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Top UK broadcaster and writer added to literature festival line-up

17 September 2018

Stuart Maconie.

Another famous name has been added to the line-up for next month's Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival.

At 7pm on Wednesday, 17 October 2018, writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie will be sharing stories and insights from his retracing of the famous Jarrow March, as explored in his latest book Long Road from Jarrow: A Journey Through Britain Then and Now.

Stuart is familiar to millions for his work in print, on radio and television. His previous bestsellers have included Cider with Roadies, Pies and Prejudice and Adventures on the High Teas. He hosts the afternoon show on BBC Radio 6 Music with Mark Radcliffe.

His latest book recounts how in the autumn of 1936, 200 men from the Tyneside town of Jarrow marched 300 miles to London in protest against the destruction of their towns and industries - 80 years on, Stuart walked from north to south retracing their route. From choral evensong to curry house, from austerity to affluence and from Wearside to Westminster, the evening at St Chad's Parish Church in Rochdale promises an entertaining, impassioned and enlightening journey through Britain, then and now.

The festival which runs from Monday, 15 October 2018 to Monday, 22 October 2018 also features poet Simon Armitage CBE, BBC presenter and triathlete Louise Minchin, actress, author and presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE, author and poet Gervase Phinn and women's rights activist Dr Helen Pankhurst. The Mad Theatre Company will present their latest play – an irreverent and heart-warming look back at what life was probably like in the North West a hundred years ago. Plus an assistant BBC producer will be providing tips on getting your script commissioned for television or radio in a 'BBC Writersroom' event.

'International names from theatre, comedy, poetry, workshops and more'

Over 1000 tickets have already been sold for our annual festival which covers drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts and children's shows. For young people aged 14 to 25, there's a series of 'Generation Z' events.

There are over 35 events in 15 venues during the festival, plus preview events earlier in October 2018.

Councillor Janet Emsley, our Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Community and Culture said:

"With just under a month to go we've already sold well over 1000 tickets, make sure you check out the website and book your tickets. I'm excited to welcome all the performers and audiences to Rochdale this October. We have a packed programme - an amazing combination of international names from theatre, comedy, poetry, workshops and more."

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.


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