A three-day virtual book festival bringing together the best of the cancelled UK literary events will feature Killing Eve creator Luke Jennings, a celebration of Anne Bronte and a discussion about contagion.
The Big Book Weekend will be part of BBC Arts’ Culture In Quarantine initiative, to bring arts and culture into people’s homes while they are in lockdown.
The event will see Jennings in conversation with novelist Sarah Hilary, as he discusses the self-published novellas that have been adapted into the TV hit starring Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh.
The line-up also includes actor and director Adjoa Andoh, poet Jackie Kay and graphic novelist Isabel Greenberg in conversation with Cathy Newman to mark the 200th anniversary of Anne Bronte’s birth.
The session will feature graphic artworks and live readings from The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall.
Also on the bill will be Adam Kucharski, an associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in conversation with Tim Hubbard about his new book The Rules Of Contagion, about what the world is experiencing now, and how new mathematical approaches are transforming what we know about contagion.
The virtual festival will be aimed at readers of all ages who may have been unable to attend a literary festival due to geography, access or cost.
Archive interviews with authors and film adaptations of books also be broadcast over the weekend and the full line-up with be revealed at the end of the month.
Lamia Dabboussy, editor of BBC Arts, said: “Through our Culture in Quarantine initiative, we have demonstrated that national lockdown need not be a barrier for people experiencing the very best arts and culture.
“While a virtual festival can never replace the experience of attending a festival in real life, we are delighted that (festival co-founders) Kit (de Waal) and Molly (Flatt) brought their idea to us, their Book Weekend means that we can support festivals that have been cancelled, while bringing the nation together through a shared love of reading.”
The festival begins online from May 8 at bigbookweekend.com.