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Smithdown LitFest 2023 reveals stellar line-up


Liverpool screenwriter Tony Schumacher and TV star Chris Tarrant are among the names lined up for this year’s Smithdown LitFest.

Dickens’ great, great, great granddaughter Lucinda Hawksley, and Brookside and Grange Hill favourite George Christopher will also appear at the event which runs from September 17-23.

The LitFest, now in its seventh year, was founded by Ian Skillicorn, who runs his own independent publishing company, and whose family connections to the Smithdown Road area go back to the 1800s.

It is organised through a not-for-profit community interest company called Great Ideas Unlimited and everyone involved in organising the annual event does so as an unpaid volunteer.

Proceeds from this year's event will go to Smithdown in Bloom.

The 2023 festival opens on September 17 when artist Fran Disley, author of Talk to the Garden, hosts an afternoon Pavement Plant Workshop at Dead Ink Books in Smithdown Road.

George Christopher, who played Ziggy in Grange Hill and Little Jimmy in Brookside, appears at Toxteth Library on September 18.

Dead Ink Books also plays host to author Jude Lennon on September 19 who will lead storytelling for pre-schoolers.

And on Wednesday, September 20, there’s a chance to take part in the Smithdown LitFest Great Big Quiz at the Black Cat Bar and Bottle Shop.

The Responder screenwriter Tony Schumacher appears at Sefton Park Palm House on September 21, while on September 22 there are two festival events – children’s storytelling with Jude Lennon at So Curious in Smithdown Road and Lucinda Hawksley talking about Charles Dickens and Travel at St Barnabas Church in Penny Lane.

The festival concludes on September 23 with two events at Ullet Road Unitarian Church featuring Chris Tarrant – an afternoon with TV producer Tony Nicholson, talking about Great British TV Quiz Shows and complete with the final of the LitFest quiz with Tarrant as quizmaster, and an evening with the Tiswas and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? star as he talks about 50 years in showbiz.

Ian Skillicorn said: “We're delighted to welcome these fantastic guests to Liverpool. Come along to enjoy our special events and at the same time you'll be supporting the ongoing transformation of Smithdown Road.”

Festival patron, crime author Margaret Murphy, added: “The Smithdown Litfest is for those who are passionate about books and those who are just starting on their journey as readers, it's for proud locals, and for visitors exploring our special corner of south Liverpool.”

Smithdown LitFest 2023 runs from September 17-23. Event and ticket details HERE


Image of Lucinda Hawksley by John Quintero

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