At 7pm disgraced MP and bestselling novelist Jeffrey Archer talks about his eventful life and latest volume of short stories And Thereby Hangs A Tale.

o All events take place at Ivy House, North End Road, Golders Green. or call 020-8511 7900.