Latest News | 10 May 2023

Political heavyweight to open book festival

Derby Theatre
Geldards Law Firm
Annie's Burger Shack
QUAD Derby
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Political commentator Alastair Campbell is set to open this year’s Derby Book Festival with an event that will see him in conversation with Marketing Derby managing director John Forkin.

Taking place at Derby Theatre at 10am on Friday 19 May, the event, which is sponsored by Geldards, will see Mr Campbell interviewed by Mr Forkin about his new book, ‘But What Can I Do?’.

Mr Campbell is an author, political commentator, strategist and now, probably best known as the co-host of the chart-topping podcast, The Rest is Politics.

Mr Forkin said: “Marketing Derby is a big supporter of the Derby Book Festival, which is fast becoming one of the best in the country.

“We sponsor a business-focused event each year and this year our City Lab will be hosting a children’s book drop as a fringe event.

“The opening session with Alastair Campbell is a real coup and I know people will be informed and entertained.

“He’s a passionate character, who remains central to public discourse via his brilliant podcast with Rory Stewart, and I’m really looking forward to a wide-ranging and entertaining conversation.”

The Alastair Campbell session is the first of more than 50 exciting and wide-ranging events at the eighth Derby Book Festival, which takes place from 19 to 27 May.

Tickets are selling fast and can be obtained from the box office at Derby Theatre.

Other highlights include appearances by multi-million-selling novelist, John Boyne, whose novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is now a children’s classic.

There will also be appearances by Children’s Laureate, poet and author Joseph Coelho and award-winning author Lesley Parr.

The festival will also welcome Robert Hardman, royal correspondent of the Daily Mail and formerly of the Daily Telegraph, who will talk about his definitive biography of the Queen.

Marketing Derby’s book festival event will see Formula One journalist and presenter Lee McKenzie speak at Annie’s Burger Shack about her new book called Inside F1.

Taking place from 4.15pm to 6pm at the Friary Street venue, Lee will discuss her book, which gives the inside track of the careers of some of F1’s top drivers.

Liz Fothergill CBE, chair of Derby Book Festival, said: “We are delighted with this year’s programme, which includes our usual wide range of subjects to appeal to all ages and interests.

“Our schools programme, which is always a highlight, will welcome three awe-inspiring authors and we anticipate that over 12,000 pupils will take part in these events.”

Tickets can be obtained from box offices at QUAD, Derby Theatre and Déda for events they are hosting.

Alternatively, visit the Derby Book Festival website at .

You can book tickets for the Alastair Campbell event here .

The Lee McKenzie event is free to Marketing Derby Bondholders

For more information about the event visit and to book places contact Lindsey Hatfield at

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