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Book Festival Promises to Be Ab Fab

Published on: 16 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 18 Oct, 2013
Creative director Jim Parks speaking at festival reception. Photo - Rachael Lowndes

Creative director Jim Parks speaking at festival reception. Photo – Rachael Lowndes

By Dani Maimone

If Saturday’s launch was anything to go by this year’s Guildford Book Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

With a new Creative Director, Jim Parks at the helm, the line up is extensive and varied with something to appeal to all age groups. He said: “This year we have over 80 authors with 60 events in 13 different venues around Guildford over the next two weeks, so it’s going to be a book clubbers paradise.”

The festival kicked off at G Live with an intimate drinks reception attended by special guests including trustee Cllr Jennifer Powell and Patron Michael Buerk.

Festival patron Michael Buerk with his wife Christine and Nigel Roby, MD of The Bookseller Group. Photo - Rachael Lowndes

Festival patron Michael Buerk with his wife Christine and Nigel Roby, MD of The Bookseller Group. Photo – Rachael Lowndes

A special evening with one of the UK’s iconic comedienne’s Jennifer Saunders in conversation with her editor, followed. The much loved comedienne introduced her recently published autobiography Bonkers and reflected on a life and career which has taken her from Comic Strip and French & Saunders to Bolly-swilling Edina in Absolutely Fabulous.

Jennifer Saunders in appreciation of her audience at G Live. Photo: Rachael Lowndes

Jennifer Saunders in appreciation of her audience at G Live. Photo: Rachael Lowndes

Almost 450 people attended Jennifer’s show enjoying the wonderful story of her extraordinary life including her childhood on RAF bases where her father was a pilot and her life-changing encounter with a young Dawn French. It is an extraordinary story ,  funny, touching and disarmingly honest,  told in her own inimitable style. Audiences were clamouring to meet her afterwards and the signing queue snaked through the building long after she came off stage.

Jennifer meeting her admiring fans during the book signing. Photo - Rachael Lowndes

Jennifer meeting her admiring fans during the book signing. Photo – Rachael Lowndes

Festival director Jim Parks added: “I’m thrilled that the town and county have supported the festival so enthusiastically. We’ve got such an impressive and varied line-up of talent coming that I can only reiterate my belief that there is something for everyone and you’d be mad to miss out.

“Saturday night’s launch event with Jennifer Saunders was a tremendous success. She was every bit as hilarious as expected. The enjoyment of the evening was evident, as hundreds of people queued to get their book signed. This is only just the beginning so get online, get on the phone, get your tickets booked.”

The Festival starts in earnest tomorrow October 17 and runs until Sunday, October 27. Participants can expect to see and meet household names such as Matt Dawson, Pam Ayres, Ian Botham and Mark Watson, as well as internationally bestselling authors including Kate Mosse, Joanne Harris, Penny Vincenzi, Conn Iggulden, Peter James, Sebastian Faulks and Joanna Trollope.

Events include a Where’s Wally hunt for children in and around Guildford High Street in addition to one dedicated to Dr Who. There will be interviews, topical debates, shows, cake, cocktails and even a literary lunch, organisers are hoping to attract audiences from across the region.

To purchase tickets, get the latest news and sign up to our newsletter, log on to www.guildfordbookfestival.co.uk for details.

Box Offices: www.guildfordbookfestival.co.uk  Tel: 01483 444789/ 444334
Twitter: @gfordbookfest
Facebook: facebook.com/guildfordbookfestival

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