THE Chalke Valley History Festival starts next week and has a packed line-up of events.

The new Live History Live programme will offer visitors the chance to see, touch and feel history first hand. Each event will be presented by a leading historian.

The line-up of speakers includes ITV’s political editor Robert Peston, Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of London Sarah Churchwell, art restoration expert Dorothee Schneider, actor, comedian and television presenter Tony Robinson, the BBC’s Security Correspondent Gordon Corera, author, journalist and historian Shrabani Basu, and sporting commentator John Inverdale.

Tracy Borman, John Julius Norwich, Kate Mosse, Dan Snow, Antony Beevor, Peter Frankopan, Michael Morpurgo, Sebastian Faulks, Tom Holland and Al Murray will also be returning.

Former RAF Tornado navigator John Nichol will be giving a talk titled Spitfire: A very British Love Story on Sunday, July 1.

Winston Churchill’s endeavours to undermine Hitler at the start of the Second World War are uncovered in The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: Churchill’s Mavericks Plotting Hitler’s Defeat.

Giles Milton, a writer and historian, will present this account on June 26.

The festival will be celebrating its Chalke Valley History Heroes with a series of talks about some of the area’s most notable figures.

The festival runs from Monday until Sunday, July 1. For more go to