FESTIVAL DIARY

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*Jamie Oliver came to the festival on Tuesday to talk about recipe books, school dinners and how he'd like to be "a modern-day Fanny Cradock (you haven't seen me in a dress, mate)". But the right-on message about feeding "proper grub" to children was confused, for some, when he and his posse arrived in two enormous 4x4s.

*Jamie Oliver came to the festival on Tuesday to talk about recipe books, school dinners and how he'd like to be "a modern-day Fanny Cradock (you haven't seen me in a dress, mate)". But the right-on message about feeding "proper grub" to children was confused, for some, when he and his posse arrived in two enormous 4x4s.

*Despite consuming more than 5,000 calories daily, mostly in chocolate, vitamin pills and shortbread fingers, polar explorer Pen Hadow lost half a pound a day during his solo trip to the North Pole. "It seems drastic," he said yesterday. "But my wife pointed out it's a pretty reasonable amount for someone on the Weight Watchers programme."

*You get a better class of graffiti in north London, according to gossip in the writers' room. "I know someone who lives in the same road as Julian Barnes," boasted one Hampstead lady. "Outside his house there is a 'LOST PARROT' notice tacked to a tree. Someone has added, 'Answers to the name of Flaubert'."

DON'T MISS

* 11.15am, Town Hall: Python-turned-medieval expert Terry Jones asks if Chaucer was murdered, and if so, why?

* 11.30am, Town Hall: Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad and Berlin, on the Chekhov family, divided between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.

* 6pm, Everyman: The last eight months of the Second World War in Europe involved 100 million people in a titanic struggle. Celebrated military historian and journalist Max Hastings tells the extraordinary story.

* 8.45pm, Everyman: Wexford versus Dalgliesh as PD James and Ruth Rendell meet to discuss their unique ability to delve into the criminal mind. Come and learn more about the craft of crime writing from two literary legends.

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