John Barnes Announced for Ilkley Literature Festival
Football legend John Barnes is joining the line-up at this autumn’s Ilkley Literature Festival.
The former professional football player and manager turned sports commentator is discussing his powerful book, The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism.
He joins a roster of literary stars at the hybrid festival, which offers a mix of Covid-safe in-person and digital events across 17 days from Friday 1 to Sunday 17, October.
Speaking at King’s Hall at 7.30pm, Barnes will tackle head-on issues around prejudice by vividly evoking his personal experiences, and holding a mirror to this country’s past, present and future.
After spending the first dozen years of his life in Jamaica, Barnes moved to the UK with his family in 1975. Six years later he was a professional footballer, distinguishing himself for Watford, Liverpool and England, and in the process becoming this country’s most prominent Black player.
The Liverpool and England footballer promises powerful and moving testimony at his talk to inform and advance the global conversation around racism.
Also starring at the north’s longest-running literary event are Booker prize winner Bernadine Evaristo, former MP Ed Balls, journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, TV presenter Gyles Brandreth, Countdown star Susie Dent, comedian and actor Miles Jupp and the poet Jackie Kay.
Founded in 1973, Ilkley Literature Festival is loved by writers, readers and publishers alike for its warm welcome and wide-ranging programming.
Tickets and full programme: www.ilkleylitfest.org.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS
Ilkley Literature Festival is nationally acknowledged for its artistic excellence and diverse programming. The festival attracts audiences of over 22,000, over 17 days each October, alongside a year-round programme of workshops, projects and author events in schools.
The festival aims to bring literature and poetry of national and international significance to the widest possible audience and to showcase new work by emerging and mid-career writers. It has an enviable reputation for bringing high profile authors to Ilkley from across the world, for its work with young people and as one of the UK’s most culturally diverse literature festivals.
Ilkley Literature Festival is an Arts Council England NPO.