Tickets on general release from 26 August

There’s much excitement as the line-up for this year’s Bridport Literary Festival was announced.

Stars from stage and screen join top names in literature for the 18th BridLit, which takes place from 6-12 November.

Actors Dame Sheila Hancock and Hugh Bonneville add their weight to an incredible line-up, which includes award winning novelists Maggie O’Farrell and Kit de Waal, travel writer Colin Thubron, environmental activist George Monbiot, singer songwriter Polly Harvey, politicians David Owen and Chris Patten, war correspondent Jeremy Bowen, Today presenter Justin Webb, veteran broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, gardener and novelist Alan Titchmarsh and celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

‘It’s an exciting programme, fitting for our coming-of-age year,’ said festival director Tanya Bruce-Lockhart. ‘The team is really looking forward to bringing together these high calibre speakers to Bridport.’

Sponsored by Dorset law firm Kitson & Trotman, Bridport Literary Festival will host events at The Electric Palace, The Bull Hotel, Sladers Yard in West Bay, The Tithe Barn at Symondsbury, Bridport Library, The Sir John Colfox Academy and The Book Shop in South Street.

‘Last year was a bumper year for BridLit,’ Tanya said. ‘We were delighted to see so many of our Friends and supporters at events which attracted large audiences from all corners of the county and much further afield. This year we’re hosting an even larger programme which will appeal to all tastes, as well as to children and young people.’

Information about all the events is now on the website, with priority booking to Friends of Bridport Literary Festival. General booking opens from 26 August at Bridport Tourist Information Centre, in Bucky Doo Square (telephone 01308 424901 and email and online at, when printed programmes will be available. Please don’t contact the TIC until 26 August – good things come to those who wait.

Friends of the Bridport Literary Festival receive an advance copy of the festival brochure, priority booking of tickets, free postal booking and no booking fee, regular Friends events and gatherings, an annual Friends’ party, a twice-yearly newsletter and an opportunity to get involved.

Said Tanya: ‘The Friends of The Bridport Literary Festival was formed to bring together all those who enjoy reading and love literature all the year round. Becoming a Friend is one of the ways to support the festival in attracting writers of excellence of both fiction and non-fiction and encourage them to West Dorset to talk about their work.’

For more information on becoming a Friend, visit

Highlights this year include Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville in conversation with Julian Fellowes, Sheila Hancock’s gloriously irreverent memoir and Dorset’s own PJ Harvey on her book Orlam, a poem-sequence of light and shadow and written in Dorset dialect.

Debut novelist Joanna Quinn, whose Dorset-based novel, The Whalebone Theatre, is receiving rave reviews, joins a stellar line up of authors including Kit de Waal, and her childhood memoir of her Irish, Caribbean and British upbringing in 1960s Birmingham, and Maggie O’ Farrell on her new novel, the renaissance thriller The Marriage Portrait.

Poetry, children’s events, politics, journalism, environmentalism, travel and nature writing are all represented at the festival.

You can follow BridLit on Facebook – – on Twitter @BridLitFestival and on Instagram as @bridlitfestival