TELEVISION comedian Rich Hall and Woman's Hour presenter Jenni Murray are among the stars at this year's Wantage literary festival.

Lexicographer Susie Dent, of Channel 4's Countdown, will also be appearing at the 2017 Wantage (not just) Betjeman Festival.

More than 30 other events including live comedy, tales of missions to the moon and a host of children's entertainments complete this year's line-up from October 21 to 28.

Festival fundraising manager, Vicki Luker, said: "You might think that in our lucky seventh year the team would be tempted to relax a little, but not a bit of it.

"We are once again offering our trademark smorgasbord of speakers, events and music to suit all tastes."

Virginia-born Rich Hall will this year be bringing his critically acclaimed Hoedown show to the Beacon civic hall.

The comedian and musician, famous for TV appearances on QI and Have I Got News For You, promises a 'precision dismantling' of the tenuous relationship between the country of his birth and his adopted UK.

Susie Dent, meanwhile, will be chatting about various works including ‘Dent’s Modern Tribes’, exploring how groups such as sports fans, members of professional organisations and hobbyists develop their own private linguistic codes.

For those of an historical bent, Piers Brendon will be discussing Edward VIII, the uncrowned king, Robin Jarossi will talk about the hunt for the ‘1960s Ripper, and festival favourite Gary Sheffield will be comparing and contrasting the military strategies of Wellington and Haig.

Beloved children's illustrator Korky Paul, who lives in North Oxford, will host one of this year's opening events talking about how his energetic and explosive drawing style has made classics of his books, including Winnie the Witch.

Radio 4 presenter Jenni Murray will headline the festival talking about her latest book, ‘A History of Britain in 21 Women’ on October 28 at The Beacon.

Ms Luker added: "There will also be something for scientists, poets and more novelists than there is space to mention including Lucy Atkins, Kate Hamer, Dinah Jefferies.

"Make sure you don’t miss either the poetry or the comedy writing workshops, nor the Blackweir Brass concert in the parish church."

Ticket prices range from £3 for Korky Paul to £17 for Rich Hall and Jenni Murray.

The literary festival was first founded by a group of library lovers in 2011 to celebrate former Wantage resident Sir John Betjeman and his legacy in the town.

First speakers included former Telegraph journalist Sir Max Hastings and Stanford-in-the-Vale-born poet Pam Ayres.

This year's festival pays a small tribute to the founding ethos in the form of two 'Betjeman Town Walks' led by local author and historian Bill Fuller.

See this year's full listings at