Packed programme for Best of British Festival

Robert Hardy will be visiting Winchester to take part in The Churchill Letters

Martin Jarvis will take part in a live recording of Just William at the Theatre Royal in Winchester

Michael Grade will be one of several media moguls taking part in a major debate at Winchester Guildhall

Dame Judi Dench will be at Winchester Guildhall on Saturday, June 9

First published in Arts Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by

MORE details have been revealed about new events being planned in Winchester for the new Best of British Festival.

It will run throughout the summer, linking together a host of high profile attractions that are already firm favourites.

They include the Hat Fair and Winchester Festival, but several new events are also being planned.

The Best of British Festival aims to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the arrival of the Olympic Games.

The curtain-raiser will be Any Questions to the Broadcasters at Winchester Guildhall at 6pm on Friday, May 25.

It will bring together a panel of top television chiefs, with Michael Grade already confirmed and more names to come.

Then on Saturday, May 26, Claire Tomalin will talk about her new biography of Charles Dickens at 6pm in the guildhall.

The following day at 5.30pm in the Theatre Royal, there will be a live BBC Radio recording of Just William with Martin Jarvis.

Then at 6pm on Monday, May 28 in the guildhall, Field Marshal Lord Vincent will give his expert views on the military.

The same venue will then host Robert Hardy and Celia Sandys at 6pm on Thursday, May 31 to read The Churchill Letters.

They will read excerpts of the letters between Winston and Clementine Churchill from the early to mid 20th century.

P D James and Ruth Rendell will then visit the guildhall at 6pm on Friday, June 1 for an event entitled Queens of Crime.

The authors, who are close friends, will discuss their stories and famous characters, and book signings are also planned.

Closing the early part of the programme will be And Furthermore with Judi Dench.

The actress, who has agreed to be festival patron, will be returning to Winchester on Saturday, June 9.

She will be in discussion with biographer, John Miller, who is also the festival’s artistic director, from 6pm onwards.

Further events are still being planned. Tickets for all the shows listed above can be bought at the Theatre Royal box office on 01962 840440 while stocks last.

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