Todmorden Book Festival reveals line-up for 2020 event

Amanda Owen and Dr Rupy AujlaAmanda Owen and Dr Rupy Aujla
Amanda Owen and Dr Rupy Aujla
Todmorden Book Festival has revealed its first headliners for the town's third Festival, which takes place November 6-14 this year.

The Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen will appear at this year's Festival.

The Sunday Times bestselling author grew up in Huddersfield but was inspired by the James Herriot books to leave her town life behind and head to the countryside to become a full-time shepherdess with her own flock of sheep at Ravenseat, a 2000 acre hill farm at the head of Swaledale, North Yorkshire, one of the highest and most remote places in England.

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Amanda’s first book The Yorkshire Shepherdess, published in 2014, recounts her transformation from townie to rural sheep farmer. Her latest book Adventures of the Yorkshire Shepherdess, published last year, brings readers up-to-date with life on the farm.

Environmentalist Jonathon PorrittEnvironmentalist Jonathon Porritt
Environmentalist Jonathon Porritt

From tackling the brutal winter of 2018 to sharing a love of wild swimming with the children, life at Ravenseat is truly in tune with nature.

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Environmentalist Jonathon Porritt will discuss climate change and the environmental imperatives we face in order to secure a safer world for future generations. In his ultimately optimistic book Hope in Hell: A decade to confront the climate emergency, Porritt confronts the issue head-on. He believes we have time to do what needs to be done, but only if we move now and move together.

Sunday Times bestselling author and GP Dr Rupy Aujla is founder of the website The Doctor’s Kitchen, which he set up to inspire and educate everyone about the beauty of food and the medicinal effects of eating well. Rupy creates healthy and delicious recipes using carefully selected ingredients and explains the clinical research behind them.

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He has two cookbooks published by Harper Collins The Doctor’s Kitchen and Eat to Beat Illness and often appears on BBC and ITV. In this insightful and entertaining event, Rupy will share his passion for healthy eating and his philosophy of using flavour to make healthy lifestyles enjoyable and accessible to everyone.

A spokesperson for the Festival said: "We are delighted to announce our first speakers for this year's Festival. The plain-speaking Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen will talk about her extraordinary life as a hill farmer and mother to nine children, Jonathan Porritt addresses the climate emergency, and Dr Rupy Ajula shares his passion for healthy food. We can look forward to another enjoyable and thought-provoking Festival, with more to come."

Todmorden Book Festival ran for the first time in November 2018. The programme will include fiction, non-fiction and poetry events for adults, young adults and children, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region and exploring individual and collective stories.