Villanelle creator comes to Bridport Literary Festival

The man behind the most iconic female villain currently on British TV will be appearing at this year’s Bridport Literary Festival, which starts this Sunday.

Luke Jennings is the author of Codename Villanelle, the books upon which the hit BBC serial Killing Eve is based.

Along with bestselling novelist Fay Weldon, he’ll be talking about ‘Wicked Women’ on Tuesday 6 November at the Bull Hotel ballroom.

“Bridport Literary Festival is always full of surprises and, sometimes disappointment,” said its director, Tanya Bruce-Lockhart.

“Luke Jennings is an addition to the programme and we’re very excited that he is taking part in the festival this year. We’re really looking forward to hearing him and Fay in conversation about what makes a female character wicked and, at the same time, win a reader’s heart.

“We’ve also had disappointment in that Bryony Gordon was unable to attend because of ill health but then royal insider Penny Junor stepped in. She’ll be at Bridport Electric Palace on Saturday 10 November at 12 noon, giving us a close insight into the Queen’s year, which has seen Prince Philip stand down from royal duties, a new baby for Prince William and Catherine and Prince Harry’s wedding.”

Mrs Bruce-Lockhart paid tribute to the festival’s main sponsors, West Dorset law firm Kitson & Trotman and Waterstones, along with donors and programme advertisers, which include Specsavers.

“Their support makes a huge difference,” she said, as she called in to Waterstones with festival chairman Deirdre Coates this week to take a look at all the books that will be featured at the 14th festival.

This year’s highlights include Countdown Host Nick Hewar, who worked on The Apprentice with Sir Alan Sugar, crimewriter Mick Herron, described by Val McDermid as ‘the John le Carre of our generation’, spellbinding storyteller Irving Finkel, chef and food writer Gill Meller, Patricia Fara talking about science and suffrage in the First World War, Oscar Wilde biographer Matthew Sturgis and James Holland, who brings to life the first ever narrative history of the biggest air battle of World War II.

Tickets for many of this year’s events, which run until Sunday 11 November, have sold out but there are still some available from Bridport Tourist Information Centre at the town hall, telephone 01308 424901, or online at