BBC Four and The Oxford Literary Festival announce fourth broadcast media partnership

BBC Four and The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival today announced the line-up for their fourth broadcast media partnership, with a dedicated weekend of BBC Four events.

This year’s Oxford Literary Festival which runs from 2 to 10 April will include two days of events presented by BBC Four, to mark the BBC’s Year of Books. There will also be a major tribute to Harold Pinter.

Across the second weekend (9 and 10 April) several special Festival screenings will take place with key participants present, all of them in the new state of the art lecture theatre at Merton College. They include:

On Saturday 9 April – The Beauty Of Books (10am) with producer/director Michael Waterhouse; a talk and excerpts from William Ivory’s adaptation of Women In Love (12noon) and, on Sunday 10 April Adam Nicolson discusses his documentary and the worldwide bestseller The Making Of The King James Bible (10am); In Their Own Words Executive Producer Jonty Claypole presents a workshop on great writers in the BBC’s archives (12 noon); Henry Hitchings with the enthusiastically previewed Birth Of The British Novel (2pm); and the BBC’s Creative Director, Alan Yentob, introducing his Imagine (4pm) programme on Tolstoy, which will transmit on BBC One.

Richard Klein, Controller BBC Four, said: “We’re delighted to partner with the Oxford Literary Festival again this year, supporting in depth discussion and enjoyment of literature through BBC Four programmes and their expert contributors. In the BBC’s Year of Books, there are rich pickings to choose from, whether it is William Ivory’s spectacular adaptation of Women In Love, Adam Nicolson’s fascinating insight to the making of the King James Bible, or great explorations of the beauty of books, the birth of the British novel or the rich BBC archive of writers. From our colleagues on BBC One, there is a preview of Alan Yentob’s Imagine on Tolstoy, rounding off a packed weekend at the new TS Eliot Lecture Theatre at Merton College.”

At Corpus Christi on Friday 8 April (6.30pm) the Festival salutes Britain’s greatest post-war playwright, Harold Pinter, with readings by Dame Harriet Walter and Kenneth Cranham followed by a screening of the BBC Two Arena Pinter special with film-makers Anthony Wall and Martin Rosenbaum present. Also in attendance will be Lady Antonia Fraser. The event will be introduced by producer and Festival film, television and theatre consultant, Graham Benson.

Graham Benson said: “It is entirely appropriate that the festival comes together with our partners at the BBC to join this celebration. It is a great opportunity for festival goers to be part of this timely, vital and hugely enjoyable strand of programming together with the creative talent involved.

“We are also proud and delighted to pay proper tribute to Harold Pinter, who will be remembered as a fine actor and director as well a towering playwright and screenwriter. This event continues our strong relationship with Arena, a hugely important and much loved BBC programme. And of course we are pleased to continue our ongoing relationship with BBC Four, with whom we share many ambitions and a love of books.”

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