THE great and glittering from the literary world will descend on Newcastle Theatre Royal for one day for The Biggest Bookshow on Earth, to celebrate World Book Day.

World Book Day marks the world’s biggest celebration of reading, where the UK and Ireland’s entire book industry works proactively together to address falling literacy levels and create readers of the future. Over the past 20 years, World Book Day UK has distributed over 290 million £1 book tokens to children and young people across the country.

On Saturday, March 3, an all-star line-up of famous authors and illustrators including Julian Clary and Clare Balding will be inspiring young people with readings and live drawing sessions at the North East’s favourite theatre.

In attendance will be David Almond (Skellig), Clare Balding (The Racehorse Who Disappeared), Julian Clary & David Roberts (The Bolds), Tom Fletcher (The Creakers), Francesca Simon (Horrid Henry), and Alex T. Smith (Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure). Steven Butler (The Nothing To See Here Hotel) will be hosting the event and there will be surprise guests from Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.

Signed copies will be available to buy and the authors and illustrators will be signing after the event. It will be open to family public audiences for the first time, as well as local schools, and tickets are available to buy from the Theatre Royal website.

World Book Day was first marked in the UK in 1997, in response to an increasing concern over poor reading and writing standards in children. It is now a global phenomenon. For 2018, titles chosen will offer a message of inclusivity, through the authors, illustrations, stories and a wide assortment of characters, enabling young readers to see the world in which they live reflected between the pages.

Last year, over £670,000 was raised for charity in association with World Book Day and over 1.2 million £1 book tokens were redeemed.

The one-off Book Show event is part of a series of activities the charity are running in 2018. Others include targeting teenagers and young adults in their own online spaces and Bookclubbing, an exciting new movement encouraging teenagers to spread the word about their favourite stories and make a noise about books online and in real life.

There will also be two 30-minute exclusive online specials, including an Illustrator Extravaganza, available for schools, bookshops and libraries to stream from the World Book Day website.

The charity is also bringing back the incredibly successful World Book Day Award (WoBoD), which gives schools the opportunity to win life-changing libraries of books.

As well as celebrating the joy of reading, this year’s key Share A Story theme encourages adults, parents and older siblings to participate by reading and sharing stories and books with family, friends and colleagues alike. The Share a Story theme will be mobilising the nation to recognise the positive impact that reading together for only ten minutes a day can have on a child’s outcome.

In addition, the World Book Day team has launched a nationwide poll to find the nation’s favourite #storiestoshare. The search is on to find the ultimate list of the nation’s 100 favourite stories to share for children and young people of all ages.

  • The Greatest Bookshow on Earth, in partnership with Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, is at Newcastle Theatre Royal from 10am. Running time is 75 mins and it is suited to 7-11 year olds. Tickets are £14.50 (family tickets available) on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book at