Arts Derbyshire


TV’s Dan Walker is lined-up for Derby Book Festival

TELEVISION presenter and Strictly Come Dancing star Dan Walker will be waltzing his way to Derby to headline this year’s autumn edition of the city’s popular book festival.

Sheffield-based Dan has been announced as the first of 12 authors who will be visiting the city during Derby Book Festival, which this year runs from November 4-6.

He will be interviewed by BBC TV Midlands Correspondent Navtej Johal and is likely to talk about the current Strictly line-up, his recent move to Channel Five news and his new publication Standing on the Shoulders.

The book, which is a celebration of humble heroes and what makes them, follows the success of   Remarkable People: Extraordinary Stories of Everyday Lives which was published in 2020.

Liz Fothergill CBE, chair of the festival said: “We are delighted to announce that Dan Walker will be joining us at our autumn festival and we anticipate that the conversation around his book will be extremely inspiring.

“Our autumn editions give our audiences a flavour of what to expect at the main festival and we will be announcing more authors soon – but we can expect our usual mix of events for all ages and interests.

“Books provide us with adventures into other worlds and lives, exploring new ideas, topics and creating conversations.  We hope our events inspire people to discover new authors and encourage their love of books.”

Another big name to sign up for the book festival is Raynor Winn who returns to the city with her third book, Landlines describing her epic walk alongside her husband Moth, helping him cope with his terminal condition.

Maritime archaeologist Mensun Bound, who led two expeditions to find Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance in the waters of the Antarctic, will also appear at the festival. And Oxford and BBC historian Dr Janina Ramirez will be discussing her book Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages, By the Women Who Were Written Out of It.

The festival is organised in partnership with all the major arts and cultural partners in the city with funding from the Arts Council England, the University of Derby and more than 20 businesses and individuals across the city.

All 12 author events will be hosted in QUAD and will also be filmed and recorded for people who are unable to attend in person.

Throughout the festival there will be a stall selling all the books featured at the event, as well as signed books from previous festivals as well as a selection of Book Aid Charity Christmas cards and children’s books.

There will also be a Book Fair at the Museum of Making on November 6, from 11am to 4pm with a range of stalls, including local authors, booksellers and book crafts.

Money raised goes towards the festival’s year-round community activities, engaging with children, students and staff at primary and secondary schools, Derby College and the University of Derby, offering opportunities to meet authors, explore new books and create their own stories and illustrations.

The festival also runs a shared reading project enabling people in care homes, hospitals, prisons, libraries and community centres to listen to and share their thoughts about poetry at weekly and fortnightly sessions.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to continue to support Derby Book Festival and look forward to the variety of events planned for the 2022 Autumn Edition programme. Each year, the festival continues to grow and develop, and it is exciting to see such a strong line-up of guests for the upcoming programme.

“The festival plays a key role in the city’s arts and cultural scene, adding value, vibrancy and benefit to the community, as well as aligning to the university’s broader civic ambitions and commitment.”

Tickets for individual events go on sale on September 26 and this year a Festival Pass is available providing access to multiple events. A Digital Pass will also be available which includes recordings of all 12 events which will be available until December 5.

Tickets and further information is available from Quad’s box office or please visit

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