When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
A royal insight at new lit-fest
ROYAL reporter and author Robert Hardman will be sharing his unique insight into life at Buckingham Palace at the Chipping Norton Literature Festival as he talks about his Jubilee book Our Queen.
He will be one of more than 50 authors speaking at the town’s first literary festival and will appear alongside high-profile writers Sir Andrew Motion, Mark Billingham, Colin Dexter and Prue Leith at the three-day event which starts today.
For Mr Hardman, who appears on Sunday, it won’t be the first time he’s addressed a west Oxfordshire audience on the subject of the royal family.
He said: “Many years ago I addressed the Witney Conservatives – back in around 2000 – at the invitation of a young David Cameron.
“He is a great Royalist and I interviewed him for my book, and he was really helpful.
“He talked about the time he was a teenager and he camped out for Charles and Diana’s wedding.
“And, of course, he was the man who saved the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday pageant when a few months before the BBC said they weren’t going to televise it.
“A bright young communications executive at Carlton – one David Cameron – stepped in and set the ball rolling and the result was that ITV televised it instead.
“It will be good to be back in the area.”
The town will be transformed into a hive of literary activity and organisers are promising something for everyone.
An interactive ‘twitterfall’ of comments from audience members displayed in the social media corner in the town hall will allow readers and writers to connect through the social networking website using #chiplitfest Festival director Clare Mackintosh said: “We’ve just added crime writer Sophie Hannah.
“We are on track for a great event. All the organisers are working flat out now and we’ve got a brilliant team of volunteers doing some brilliant things.”
She added that events aimed at a younger audience had sold better than some more traditional talks due to the festival’s publicity drive.
Events will be held at the Jaffé & Neale Bookshop and Café, The Chequers, The Methodist Church Hall, The Old Mill and Chipping Norton Library.
For details go to chiplitfest.com John O’Farrell has pulled out of the festival. Ticket-holders can contact the box office for refunds.