TAL Interviewers

Charlie Lee Potter

Charlie is making a welcome return to our interview panel this year.  She is a writer, broadcaster and literary critic as well as an English Literature lecturer at the University of Oxford. She presented Radio 4’s Open Book for several years as well as various news programmes such as PM, The World at One and The World This Weekend.

Her book reviews have appeared in The Observer, New Statesman and Independent. Her Monograph, Writing the 9/11 Decade: Reportage and the Evolution of the Novel (Bloomsbury, 2018), was shortlisted for the University English Book Prize 2018.

Charlie will be in conversation with Dan Jarvis, Gill Hornby, and Rachel Billington


Alex Preston

Alex will perhaps be best remembered for his wonderful interviews with Penelope Lively and Victoria Hislop at TAL in 2019.  However, he is also an author and critic in his own right.  He came to our attention in 2017 when he co-authored As Kingfishers Catch Fire, a mesmeric memoir and anthology of literature about British birds.  His first novel, This Bleeding City was published in 2010 to great acclaim for which he won many awards and has been translated into twelve languages.  His third novel, , was featured on Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime. 

Alex reviews books for a number of national newspapers and magazines and was a regular panelist on BBC 2’s The Review Show.  He is an English lecturer at the University of Kent.

Alex will be chairing ‘Gardening for the soul’ with Alice Vincent and Sue Stuart-Smith; He will also be in conversation with Edward Purnell and Tim Ecott


Dominic Sandbrook

Dominic has also been a frequent speaker at TAL and perhaps is well remembered when he and Simon Heffer swapped roles each becoming interviewer and interviewee in 2019.  

He is the author of eight books of modern history and is best known for his books and television series on Britain since the 1950s, including White Heat, a history of the Swinging Sixties in Britain. He writes for the Daily Mail and Sunday Times and is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London.

Dominic will be talking to Robert Harris


Kerry Potter

Kerry is Muddy Stilettos’ Associate Editor and Literary Editor of Glamour magazine. She contributes culture, celebrity, lifestyle and fashion features to national newspapers and magazines including The Mail on SundaySunday Telegraph and Elle.

Kerry will be chairing the Fashion Panel and will also be in conversation with Clover Stroud.


Will Gompertz

Will is the BBC Arts Correspondent and is best known for interviewing the great and the good on BBC News and arts programmes. His last appearance at TAL was slightly cut short by him being required to rush off to interview Martin Scorsese!

Voted one of the World’s Top 50 Creative Thinkers by New York’s Creativity Magazine, Will was previously a Director of The Tate Gallery

Will will be in conversation with Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason.


Alistair Bunkall

Alistair  is the Sky News Defence and Security correspondent. He regularly files reports from frontlines in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, North Korea and NATO’s eastern border with Russia. Alistair has been given unprecedented access to some of the UK’s most secretive establishments including GCHQ, and also writes on international affairs for the London Evening Standard.

Alistair will be talking with Hamish de Bretton-Gordon