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Lord David Owen, Blenheim Literary Festival, Oxford

******** This guy’s a hearthrob. No question of that. Like a very British - though ageing - George Clooney or Jean-Paul Belmondo.
And that’s remarkable because -
1.  Lord David Owen is a politician
2. He must be in his Eighties
3. Oh, did I say he’s a politician?
Charm just oozes out of him; a little more and he’d be Eamon Holmes; a little less and he’d be Phillip Schofield.
But admirably he hasn’t let his matinee idol good looks and ‘purr-fect’ oration distract his clearly brilliant brain from working.
Which is why he’s just appeared at the Festival to discuss his latest book “Cabinet’s Finest Hour: The Hidden Agenda of May 1940’ in which he tells the story of the pivotal coalition war cabinet meetings held in the Spring of that year.
It was a brilliant discussion, hosted by journalist Peter Hennessy and such was the quality of their conversation, I wished they’d stayed all afternoon.
But hey, that wasn’t to be.
Nevertheless, it was undoubtedly the current highlight of this year’s event (and to think I didn’t even really want to go… I mean - political history, come on?).
With an entry price of £12, the festival organisers were giving it away, reflected by the full audience.
Though honestly, they could have made better provision for some of the swooning blue rinses.

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Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock

Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature Film & Music 2018 partners & sponsors

Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock