Star studded line up for Blenheim Palace

Darcey Bussell
Darcey Bussell

Star names from the world of television, dance and acting will appear at the Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature.

The event takes place from Thursday to Sunday October 13 to 16 and sees Darcey Bussell, Richard E Grant and Nicholas Parsons.

They are among a star-studded line up for 2016 during the four-day event in Oxfordshire. All tickets for the main festival events include entry to Blenheim Palace’s magnificent gardens and grounds on the day of the event.

Arguably the greatest English ballerina of all time Darcey Bussell will speak about her life and career onstage and life after retirement as a judge for BBC Strictly Come Dancing.

Bussell performed in major classical ballet roles after becoming principal dancer of Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet at the age of 20 and performed with the world’s leading ballet companies.

Renowned perfumer and businesswoman Jo Malone will speak with internationally acclaimed Chinese chef, food writer and television presenter Ken Hom about the significance of smell, taste and food in their lives, and recount their stories of the rise from modest beginnings to international fame.

Justine Picardie, editor of Harper’s Bazaar, novelist and biographer, will reflect on the 1950s when Christian Dior brought his glamorous fashion house to Blenheim Palace and its recent return to Blenheim Palace as the setting for the Spring/Summer 2017 cruise collection.

Geographer, explorer and presenter of BBC television series Coast Nicholas Crane will look at the evolution of the British landscape and its future whilst wildlife expert, photographer and presenter of BBC Springwatch and Autumnwatch Simon King will explain what to look out for when trying spot wildlife in the British countryside. Jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth will also appear.

Festival director Sally Dunsmore said: “We are delighted to announce the high-quality speakers that promise some fantastic discussion and great entertainment at this year’s Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature, Film and Music.

“We have 40 events over 4 days, and we’ve packed in something for everyone, whether you are interested in literature, history, religion, politics, the stage, film, television, music, the natural world, your kitchen or your garden.”

Tickets are currently on sale for these events and booking is now open at, on 0333 666 3366 or in person at Oxford Visitor Information Centre, Broad Street, Oxford. More information is available on the website.