Henley Literary Festival: a retrospective

Henley Literary Festival 2023 came to a close yesterday, and The Independent was proud to be its news partner.

See what you missed below:


News stories:

  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin author Louis de Bernières says Nicolas Cage had ‘horrendous’ time during film adaptation
  • Rob Rinder echoes fan complaint about Strictly Come Dancing: ‘They are better than the professionals!’
  • David Walliams ‘locked in Italian prison cell for seven hours’ during Venice trip
  • Navy pilot described as ‘real-life Top Gun’ opens up about fatal tragedy that claimed instructor’s life
  • ‘No, Britain is not best place to be Black’: Journalist Gary Younge on UK’s racism problem
  • Martin Bayfield recalls ‘rugby’s most violent match’ in iconic England win over France
  • Theresa May piles pressure on Sunak not to scrap HS2
  • Clive Myrie ‘felt the weight of history on his shoulders’ reporting on King Charles III’s proclamation
  • Sebastian Faulks says the super-rich think ‘rules don’t apply’ on mortality and ethics
  • The Crown has turned the royals into a ‘soap opera’, says Queen Elizabeth biographer Gyles Brandreth
  • Gyles Brandreth recalls late Queen’s savage quip to Mervyn King during financial crisis
  • Henley Literary Festival 2023 unveils lineup including Theresa May, Sebastian Faulks and David Baddiel



  • Sara Pascoe on her debut novel, debt and fertility: ‘In my thirties, I had to suddenly describe myself as a childless woman’
  • Sebastian Faulks on his futuristic 16th novel and rewriting 007: ‘I stopped watching Bond when Sean Connery left’
  • Did Oscar Wilde set back the cause of gay rights? Author Tom Crewe on why the great playwright is no hero
  • Louise Minchin: from the breakfast sofa to Alcatraz’s shark-infested waters
  • Henley Literary Festival 2023 preview: Theresa May, Sebastian Faulks and what else to see


Four of The Independent’s five events were carried in full on Independent TV during the festival, with Gary Younge’s discussion with Nadine White and Robert Peston’s interview with Simon Walters livestreamed. Martin Chilton’s conversations with Louis de Bernières and Sebastian Faulks were both available as video on demand for Independent TV viewers.

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