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And finally … broadcaster joins Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival line-up

15 August 2019

John Craven.

Another famous name is heading to Rochdale this autumn.

Television presenter, journalist, author and national treasure John Craven will be appearing at Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival.

John will be talking about his recently published autobiography, 'Headlines and Hedgerows', which recounts the highs and lows of one of the longest broadcast careers in history, as well as the people, family and animals in his life that have shaped it.

He is perhaps best known as the presenter and editor of the hugely popular John Craven's Newsround, which established him as a household name spanning 2 generations. John spent 17 years with Newsround, and has since reached new audiences hosting the hugely popular BBC1 series Countryfile for almost 3 decades. His other numerous other television credits include Swap Shop, Castles in the Country, Songs of Praise, Beat The Brain, Heritage Heroes and many more.

From leaving school at 16, to 5 decades presenting 2 iconic BBC programmes, his talk at Rochdale Sixth Form College Theatre promises to be a fascinating insight into the remarkable life and career memories of one of the all-time greats. John was awarded an OBE in the millennium honours list for services to broadcasting, and in 1996 the Royal Television Society appointed him a member of its Hall of Fame in recognition of an outstanding contribution to British television.

'Much loved broadcaster'

The Rochdale festival also features the previously announced feel-good fiction writer Milly Johnson, Gogglebox star and broadcaster Reverend Kate Bottley, children's author and television presenter Konnie Huq, author and activist Erin Ekins, international bestselling crime author and poet Sophie Hannah, popular children's authors Harry Heape and Hannah Lee, as well as award winning illustrator Olivia Lomenech Gill.

Tickets are now on sale, with up to 25 per cent off until 4pm on Tuesday, 27 August 2019. You can also book and collect tickets in person from Touchstones in Rochdale. 

This year there are over 30 events in 10 venues from Monday, 14 October to Monday, 21 October 2019 during our festival, plus preview events earlier in October. (Preview events excluded from the early bird offer)

Events will cover drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts and children's shows. For young people aged 14 to 25, there will be a programme of events covering arts, culture and politics relevant to Generation Z.

Councillor Janet Emsley, our cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture said:

"We're proud of this year's line-up and much loved broadcaster John Craven is an exciting addition. This festival is now firmly established on the calendar and continues to attract high calibre guests. Our early bird offer is already proving popular, so please do book early – we have hundreds of tickets reduced until 27 August, making us one of the most affordable literature festivals, too."

The festival is aimed at celebrating and promoting the Maskew Collection of classic literature and philosophy at Rochdale Central Library, encouraging people to engage with books and ideas. Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, met in Rochdale Library in the 1950s and left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

Printed programmes are released later this month.

The festival is organised by us, supported by the Maskew Bequest and sponsored by creative digital media company - JGM Agency, The Royal Toby and Rochdale Sixth Form College.