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Smithdown Litfest is back with a chance to be quizzed by Chris Tarrant

10 months ago

Smithdown Litfest is back with a chance to be quizzed by Chris Tarrant
Chris Tarrant is coming to Smithdown Litfest

One of TV’s most famous quizmasters, Chris Tarrant, is heading to Liverpool for Smithdown Litfest this month, for a Q&A on his career and also to put local quizzers to the test.

The former Who Wants to be a Millionaire host is among a line-up of well-known authors, actors and guests at this year’s Smithdown Litfest which runs from Sunday September 17 to Saturday September 23.

He’ll be the subject of An Audience With at Ullet Road Unitarian Church on the last evening of the festival, in conversation with its founder Ian Skillicorn.

Earlier in the day, broadcast legend Chris will be getting back in the question firing hot seat to host the final of The Smithdown Litfest Great Big Quiz.

Tony Nicholson will be at Smithdown Litfest
Tony Nicholson will be at Smithdown Litfest

He’ll be joined at the church by TV producer Tony Nicholson, who’ll be talking about Great British TV Quiz Shows through the years, from Bullseyeand Sale of The Century to Blockbusters and Millionaire.

Ian, who started the festival in 2017, says being a community event has helped him attract some special guests.

“People I’ve approached have always liked the idea that it’s not in the centre of a city, it’s in its own community,” he says. “Often authors and actors who are very successful are very generous with their time when they see people trying to do something a bit different. 

“I did an event with Tony Nicholson, who’s a good friend and producer of Chris Tarrant, with Ken Dodd’s widow Lady Anne earlier in the year about Ken’s biography which Tony wrote. We were chatting and came up with this idea, and we’ve been really lucky to get Chris here.

“He’s recently written a book, It’s Not a Proper Job: Stories from 50 Years in TV, which less of an autobiography, more anecdotes and memories from his broadcasting career and it’s full of so many gems.

“So we’ve got Tony during the day talking about Great British TV quizzes, then the final of our own local quiz which Chris Tarrant will be the quizmaster for. To have him asking the questions is just a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime thing and it’s really generous of him to have offered to do that. Then he’s back in the evening at 7pm for his own Audience With, I’ll be talking to him, and we’ll have an opportunity for people to ask questions as well.”

Chris Tarrant isn’t the only big TV name appearing at this year’s Smithdown Litfest.

Writer Tony Schumacher will be at Smithdown Litfest
Writer Tony Schumacher will be at Smithdown Litfest

Liverpool writer and creator of hit BBC1 series The Responder Tony Schumacher will be doing an interview and audience Q&A at Sefton Park Palm House on Thursday September 21.

And actor George Christopher, who played Ziggy in Grange Hill and Little Jimmy in Brookside, is hosting An Evening With at Toxteth Library on Monday September 18.

Away from the small screen, but still with a Liverpool connection, travel writer Lucinda Hawksley will be talking about her great great great grandfather, Charles Dickens. She’s written a book about his travels which famously included being sworn in as a special constable for one night at Liverpool’s Bridewell pub.

Smithdown Litfest 2023, which is being supported by JMU and the city council, will also have children’s storytelling sessions with popular local author Jude Lennon, and artist Fran Disley, author of Talk to the Garden, hosting an afternoon Pavement Plant Workshop, both at Dead Ink Books on Smithdown Road.

In keeping with the community feel, all the ticket proceeds will go to Smithdown in Bloom, so people can go to an event, have a great night out and the money goes to making the area more attractive for everyone. 

For more info on Smithdown Litfest click HERE.

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