A STAR line-up has been announced for this year’s Bridport Literary Festival.

On the bill for the 10-day event will be Alexander McCall Smith, Margaret Drabble, Michael Holroyd, Tracy Chevalier and Andrew Roberts.

They will all providing insights into their latest books when the action starts on November 13.

In conversation with arts journalist Susannah Simons, Alexander McCall Smith will entertain the audience with the latest news from The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and revisit favourite characters from his Scotland Street novels with Isobel Dalhousie and the members of the Sunday Philosophy Club stories.

Alexander also introduces new friends from his latest serial novel Corduroy Mansions and divulges his experiences with meerkats!

Alongside the authors, the festival also includes stand-up poetry, film screenings, an Archers’ special and an art exhibition in venues across the town.

Lindsay Brooks, director of Bridport Arts Centre, said: “This year, we’ve compressed the festival in and around Bridport Arts Centre itself, so eager readers can cram more events into the day.

“On the opening weekend of the Festival, we’re delighted to have Louis de Bernières and Tracy Chevalier. The multi-talented Louis de Bernières, best-selling author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Birds Without Wings and A Partisan’s Daughter, will be presenting a sparkling evening of words and music.

“Together with his versatile companion, musician Ilone Antonius-Jones, Louis plays an amazing variety of instruments and reads from an eclectic repertoire of poetry.

“Tracy Chevalier talks about her enthralling new novel set in 19th century Dorset, Remarkable Creatures, which tells how Lyme Regis-born Mary Anning transcended class and gender to uncover fossil treasures that set the scientific world alight.

“The following Thursday, the charismatic Elvis McGonagall will be back with the Blue Suede Sporran Club for an evening of cabaret entertainment and verbal mayhem!”

Bridport Literary Festival’s main sponsors are Kitson and Trotman and Waterstone’s.

To find out more about the full range of events go to www.bridport-arts.com or pick-up a brochure from the arts centre.

Book online or call the box office for tickets on 01308 424204.