Chiswick Book Festival

Imogen Stubbs

The ninth Chiswick Book Festival opens on Thursday 14 September with An Evening with Jane Austen at Chiswick House, the same day that the £10 note with her picture on it is published, celebrating 200 years of her life and work. Imogen Stubbs, who played Lucy Steele in the award-winning film Sense & Sensibility, will read extracts from Austen chosen by the event’s other speakers, Paula Byrne (The Genius of Jane Austen), Helena Kelly (Jane Austen: The Secret Radical) and Dr Esme Whittaker, the curator of Chiswick House.

To see Helena Kelly talking to me about her book, in which she explains why she thinks Jane Austen was more of a radical than we have given her credit for, watch the video below.

Elizabeth Buchan will also be appearing at the Chiswick Book Festival to talk about her book The New Mrs Clifton. Carol Douglas reviews it here.

“I think all the presenters will be asked to take pay cuts” says Jeremy Vine

The BBC’s highest paid journalist, Jeremy Vine, thinks that BBC presenters will be asked to take pay cuts as a result of the summer’s row about the gender gap in pay at the BBC. Jeremy is appearing at the Chiswick Book Festival next weekend and talked to me about his book ‘What I learnt’ and about the decision by BBC Director General Tony Hall to commission Price Waterhouse Cooper to carry out an equal pay audit. “I think all the presenters will probably be asked to take pay cuts” he said. “That’s probably what’s going to happen. It seems to me a logical outcome”.

Tony Hall announced the pay review last week. In July it was revealed that while Claudia Winkleman is the highest female presenter, earning between £450,000 and £500,000 last year, the highest paid male presenter Chris Evans earns between £2,000,000 and £2,500,000. Fiona Bruce earns between £250,000 and £300,000 but Huw Edwards earns between £350,000 and £400,000. They both present the BBC News at Ten. Jeremy Vine is the BBC’s highest paid journalist at £700,000 – £750,000 and has faced members of the public shouting at him that he should be ashamed.

Jeremy will be talking about ‘What I Learnt’ on Saturday 16 September at 7.30pm in St Michael & All Angels Church. In it he tells some entertaining anecdotes about his time on the quiz show Eggheads and Strictly Come Dancing as well as his Radio Two show and he talks about what he’s learnt from his audience.

Book tickets on the Chiswick Book Festival website.

Watch the video interview to find out why he thinks his audience no longer trusts experts, why taking part in Strictly Come Dancing sparked a health scare and the huge embarrassment caused by a simple Christmas present.