Devon book festival announces star-studded line-up including Rick Stein, Michael Morpurgo and Revd Richard Coles

(From left) Robert Harris, Celia Imrie and Revd Richard Coles have all been confirmed for Devon's  Appledore Book Festival 2024
-Credit: (Image: Nick Gregan/Rachell Smith/Natalie Dawkins)

A star-studded line-up has been announced for a popular Devon book festival. Rick Stein, Michael Morpurgo and Revd Richard Coles are among the first names to be confirmed for the 2024 Appledore Book Festival.

Calendar Girls star Celia Imrie - recently cast as Joyce in the forthcoming film adaptation of Richard Osman's Thursday Murder Club - will also appear, as well as Patrick Grant, fashion designer and judge on The Great British Sewing Bee. Organisers have also secured appearances from award-winning novelists Robert Harris and Clare Chambers.

Other big names on the bill are Professor Saul David, military historian and broadcaster, and former Old Bailey judge Wendy Joseph KC. Devon-based writers will include bestselling authors Lesley Pearse and Veronica Henry, cookery writer and debut novelist Orlando Murrin, historian Anthony Tucker-Jones and thatcher Tom Allan.

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The Appledore Book Festival, now in its 18th year, will run between September 13 and 22. The event is mostly organised by volunteers and supported by patrons including award-winning crime author, Ann Cleeves, broadcaster Jeremy Vine, presenter Judi Spiers, and festival founder Nick Arnold, author of the Horrible Science series for children.

Festival director Jane Beaton said: "It is great to be able to share the line-up of authors that we have secured to appear at the festival so far. Even more names will be added to this in the coming weeks, with announcements being made on our social media platforms and website.

"Alongside the main events, an incredible array of fringe events, to suit all ages, have been organised including a fun-filled, and free, family day and much more."

To keep up to date with the events visit the official website at

* A previous version of this story included the incorrect line-up and inaccurately referred to last year's speakers. We apologise for any confusion caused.