Review of Alan Johnson event at the Holt Festival

Alan Johnson. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Alan Johnson. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Review of the Alan Johnson event at the Holt Festival by Karl Clare.

Alan Johnson, the former Home Secretary, in the last Labour Government was a charismatic choice to open the Holt Festival series of 'In Conversation' events. He was a very assured speaker with an engaging tone that played well throughout to the knowledgeable audience.

Becky Jago was his charming interviewer. She had clearly done her homework on Alan Johnson, although he needed little prompting to regale the audience with stories and anecdotes from his childhood through to his many varied cabinet positions. His unusual upbringing and early life certainly did not suggest someone who would go on to have such an impact upon public life.

This was an enjoyable, promising start to these events at the festival and one that certainly left me wanting to read Alan Johnson's series of autobiographical books. The audio versions narrated by the author also appeal following his reading at the event of an extract from his second book in which he described the occasion when he was mistaken for a burglar running from the scene of a crime.