Former Prime Minister Sir John Major is one of the big attractions of this year's Blenheim Palace Literary Festival at Woodstock programme.

The festival also welcomes one of Britain’s best-loved food writers, Rick Stein, who returns to his Oxfordshire roots to talk about his memoirs, Under a Mackerel Sky.

Mr Stein was brought up on a farm in West Oxfordshire.  Sir John is joined by novelists Ben Okri, Gill Hornby, DJ Taylor, Helen Dunmore and William Nicholson; historian and journalist Max Hastings; and singer Beverley Craven.

Festival director Sally Dunsmore said: "Once again, we have assembled leading writers and public figures from the fields of politics, history, food and drink, architecture and design, music, literature and society.

"We are delighted to welcome a former prime minister, Sir John Major, who promises an intriguing talk on his new book about his father and the history of music hall."

Broadcaster and curator of the Royal Historic Palaces, Lucy Worsley, gives the address on the British obsession with murder at the festival literary dinner in Blenheim Palace.

There will be lots of performance at the festival again this year including theatre and an appearance by Beverly Craven, who will talk about her life and sing some of her songs.

Altogether, more than 100 writers and public figures will gather at Blenheim Palace and in Woodstock for this year's festival between Wednesday, September 18, and Sunday, September 22.

Most of the events are already confirmed. Online booking is open and tickets can be booked through Telephone and walk-in booking will open shortly at The Feathers Hotel, Woodstock.