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Four top level speakers will appear at Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival’s Spring Weekend on Friday 11th March and Saturday 12th March.


The programme of events will include BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Justin Webb, broadcaster and food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, journalist turned palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke, and broadcaster and filmmaker David Olusoga OBE.


The multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be talking about a career spent championing good food and the success story that is River Cottage. His campaigns have included highlighting over-fishing, promoting healthy eating and fighting waste, and overuse of plastic. He is the author of many acclaimed cookery books and his broadcasting has earned him a BAFTA .


Justin Webb, the award-winning former BBC US correspondent and now longest serving Today programme presenter, will be discussing his fascinating autobiography, The Gift of a Radio. Subtitled My Childhood and Other Train Wrecks, it is a portrait of personal and national dysfunction, drawing on themes of mental health, masculinity, grief, childhood guilt and what privilege looks like.


Dr Rachel Clarke, best-selling author of Dear Life and Breathless, is the former journalist turned palliative care doctor who has written movingly about the impact caring for Covid patients has had on healthcare staff. Few are better placed to take a view on what a future currently-underfunded NHS might and should look like.


Broadcaster and filmmaker David Olusoga OBE is one of the best-known faces on our screens today and has done an enormous amount to raise awareness of racism and our colonial past. His most recent TV series include Empire, Black and British: A Forgotten History, The World’s War, A House Through Time and the BAFTA winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners. He will be talking to Justin Webb about his book, Black and British, which has also been adapted for children


All events will take place at St Peter’s Church Budleigh Salterton, and tickets cost £12, with a special Weekend Ticket available – all four events for £40. For more information and to book tickets:


The weekend will also see the launch of the Festival’s Books for Kids 2022 fundraising campaign aimed at supporting literacy that has been impacted upon so badly due to Covid restrictions and lost school days. Responding to research that suggests 1 in 11 children in deprived areas have no book at home at all, the Festival is asking people to donate anything from as little as £5 and it will give a free book to as many children as it can.


Annie Ashworth, Artistic Director of Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, says: ‘We are so excited to be offering our audiences a spring treat with four leading speakers. We are especially pleased to be launching our Books for Kids 2022 fundraiser. Through this campaign we will supply a free book to children who have fallen behind in their reading skills. The campaign will enable as many school-aged children, regardless of family income, to have a book at home.’


‘Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is a charity, and one of its aims is to be inclusive and encourage a lifelong love of reading. We’re really pleased to launch our fundraiser at our Spring Festival and support as many people as possible.’

Image: Justin Webb will be a Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival’s Spring Weekend