Margaret Atwood and Jodi Picoult to visit Ilkley Litfest!

Twitter was abuzz with excitement this morning over the news that acclaimed novelist and poet Margaret Atwood is one of the headline acts at this year’s Ilkley Literature Festival.
The Canadian born author, perhaps best known for works including The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye and the Blind Assassin, has picked up numerous awards for her writing over the years and is certain to prove a huge attraction at this year’s event.
Prolific Tweeters @BookElfLees and @FionaCK were just two of the Pickled Egg followers desperate for tickets to Atwood’s event and within minutes of our tweets going live, there were cheers of delight from all over cyberspace as the news bounced through all sections of the Twitter Community.
“Oh. My. Word!!! Margaret Atwood?! Jodi Picoult?! Lauren Child?! Sign me up now!!!!!,” said one tweeter. “OOooooh! Margaret Atwood?” said another. “Amazing” said another.
Even more hysteria was raised when we released the name of a second headline author – Jodi Picoult.
Known for her bestselling works, including My Sister’s Keeper and The Pact, Jodi is a favourite with many avid readers. This will be her first visit to the Ilkley festival.
As usual there were exciting new names for children, including the fabulous Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola fame).
Child will speak about her fantastic new novel in the Ruby Redfort series. Ruby is an incredible child detective and for those of you with children aged ten upwards this will be a must-see event.
Festival veterans Will Self, Clare Baliding and Shelia Handcock also join the line up as well as John Boyne (author of Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen and Kamila Shamsie.
MP Dianne Abbot makes her festival debut alongside Esther Freud, Suzannah Dunn, James Naughtie and David Almond.
Journalist Owen Jones is also on the bill as well as Labour politician Alan Johnson, Tory politician Douglas Hurd, broadcaster Andy Kershaw and former Goodie Tim Brooke-Taylor.
Most of the line -up was revealed live first thing this morning but you will have to wait for the full programme which comes out on 8 August and tickets on sale on Tuesday 26 August! far only one of our followers has come away disappointed.
That was @gareth0108 who said :”Too far to walk from Cornwall.”
Get that man a train ticket! Watch this space for more news of the festival and of course, our regular reviews. If you would like to review for the Pickled Egg, please get in touch via our contact form asap.

More Ilkley News

Bike Story goes down a treat with audience at Ilkley Lido

Reviewer John King reports on Le Tour talk organised by Ilkley Literature Festival

‘The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.’

The above quote is from the Iris Murdoch novel The Red and the Green. Perhaps as the Tour de France nears Ilkley we should add the yellow. Yet even before the Tour caravan approaches the question is already arising  - what will be its legacy? Words?

Bike Story  is an hour long theatrical  production by Shipley company 509 Arts composed by York playwright Mike Kenny using the Yorkshire cycling stories sent in to the web site

The show set off from York and passed through Ilkley on 28 June as part of Ilkley Literature Festival 2014 Cycling Words. It is a free outdoor show, set in the still surroundings of the Ilkley lido with the moors as a midsummer backdrop. The early evening rain and midges only seemed to enhance the quirky Englishness of the play with the tales of plucky cyclists alone, in tandem or in groups.

The trio of actors – Simon Kerrigan, Peter McMillan and Rochi Rampal all had the ability to instantly create characters with the most minimal words and gestures. The girl with her flowing dress trapped in the spokes, two bikes locked together being the start of love, a tandem ridden solo after a love affair went head over handlebars. The only props  needed  are a cast of bicycles. Small cycles with stabilisers, proud new bikes to mark occasions:  birthdays, passing exams. Bikes stolen and rescued, raced and crashed, flashy and sleek, reliable and practical.

From the basket of one of these bikes stories are chosen at random and read out, men, women and children in the audience beam with recognition: it is their story.

This is a positive, inclusive, charming show. It rides by with a mix of fun and green energy. Of course there is, if you look for it a message, cycling is carbon neutral, healthy, life enhancing, the stories of this life cycle reflectingShakespeare’s seven ages of man but there is no polemic. Bike Story speaks for itself, the words still spinning when the wheels stop.



Hi folks,

You may have noticed we have been a little ‘quiet’ for a while. Due to work commitments the Pickled Egg will now ONLY carry information and reviews of Ilkley Literature Festival and will be unable to cover other local events.

We will however, retweet them for you on Twitter.

We have thoroughly enjoyed a number of nights out, comedy, theatre, shopping experiences and meals over the years in this lovely town.

If you think your business has something to offer festival goers at Lit Fest time, do get in touch and we will try to carry as much local news as possible.

Other than that, we will see you again soon with news of this year’s line up for ILF 2015.


Get ready for Le Tour de Comedy Ilkley!……

Q: Who is quicker than a bunch of Le Tour cyclists?  A: The comedians at Stagefright Comedy Club of course!

Yep the club, which has become a regular feature at Ilkley Playhouse, will see funnymen and women from all walks of life descending on the town just in time for the Le Tour weekend.

So book your tickets early to make sure you are NOT left trailing behind!

This time round they come armed with an Edinburgh Festival preview which is sure to go down a treat with locals.

Ok so who’s coming?

Well this time it’s Chris Turner who will be showing off his wit. He’s a bit of a comic rapper and has toured the international circuit, performing in the USA, UK, Australia and India. Not bad eh?

His keen wit and intelligent wordplay have seen him rack up over 1.6 million views on YouTube; headline for 1.1 million Dutch comedy fans on RTL4′s flagship stand up show, The Comedy Factory; appear live on BBC Radio 2 and perform sold-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where in 2012, he was part of the prestigious Pleasance Comedy Reserve, and awarded the 5th Best Joke of the entire festival.

He will be joined by Kiri Pritchard-McLean.

Kiri is a hoot according to the Leicester Mercury, the Stourbridge News and judges at Nottingham Comedy Festival.

With a charming stage manner coupled with a deft, quick wit it’s easy to see why she was named Breakout Act of the Year at the festival. The biggest lesson this smart, instantly likeable girl-next-door type from Anglesey will give you is in observational comedy. Her inventive wordplay contributes to a stand up set of well delivered, increasingly funny anecdotes drawn from her daily life which would be difficult not to relate to.

Richard Jow will also be here – ‘A worldly wise and undeniable logic runs through his set, provoking many an applause break’ – according to 

And last but never least, the compere will be THE Anthony J Brown, who’s won a heap of awards and more importantly, has won over audiences at Ilkley on many occasions. 

Ok so fun starts Saturday 5th July (Le Tour weekend) Start time: 8pm Tickets £12 .

Creative Writing Group at Ilkley Library

What a lovely  way to spend the afternoon – writing!

Bradford District NHS Care Trust will be running regular classes at Ilkley Library on Wednesday afternoons.

There is no need to book, just turn up with a notebook and pen and let the magic happen.

Writing can bring therapeutic benefits and Community Health Champion John King will lead a group of eager authors to help people to do this.

No previous experience is necessary and you don’t have to book either. Just turn up with a noetbook and pen and a willingness to take part.

The group will meet at Ilkley Library in the town on Wednesdays from 1pm-3pm. There are no facilities for hot drinks so feel free to bring one with you. Tele 01274 321911 for details or email

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