TOP authors, comedians and politicians are among those appearing at one of the region’s annual book festivals.

The line-up of this year’s Durham Book Festival includes authors Roddy Doyle, Lionel Shriver and Tracey Chevalier as well as comedy stars Robert Webb and Tony Robinson and politician Harriet Harman.

Tickets go on sale on Thursday, August 10 for the festival, which is the largest literary event in the North-East.

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Anna Disley, acting chief executive of New Writing North, which produces the event, said: “Durham Book Festival provides a shared space for people to contemplate and engage with ideas and stories that help us make sense of our increasingly complex and often tumultuous world.

“We are pleased once again to welcome to Durham some of the country’s most exciting writers, thinkers and artists, and we look forward to welcoming audiences to join the conversation.”

The festival takes place from October 6 to 15 and will feature talks, readings and performances, including a family theatre production of Do Not Enter The Monster Zoo, which will go on tour at libraries and community centres around the county.

The ten-day festival will be launched with a special screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Durham Cathedral, where it was partly filmed, to mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of the novel.

Highlights of the festival will include appearances by Booker prize winners Roddy Doyle and Alan Hollinghurst, who will be discussing their new books, an event with Tracy Chevalier and Kamila Shamsie who will be sharing their retellings of classic dramas and a ‘coffee and cake’ event with award-winning author Rachel Joyce.

Authors Lionel Shriver, Alexei Sayle, Benjamin Myers and Petina Gappah will be presenting original pieces commissioned for the festival in which they respond to the news cycle of 2017.

Sir Tony Robinson, Robert Webb, Call the Midwife star Stephen McGann and Harriet Harman will all be sharing their memoirs.

The festival is commissioned by Durham County Council and has funding from Durham University and Arts Council England.

Councillor Ossie Johnson, cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, said: “This year’s book festival will offer up yet another exciting and varied programme of events, with talks, readings and performances from a fascinating collection of guests.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming them to Durham and to sharing their stories and experiences.”

The Durham Book Festival Big Read author is David Almond and 3,000 free copies of his book Half a Creature from the Sea will be distributed.

The winner of the Gordon Burn prize will be announced on Thursday, October 12 at Durham Town Hall.