Raised eyebrows, alpacas and gin at the Buckingham Literary Festival

Raised eyebrows, alpacas and gin tasting – not to mention a cornucopia of fascinating speakers – are on offer at the Buckingham Literary Festival this weekend.

By Hannah Richardson
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 12:09 pm

The BuckLitFest got off to a resounding start at the Summer Solstice Spoken Word on Tuesday, June 21, with The Woolpack buzzing with bards and storytellers celebrating the longest day with words and music.

Artists included current Bard of Buckingham Sami Set, special guests Amy Knight, Terrie Howey, Paul Rainey, Danni Antagonist and newcomer Buckingham University alumna Chloe Rispin.

The main takes place this weekend, from Friday, June 24, to Sunday, June 26 – with two exciting new additions to the line-up recently announced.

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TV favourite Nick Hewer is co-hosting the BuckLitFest quiz night

On Saturday, Nick Hewer, star of Countdown and The Apprentice, will join the festival to co-host Quiz Night at 7pm in the Vinson Centre.

Expect raised eyebrows and pithy comment alongside a riot of general knowledge questions, plus a sprinkling of bookish and local ones, both easy and fiendish. Entry is just £5, including a complimentary drink, nibbles and prizes..

Sunday sees the guest appearance of two very special alpacas, courtesy of local farm Alpaca Evolution.

They will lending their furry support to an event from 11am to noon at The Other Place, when author and Michelin-starrred TV chef Glynn Purnell and illustrator Ashley King bring you their second book, Arnold the Alpaca.

Don't miss the launch of the BuckLitFest gin

The picture book is aimed at primary school children and tells the story of Arnold, a very brave alpaca, who mistakenly gets chosen by short-sighted farmer Mr Pickles for his sheep farm. Arnold has to learn how to fit in with the rest of the flock at the farm by using his differences to his advantage. Glynn reads the story and Ashley brings Arnold to life through live drawing at this fun family event.

But before that, there’s a fantastic line-up of events on Friday. Alison Weir opens the festival at 2pm with her latest book, Elizabeth of York: The Last White Rose. At 3.30pm Sinclair McKay argues that to understand the 20th century we need to understand Berlin.

At 5pm Adrian Tinniswood takes us on a wild and sometimes scandalous tour of the English country house, from the Rolling Stones rocking Longleat to Christine Keeler rocking Cliveden.

And then at 7.30pm criminal fiction maestros Louise Candlish and Clare Macintosh reveal the secrets of their success on page and screen.

Real live alpacas will be supporting the Arnold the Alpaca event

And don't miss Gin O'Clock, at 6.15pm on Friday, with the launch of a handcrafted gin created exclusively for the LitFest by local distiller Wharf Distillery. Come and taste the summery tipple - and stay on for the crime event.

There’s even more on offer on Saturday and Sunday with highlights including a sneak peak behind the scenes of Sunday Times bestseller Mick Herron’s life in crime-writing as he discusses thrillers, TV adaptation and more.

Oliver Bullough, journalist and author of the bestselling financial exposé, Moneyland, talks about his latest book, Butler to the World, which argues that few countries now do more to frustrate global anti-corruption efforts than the UK.

For information about the huge programme of events on offer at the BuckLitFest this weekend, and for tickets, see www.bucklitfest.org