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🎧 Young Churchill

Recording from Chalke Valley History Festival 2019.

When we think of Winston Churchill we think of the gruff wartime leader with the bulldog features, cigar and hat. It’s hard to imagine he was ever young. But in this talk for all ages, best-selling author and comedian, Charlie Higson will vividly bring the young Winston to life, from when he joined the army aged 20 until he first entered parliament five years later, having fought on three continents and begun his writing career as a war correspondent.

Histrionics 2017

For many, our history panel show is the highlight of the Festival. This video was taken at CVHF 2017 when we had Charlie Higson in the chair and John Sessions, Tracy Borman, Andy Zaltzman and Dan Snow on the panel.


Our ever-popular history panel show returns on Friday, 29th June 2018 with Fast Show comedian and author Charlie Higson as quizmaster. Returning team captains John Sessions and Dan Snow will be joined by Helen Castor and, for the first time, Al Murray. Sixty minutes of quickfire historical humour with new rounds and challenges for the teams. Tickets can be purchased here.

Histrionics 2016

The hilarious historical quiz show was back in 2016 at the Chalke Valley History Festival! Tom Holland was in the chair with Ian Hislop and Dr Alice Roberts pitting their wits in a series of all-new rounds and challenges against Charlie Higson and Andrew Roberts.

Chalke Valley History Prize Winners Announced!

Having received hundreds of entries for this year’s Penguin Chalke Valley History Prize, we are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s competition:

11-14 AGE GROUP: 
‘You Always Win’ by Maya Empson

Maya Empson - History Prize Winner (11-14)

Maya Empson – History Prize Winner (11-14)

15-18: AGE GROUP:
‘Birdcage’ by Amy Perkis

Amy Perkis: History Prize (15-18)

Amy Perkis – History Prize (15-18)

The results came through after a terrific writing masterclass with Charlie Higson and Elizabeth Fremantle, chaired by James Petrie, History Prize judge. Congratulations to all our winners and shortlisted entrants!

Exclusive interview with Charlie Higson

Our penultimate video exclusive from this year’s festival as Xander Drury talks to writer Charlie Higson about his latest zombie-packed adventure in The Enemy series, his time on ‘The Fast Show’ and the key to writing thrilling historical fiction.

Camera: John E Fry

Charlie Higson at CVHF13

Exclusive interview with Justin Pollard

An exclusive interview with Justin Pollard, historical advisor on everything from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ to ‘The Tudors’ as he discusses with John Fry his new history panel show ‘Histrionics’ and shares his delight at being involved in this year’s festival.

Camera: John E Fry

Ian Hislop and Neil Oliver getting their teeth into CVHF’s own panel show, ‘Histrionics’

Photos from Histrionics: The Brand New History Panel Show

It is already becoming something of a tradition for the Festival to lay on something slightly lighter-hearted on the Friday evening, and so this year CVHF came up with something entirely new: a brand new history quiz show, combining deep historical knowledge with razor-sharp wit.

With panellists Ian Hislop, Neil Oliver, Dan Snow and Natalie Haynes locking horns under the watchful eyes of Charlie Higson as chair, here are some of the best photos courtesy of John E Fry from one of the more outrageous and irreverence events of the Festival.