Stratford Literary Festival, which begins next month, has already confirmed a glittering line-up of stage, screen and literary stars to entertain, inform and inspire visitors.

Headline speakers at the event, which runs from April 25 to May 2, include Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter, the inimitable Patricia Routledge, Larry Lamb, John Humphries, comedy actress Celia Imrie, crime writer Sophie Hannah, Whitbread winner Justin Cartwright, comedian Arthur Smith and DJ Mark Radcliffe.

Festival goers can also meet Molly Parkin, novelists Katie Fforde, Esther Freud and Barbara Trapido.

Despite only being the fourth year of the festival, organisers are expecting more than 5,000 people. Festival director Natasha Roderick-Jones said: “With Stratford’s literary past it’s hardly surprising that the festival has been such a success, and this year’s line-up will once again ensure that there’s plenty to entertain everyone.

“One highlight will be the Family Book Day at Compton Verney Art Gallery on May 1 which includes the hilarious writer Philip Ardagh together with theatre performances, workshops and entertainers – a full day’s fun whatever the weather.”

For a full programme of events visit the festival website at stratfordliter Tickets are also available now from 01789 207100, or online at