Arts & Culture

Known names are known because they have made it - onto television, radio, and into the newspapers - and each year, we have a number of these in Swindon. This year’s Swindon Festival of Literature, which takes place from May 4 to May 16 is no exception, writes festival director Matt Holland.

Appearing on 1 3 May is Rory Bremner, who will doubtless provide post-election impressions that satirise prominent politicians and hold them humorously to account .

Radio 4 presenter and author Sandi Toksvig will quip her way for an hour on stage at the Wyvern on 5 May.

And Nell McAndrew will skip her way round lydiard Park on the 4 May before giving a talk on the joys of running.

But hidden in the pages of the festival programme are a host of other fascinating events, with authors you may never have heard of, but are just waiting to be found by the discerning reader.

For example, on 5 May at the Arts Centre, three mothers who are successful authors and who have disproved the notion that having children stops you writing, will be telling how they did it and present samples of their work .

On 7 May at the same venue, there is a Festival first: a book about boxing. london-based author Anna Whitwham will be in conversation with Swindon-based trainer of boxers Paddy Fitzpatrick. This event offers an insight into the philosophy of this noble art.

Talking of art, with culture-loving Swindonians getting excited about the possible creation of a cultural quarter in town, it’s timely that two eminent lovers of the arts, Robert Hewison and Julian Spalding, will be addressing key questions at the Arts Centre on 1 2 May.

And on 15th, Suzannah lipscomb, right, a fine philosopher who defies stereotype, will address the question of how we think about things today.

Earlier the same day, zoologist Jules Howard will be explaining how a thousand million years ago, life on Earth suddenly became more interesting, colourful, and combative, thanks to sex!

These are just some of the fascinating non¬≠ celebrity surprises at this year’s festival. The full programme is available in Swindon libraries or by contacting 01793 771080,

See the full festival line-up at .uk