SALLY Wainwright, Baroness Warsi and Harriet Harman are taking centre stage at Ilkley Literature Festival’s Spring Series.

Ahead of the festival this October, organisers are presenting three special spring events, starting on Wednesday, April 19 with Yorkshire screenwriter Sally Wainwright talking about her work and her love of the Brontës.

Former chairman of the Conservative Party, Baroness Warsi, follows on Thursday, April 20 and Former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman brings the series to a close on Tuesday, May 9.

In a collaboration with the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Sally Wainwright will discuss her career and her TV drama To Walk Invisible. Sally, whose TV dramas include Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax, will be in conversation with Ann Dinsdale, principal curator at the Parsonage, discussing their mutual fascination with the Brontes and the months of work that went into To Walk Invisible, which focused on Charlotte, Emily and Anne’s journey to get published, and Branwell’s battles with addiction.

The event is part of the Bronte200 celebrations, currently focused on the life of Branwell Bronte.

Dewsbury-born Baroness Warsi, who was Britain’s first Muslim cabinet minister, will discuss her new book, The Enemy Within, exploring British attitudes and policy towards Islam and unpicks the challenges for British Muslims with brutal honesty.

Harriet Harman will discuss her new book, A Woman’s Work, talking about everything from campaigning with small children to increasing the number of women in Parliament.

Festival director Rachel Feldberg said: “With the Spring Series we’re giving audiences a hit of Festival action to keep them going until October, with three fascinating speakers.

“We’re delighted to be working with the Brontë Parsonage Museum on the Sally Wainwright event which celebrates some of the region’s greatest writing talents, both historic and contemporary. To Walk Invisible was one of the highlights of the festive period. We know people will be very excited to hear more about the production, and its inspiration, from the leading name in British television.”

“In Harriet Harman and Baroness Warsi we have two very different women who have both been at the forefront of British political life. With neither afraid to hold back, these events are sure to provoke strong opinions and inspire debate!”

Ilkley Literature Festival have announced a new headline sponsor partnership with McCarthy and Stone, builders of retirement properties.

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