1. Overview

    Baillie Gifford is proud to support Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017 by sponsoring a series of events and the Baillie Gifford Stage

  2. Programme

    Established in 1949, Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of oldest literary events in the world. A festival that embodies a spirit of enquiry, and brings together some of the world’s most exciting thinkers and commentators to debate the most pertinent issues.

    Taking place from 6-15 October in Montpelier Gardens and the Cheltenham Townhall, the 2017 Cheltenham Literature Festival offers ten days of diverse events. This year’s theme is Who Do We Think We Are? The festival brings the brightest and best thinkers to the stages of over 300 events, to share ideas, provoke debate on what it means to be British, and open young and old eyes to new worlds. 

    The line-up features bestselling novelists Salman Rushdie, Roddy Doyle, Sarah Waters, Alan Hollinghurst, Jackie Kay and Ian Rankin alongside speakers from politics, entertainment and more including Tim Harford, Henry Marsh, Andrew O’Hagan, David Owen, Philippe Sands and June Sarpong.

    As well as restaurants, café bars and the bookshop, the Festival Village invites you to enjoy free pop-up events and performances taking place in The Huddle.

    For more information about the festival visit the festival website.


    For book lovers everywhere, Cheltenham Literature Festival is the only place to be this autumn.

    Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy

    Friday 6 October at 5.45pm

    From the diesel engine and the iPhone to IKEA’s Billy bookcase, join The Undercover Economist Tim Harford for a whistle-stop tour of the inventions, ideas and innovations that have helped to shape the world we live in today.

    Randall Munroe

    Friday 6 October at 8.15pm

    Creator of the globally adored web comic xkcd and former roboticist at NASA, Randall Munroe (Thing Explainer) talks to Lliana Bird about his brilliantly simple explanations and diagrams to describe mind-bogglingly complicated inventions.

    Brexit Britain
    Brexit Britain On The Global Stage

    Sunday 8 October at 10.30am

    How will Brexit influence Britain’s foreign policy? Membership of the EU helped to shape the UK’s international priorities for more than 40 years – so what now? Where can we forge new alliances and what opportunities lie ahead? Our Guest Curator Robin Niblett of Chatham House discusses the possible scenarios with the former diplomat and NATO representative Mariot Leslie and former Foreign Secretary David Owen (British Foreign Policy After Brexit).

    Creativity Changed the World
    How Creativity Can Change The World

    Tuesday 10 October at 5.45pm

    Our relentless drive to create makes us unique among living creatures. What is special about the human brain that enables us to innovate? Why don’t animals choreograph dances, build escalators or invent speedboats? Join composer Anthony Brandt and neuroscientist David Eagleman (The Runaway Species) as they explore the need for novelty, what possible futures may bring and look at how, through understanding our ability to innovate, we can meet the challenge of remaking our constantly shifting world.

    No Such Thing As A Fish Live

    Wednesday 11 October at 6.15pm

    With 1.2 million downloads a week, a spin-off BBC2 TV series, and having been named one of iTunes’ top ten most downloaded podcasts of 2016, this has been a thrilling three years for the No Such Thing a Fish team. Join them for a special live version of the show, as they premiere content from their first book which is, quite literally, The Book of the Year. From the bizarre to the hilarious, Dan Schreiber, Andrew Hunter Murray, Anna Ptaszynski and James Harkin will entertain with extraordinary facts from 2017

    Flags: The Power And The Politics

    Thursday 12 October at 6.00pm

    Flags represent the politics of high power as well as those of the mob. They are symbols that unite and divide, emblems that some rally round or even die for. What does ours mean and how is it brandished today? Journalist Tim Marshall (Worth Dying For) and author Nick Groom (The Union Jack) explore the history and identity of our Union Jack with broadcaster Dharshini David, and reveal how political and national identities are forged by our flags.

    60 Years of Today
    60 Years Of Today

    Sunday 15 October at 10.30am

    BBC Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme is 60 in October. We bring together the presenters Nick Robinson and Justin Webb, and senior Today producer Purvee Pattni for a rare peek behind the scenes at Broadcasting House as the programme is put together. How do the team decide what to report? What does the night editor do? How do the presenters prepare for the famous 8.10 interview? The broadcaster and radio critic Gillian Reynolds asks the questions in this fascinating discussion.