Darcey Bussell and Nicholas Crane added to festival line-up

Darcey BussellDarcey Bussell, one of Britain’s greatest ballerinas and now a judge on the BBC’s primetime Saturday night show Strictly Come Dancing, appears at this year’s Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature Film & Music.

Bussell, pictured right, will talk about her life and career at Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and on the international stage and about her recent experience as a judge on the BBC show.

Meanwhile, presenter of the BBC’s Coast, Nicholas Crane, pictured below left, will talk about his latest book, The Making of the British Landscape: From the Ice Age to the Present.

Nicholas CraneOther speakers announced earlier this summer include former Labour Foreign Secretary and founder of the SDP Lord David Owen; former Labour MP and investigative journalist Chris Mullin; acclaimed US chef Jeremiah Tower; garden designers to Prince Charles, Isabel and Julian Bannerman, who will talk to actor Richard E Grant; and popular entertainer Nicholas Parsons.

Acclaimed actor and writer Simon Callow will talk about his fascination with biography and his fellow human beings, and in particular with the life of one man, the film-maker Orson Welles.

Callow will also join jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth for Shakespeare And All That Jazz, a celebration of the Bard in words and music.

Other new speakers include thriller writer Felix Francis; biographers Richard Holmes, Paula Byrne, Matthew Dennison and Brendan King, and art historian and broadcaster Dr Janina Ramirez.

Most events have been added to the programme and booking is open.

Tickets are on sale for confirmed events through the website. A telephone box office 0333 666 3366 is open Monday-Saturday, and a walk-in box office is open all week at Oxford Visitor Information Centre, Broad Street (an agents’ booking fee of £1.50 will be added to all telephone and walk-in sales).

Remember: your ticket includes entry to the palace gardens and grounds on the day of the event (price normally £14.90).