Famous names lining up Devizes Festival

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Jenny Eclair, stand-up veteran and former I’m A Celebrity... contestant Jenny Eclair, stand-up veteran and former I’m A Celebrity... contestant

Devizes Festival 2014 gets under way on June 4, with two-and-a-half weeks of first class entertainment and arts events.

Among the famous names taking part this year are comedian Jenny Eclair, who is at the Corn Exchange on Wednesday, June 4, in a touring show called Eclairious.

Ms Eclair is a veteran of the stand-up circuit, being the first woman to win a coveted Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival.

Following her performance, she will sign copies of her books.

Historian Dr David Starkey will be at the Corn Exchange on Saturday, June 21, with a talk on his favourite subject, The Tudors and Us.

He has made numerous television series about the reign of the House of Tudor.

Writer Andy McNab is also well-known, but few fans know his face or his real name.

The former SAS soldier rocketed to fame with his book Bravo Two Zero, about his command of an SAS patrol in the Gulf War of 1991.

He will appear before an audience in the Corn Exchange on Saturday, June 7, to describe his experiences and answer questions.

Howard Marks gained notoriety was a convicted drug smuggler, but these days works as a writer and will discuss his nefarious past during Scholar, Smuggler, Prisoner, Scribe at the Corn Exchange on Thursday, June 19.

There is always at least one noted poet in the Devizes Festival programme and this year it is Liz Lochhead, National Poet of Scotland.

She will give her own slant on Scottish culture and nationalism in the Town Hall on Sunday, June 8.

Wallis Simpson went down in history as the woman who stole the heart of King Edward VIII, leading to his abdication.

After he renounced the throne, they were married and she lived out her life as the Duchess of Windsor.

Her biographer, Anne Sebba, will visit the Town Hall on Saturday, June 7, to speak about That Woman.

Closer to home, Dr David Dawson, director of Wiltshire Museum, will give a talk on Gold from the Time of Stonehenge, the current exhibition in the new Bronze Age galleries at the museum in Long Street.

He will deliver his lecture at the Town Hall on Monday, June 16.

Actress-turned-author Arabella Weir, famous for her catchphrase, “Does my bum look big in this?”, reveals her battle with her waistline in The Real Me is Thin, at the Town Hall on Sunday, June 15.

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