WRITERS, speakers and presenters from around the country will be gathering en masse for the very first Reading Book Festival next month.

Part of Reading’s Year of Culture, the line-up for the festival has been announced with many familiar names, from former football player Ian Wright to broadcaster Chris Tarrant, joining the list of speakers at Olympia Ballroom in from October 28 to October 30.

Chris Tarrant and Countdown star Susie Dent will kick things off on October 29, alongside local historian Angela Buckley and novelists Julie Cohen and Carol Drinkwater.

October 30 will see Time Team and Blackadder star, Sir Tony Robinson, discussing his autobiography No Cunning Plan while David Bowie’s original drummer, Andy Woody, will reflect on his time touring and recording with the late star.

Tom Ryan, programmer for the festival said: “We are very excited about this line-up as we mark Reading Year of Culture’s October theme of literature.

“After fantastic events so far this year, we know there is an appetite for these events so we look forward to seeing as many Reading residents as possible at the beautiful Olympia Ballroom.”

Book signings will follow each event with Waterstones on board as the book sellers.

Tickets for the individual events are £5 or £7.

Weekend passes for the keen literature enthusiasts are on sale for £20.

For more information and to purchase tickets for any of the readings visit www.readingarts.com