Blenheim Palace Literary Festival announces partnership with ITV

Julian FellowesA new partnership between Blenheim Palace Literary Festival and ITV will see the UK’s most watched commercial broadcaster host a special programme of events at this year’s festival including the premiere a new film followed by a Q&A with the presenter of the film, Julian Fellowes, pictured.

In ITV’s Great War House, Julian Fellowes will take viewers inside Blenheim Palace and into its archives to deliver a vivid account of how one of the greatest ancestral homes in England is intertwined with the history of the First World War.

The creator of Downton Abbey speaks to relatives of people who lived and worked there, from both above and below stairs, and experts to build a picture of the profound impact the war had on Blenheim and its inhabitants, many of whom left to fight as the Palace became a temporary hospital.

Revealing tales of heroism and tragedy, triumph and disaster, involving a range of figures from Lady Sarah Wilson to Winston Churchill, to their footmen, Fellowes’s film provides an insight into how war disrupted the old order and ushered in a new era – and how the Blenheim estate was managed in the aftermath to defy the odds and remain intact to this day.

The film is executive produced by Alan Brown and made by Chocolate Media and will premiere at the festival on September 28 before its transmission on ITV, later this year.

Alongside this event, Kate Brooke, writer and executive producer of ITV’s period drama Mr Selfridge, will be joined by cast members from the show including Trystan Gravelle (who plays Victor Colleano) and Amy Morgan (who plays Grace Calthrope) on September 28 to discuss the process of writing for television and how these words are turned into popular performances by the actors.

ITV director of factual Richard Klein said: “ITV Factual celebrates great storytelling, as does the Blenheim Palace Literary Festival, and we are delighted to be partnering with this year’s festival, for a screening of our forthcoming film, Great War House.”

Director of Blenheim Palace Literary Festival, Sally Dunsmore, said: “The festival has gone from strength to strength over the last few years attracting increasingly large audiences as well as high-profile speakers and events. We look forward to working with ITV in a new partnership that will enable us to extend our reach and introduce our programme to new audiences across the UK.”