#FestivalFever is heating up again! So far we have announced Special Guests, Lee Child, Kathy Reichs and Ian Rankin, Peter May in conversation with Stuart MacBride, the first of our 2017 Panel Events VERA! and most recently announced is Special Guest Arne Dahl! Now,  it’s time to reveal TWO guests who will be in conversation…and we’re very excited!

The first of these Special Guests is a writer, director and literary curator. As well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Commissioning Editor for Arts at BBC Radio 4, he is also the author of The Grantchester Mysteries! This leads us nicely into the second part of this announcement.

This Special Guest was born in Hexham, Northumberland, and is one of the best known faces on British television. He appears on over 300 hours’ worth of film, most importantly, the hit detective drama series, Grantchester.

This week we are pleased to announce 2017 Special Guests…

James Runcie in conversation with Robson Green!

James was born in 1959, educated at Marlborough College, Cambridge University and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He was a founder member of The Late Show, and made documentary films for the BBC for fifteen years. He then went freelance to make programmes for Channel 4 and ITV. He was Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival from 2010-2013, and Head of Literature at the Southbank Centre in London from 2013-2015.

The six-part ITV series Grantchester is based on The Grantchester Mysteries, a sequence of novels Runcie began to write five years ago. He told the Guardian “I didn’t intend them to be a fictionalised, alternative biography of my father – and I still hope they aren’t – but one cannot easily escape a strong paternal influence.” In the drama series, Robson Green plays the role of policeman and family man Geordie, an overworked Detective Inspector whose methods of fighting crime are a little rough around the edges.

Joining James Runcie will be one of the stars of Grantchester, Robson Green who plays Geordie Keating. Robson has been an actor for the last 30 years and has starred in a great many TV dramas including Strike Back, Wire in the Blood ( based on the Val McDermid Novels)  and Touching Evil to name but a few. Robson is also a presenter on his very successful show Extreme Fishing with Robson Green and Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing Challenge. Born in Dudley, Northumberland, after an apprenticeship at Swan Hunters, Robson  knew very early on that acting was for him, he went to the Backworth drama group and was encouraged by Max Roberts to pursue acting as his career. Robson also had chart success with his acting friend Jerome Flynn when the topped the charts in 1990’s.

Outside of the Grantchester Xmas special which aired in December 2016 Robson will be seen in the third season of Grantchester which is due out this year, as well as presenting a new series for ITV called Tales from the Coast and a new Fishing series for the Travel Channel called Robson Green’s Grand Slam.

* Robson Green’s appearance will be subject to filming commitments.


Festival Focus:


Weekend and Day Rovers will be on sale from January 23rd. 

Treat yourself to either a Weekend or Day Rover, save money and immerse yourself in the world of crime…

  • Access to all Festival events*.
  • Delicious lunches at the Old Swan Hotel on Friday/Saturday
  • A complimentary Festival goody bag

* excludes Author Dinner & Dead Good Reader Awards


The line-up so far…