Tickets are now on sale for the town’s literary festival.

Bridport Literary Festival director Tanya Bruce-Lockhart has been working hard to bring some much-needed light into a very dark year, with an exciting programme of author talks and interviews.

It’s one of only a few festivals in the country to go ahead as the Covid-19 pandemic has scuppered so many live events.

She said: “We are so looking forward to welcoming back our audiences who enjoy reading and love literature. Fingers crossed that government guidelines remain the same and we don’t suffer a second spike.”

Speakers representing a variety of genres include nature writers James Rebanks and Raynor Winn, political writers Lord Darroch and Peter York, cosy crime writer Richard Osman, historian Charles Spencer and bestselling contemporary novelists Amanda Craig and Lisa Jewell.

The events will be held at Bridport Arts Centre and the Electric Palace, where the seating will be configured to enable social distancing. The two venues will be used in rotation so they can be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before and after each event.

It’s a reduced programme for the 16th BridLit but nonetheless packs a punch, with some fascinating speakers lined up over the four days from November 4 to 7.

Lord Darroch, former British Ambassador to the United States resigned in July 2019 following the leak of diplomatic cables in which he was critical of the Trump administration.

His book, Collateral Damage, is a behind-the-scenes account revealing the inside story behind his resignation. His appearance at the festival, in conversation with former West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin at the Electric Palace on Saturday 7 November at 6.30pm, comes just days after the US election.

Lisa Jewell, who is at Bridport Arts Centre on Thursday 5 November at 2.30pm, has sold more than 4.5 million books worldwide.

Her first novel, Ralph’s Party, was published in 1999 and was the best-selling debut novel of the year. Since then she has published 16 novels, most lately a number of dark psychological thrillers, including The Girls and Then She Was Gone (both of which were Richard and Judy Book Club picks).

Her latest novel, Invisible Girl, is a story of secrets and injustices, and of how we look in the wrong places for the bad people while the real predators walk among us in plain sight.

Richard Osman, best known as the man with all the answers on the television quiz show Pointless, has a sure-fire hit with his debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club. He’ll be speaking at the Electric Palace on Friday 6 November at 4.30pm.

Set in a luxury retirement village in Kent where four residents gather to investigate crime cases, including a ‘live’ murder mystery, the novel was snapped up as part of a two-book deal for a seven figure sum.

Worldwide film rights for the book, which was published on 22 September, have been acquired by Amblin Partners, the film and television production company led by Steven Spielberg.

The online brochure with full details of the Bridport Literary Festival programme is available at Tickets can also be booked through Bridport Tourist Information Centre on 01308 424901.