Appledore Book Festival has announced a major coup after Monty Python star Michael Palin chose it to parade his new book.

Harriet Harman will also feature at Appledore Book Festival 2018Harriet Harman will also feature at Appledore Book Festival 2018

The household name television presenter and author brings his book Erebus to the September 21-27 festival just eight days after it is published.

Appledore is the first festival stop on his book tour and he will be joined by other notables including politician and author Harriet Harman, novelist and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz, novelist Kate Mosse and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.

Festival director Miche Tompkins said: “The Appledore Book Festival has built up an excellent reputation with publishers and authors and, as a result, we continue to attract some of the best talent within the literary world.

“Michael was last with us in 2013 and he is such a fantastic speaker that I am sure his story of the voyages of HMS Erebus will be one of the highlights of 2018.

Anthony Horowitz is another novelist and writer taking part in Appledore Book Festival 2018. Picture: contributedAnthony Horowitz is another novelist and writer taking part in Appledore Book Festival 2018. Picture: contributed

“Our line-up includes a wide variety of book-related talks and our fringe programme includes children’s activities like Squashbox Theatre, music, writing and art workshops and local interest talks.”

HMS Erebus was found recently after 170 years at the bottom of the ocean and Palin’s detailed work covers its history which includes a doomed 19th century British expedition to northern Canada.

He describes the book as a “story of courage and folly, of staggering success and terrible suffering.”

The Festival runs from September 21 to September 29 and its website goes live from June 1.

War Horse author Michael Morpurgo will be at Appledore Book Festival. Picture:: Jonathan Brady/PA WireWar Horse author Michael Morpurgo will be at Appledore Book Festival. Picture:: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Miche added: “We will start to reveal our full line-up throughout June on our website and our 2018 programme will go on sale in mid-July for the Friends of Appledore Book Festival.”

The festival is run as a charity and members of the public can make a donation to become a Friend and in doing so receive several benefits.

Miche said: “Our charity relies on the membership sales of £20 per person to help to cover our costs and in exchange we allow each Friend to book two tickets for each event ahead of the public launch at the end of July.

“Following the main event the Festival launches its Schools Programme in which leading children’s authors visit many of North Devon’s schools to deliver inspirational events to the children in our community.

Novelist Kate Mosse will be at Appledore Book Festival. Picture: Ruth CraferNovelist Kate Mosse will be at Appledore Book Festival. Picture: Ruth Crafer

“Our charity relies on the income from ticket sales, advertising and sponsorship from the local business community, Friends membership donations and our community of volunteers who give so much of their time to make this Festival happen each year.”

Keep tabs on the festival programme at www.appledorebookfestival.co.uk .