Jeremy Paxman and Nigella Lawson confirmed

Nigella LawsonFood writer and broadcaster Nigella Lawson and the legendary BBC interviewer Jeremy Paxman are to speak at this year’s festival.

Lawson, pictured right, and the doyenne of Italian cookery Anna del Conte will join forces to explore the art of food writing and reflect on their fascinating lives and careers.

Lawson recently paid tribute to del Conte in a BBC documentary, The Cook Who Changed our Lives.

Jeremy PaxmanMeanwhile, Paxman, Britain’s bravest and most incisive interviewer, pictured left, makes what is certain to be a popular return to the festival to talk about ‘post-truth politics’ and the art of the interviewer.

Former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine speaks about the evolution of the garden at his Thenford estate.

Tickets are already selling fast for the festival, which includes appearances by novelists Hilary Mantel,  Vikram Seth, Alexander McCall Smith, Paul Auster and William Boyd; poet Simon Armitage; Nobel-winning scientist Paul Nurse; international cellist Steven Isserlis; actors Toby Jones and Simon Callow; and Olympic gold medal-winning athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.

The 2017 festival takes place between Saturday March 25 and Sunday April 2. You can book online on this website, at our new telephone box office on 0333 666 3366*, or in person at Oxford Visitor Information Centre*, Broad Street, Oxford.

* A £1.50 agent’s booking fee applies to all bookings made by phone and at the visitor information centre.

Creative writing course returns

The festival sees the return of our popular one-day writing course, this year titled Only Connect: A One-Day Writing Workshop.

Designed by and featuring two professional writers with long experience of teaching at university level, Jem Poster and Sarah Burton, the programme will address the writer’s art and craft in practical and thought-provoking ways, involving both writing and the discussion of writing.