HUMAN rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti, comedian Sarah Millican and Bafta-winning broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire are among the names announced for this year’s Ilkley Literature Festival.

Now in its 43rd year, the festival is the longest-running of its kind in the North of England and continues to attract a stellar line-up of authors to the spa town each autumn.

Appearing at the festival for the first time is former director of Liberty and life peer, Baroness Shami Chakrabarti. One of Britain’s leading human rights campaigners, she was a panel member of the Leveson Inquiry in 2011/12 and chaired an inquiry into alleged anti-semitism in the Labour Party last year. Now Shadow Attorney General, Miss Chakrabarti focuses on gender equality in her new book Of Women, released in October, which shines a light on the how gender injustice impacts health, wealth, education, representation, opportunity and security everywhere.

Journalist and broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire will be showcasing her book Dear Cancer, Love Victoria: A Mum’s Diary of Hope, also published in October. The book is a firsthand account of the presenter’s breast cancer journey, from diagnosis through chemotherapy, including the decision to share her experiences in a series of video diaries which have gone on to attract more than 13 million views.

Comedian Sarah Millican became a household name following her appearance at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe when she won the award for Best Newcomer. Her first book, How to be Champion: An Autobiography, is released in October and the comic and writer will be in Ilkley with an event that is billed as a “heartfelt and humorous glimpse into her life”.

Returning to Ilkley is one of the UK’s most well respected economic and political journalists, Evan Davis, who will be discussing his most recent book Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullsh**t and What We Can Do About It. The third book from the current presenter of the BBC’s Newsnight is a humorous look at the birth and proliferation of ‘fake news’ in the time of Brexit and Trump.

Ilkley Literature Festival director Rachel Feldberg said: “It’s with great pleasure that we announce the first four names appearing at this year’s festival. A diverse quartet of writers, each a leading light in their field, it’s fantastic that Ilkley continues to be a magnet for such brilliant national names, industry professionals and cultural trailblazers.”

This year’s festival, from September 29 to October 15, features more than 200 events. The full programme will be announced next month and tickets will go on sale August 29.

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