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Monday 14 October – Monday 21 October 2019

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Festival news

Alastair Campbell books in!!

Another big name has confirmed an appearance at next month’s festival.

Alastair Campbell

Alastair Campbell, the writer, communicator, commentator and strategist best known for his role as former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications will be joining us on Saturday 22 October.

Still active in politics and campaigns in Britain and overseas, Alastair will be talking about his career and latest volume of diaries, Outside, Inside, 2003-2005 which looks at his life since departing Downing Street, advising Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, as well as his key roles in the two general elections since.

Away from politics, the book talks frankly about his struggles with mental health issues, as well as his work in sport and his return to journalism as he tries to find a new purpose in life.

As one of the most influential Government advisors, Alastair was no stranger to controversy, working the headlines and occasionally making them. He is one of four people credited with creating New Labour, fighting numerous battles in their pursuit of modernisation. He was reviled by parts of the media but still respected for his commitment, creativity, loyalty and work rate. In addition to his new book, he has published on a variety of subjects including four earlier volumes of his diaries as well as two novels, written features on sport and politics, advised several bodies and stepped up his fundraising efforts for Leukaemia Research. One of the UK’s top public speakers, his talks are renowned for mixing his experience and wit! Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for culture, health and wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Alastair is someone we have been trying to bring to our festival for a couple of years now so I am pleased we have him on our 2016 line-up which is another cracker. He is a fabulous speaker and the latest installment of his diaries is eagerly anticipated. I am looking forward to hearing his accounts of his time during an important period in modern political history.”