Fancy winning two free tickets to see the ex-Blue Peter presenter at Appledore Book Festival? Then read on...

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Janet Ellis, the actress, TV presenter and now writer, will savour her appearance at the Appledore Book Festival on September 24 for one special reason – her love of libraries.

The ‘Friendly Festival’, as it has become known, evolved 10 years ago from a campaign to save the local library, and the former Blue Peter presenter appreciates that link.

She said: “I know it all began with a desire to save the library and it’s an understatement to say libraries hold a special place in my heart.

“I moved house and school quite a bit when I was a child (Army family) and books were a constant in my life.

“My family were big library goers and wherever we were, we borrowed books.

“I loved taking my own children to choose something to read, too.

“I’m involved with a local charity in West London called the Doorstep Library – we read with and lend books to primary school age children once a week.”

Now Janet, the mother of singer Sophie-Ellis Bextor, has burst on to the literary scene herself.

She added: “I’ve never been to Appledore before but, needless to say, I can’t wait to visit it.

“Who wouldn’t be thrilled to be invited to The Friendly Festival? Especially when you add in a glorious stretch of coastline and a wonderful bunch of other writers.

“The line-up this year sounds amazing and I’m truly delighted to be included.”

Janet will be talking to Devon Life editor Andy Cooper about her debut novel The Butcher’s Hook, published by Two Roads.

Highly acclaimed by the critics, it is a far cry from the subject matter of her younger days presenting children’s TV programmes.

A dark, fictional tale set in the 18th century explodes into life when teenage Anne Jaccob tries to change her life.

See Janet at 6.30-7.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Appledore, on Saturday, September 24. Tickets £10.


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