Roger McGough confirmed for York Literature Festival 2014

Presenter of Poetry Please, wordsmith Roger McGough. Photograph: Rolf Marriott / BBC
10 Oct 2013 @ 11.04 am
| News
Presenter of Poetry Please, wordsmith Roger McGough. Photograph: Rolf Marriott / BBC
Presenter of Poetry Please, wordsmith Roger McGough. Photograph: Rolf Marriott / BBC

Acclaimed poet, BBC presenter and Beatles scriptwriter Roger McGough has been confirmed as one of the headline acts at York Literature Festival 2014.

Well known as a champion of poetry, and is the current presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please, McGough has a long and diverse creative career.

One of the Mersey Poets who came to prominence in the 1960s alongside Brian Patten and Adrian Henri, he was also a member of pop trio The Scaffold, penning the lyrics for number one hit Lily the Pink in 1968. He also contributed to the script for the Beatles’ film Yellow Submarine.

His work has appeared in over 50 books, and has included writing for children and autobiography.

Miles Salter, director of York Literature Festival, said: “We are delighted to welcome Roger McGough to the 2014 festival.

“He has been a figurehead for the spoken word for many years, and is a nationally known presenter of poetry.”

McGough is an honourable fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and President of the Poetry Society. He was made an OBE in 1997 and a CBE in 2004.

Ambitious plans

The 2014 festival, sponsored by York St John University, will run from March 20-31, and will feature well known names as well as writers from the York area.

The festival has recently secured funding from several sources: £6,000 from the council’s Community York fund, £7,500 from the Arts Council and £7,745 from the Clore Duffield Foundation for a special project with young people.

“We have raised over £20,000 towards the 2014 festival and have some nationally recognised names from the worlds of literature, broadcasting and politics coming to York,” Miles said.

“We’re looking forward to an ambitious festival that will attract visitors to York from around the UK. It’s great to see the festival developing incrementally each year.”

The festival had its most successful year to date in 2013, with gross ticket sales topping £10,000 for the first time.

Started in 2007 by City of York Council’s libraries, the event was taken over by a voluntary group in August 2009.


  • Roger McGough will perform at Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York on Friday, March 28 at 7.30pm
  • Tickets are £13 and go on sale via York Theatre Royal from Monday, October 14 2013
  • For all our York Literature Festival stories, click here