2023 guests

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Actor, writer and producer Andy has countless movie, TV and theatre credits. Festivalgoers will know him from Nigel Kneale’s terrifying TV adaptation of The Woman in Black, Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set, Mark Gatiss’s Crooked House, and the movies Severance, Black Death, Kick-Ass 2, The ABCs of Death 2, and Jungle Cruise.

He also starred in the hugely successful theatre production and later movie adaptation of Ghost Stories, which he co-wrote with his best friend, and last year’s Festival guest, Jeremy Dyson.

An accomplished magician, Andy has worked closely with Derren Brown for many years, co-writing and sometimes directing his stage shows and TV specials. Most recently, Andy and Jeremy Dyson have channelled their love for magic and illusion into a hugely entertaining and fiendishly clever espionage novel, The Warlock Effect, which features their protagonist Louis Warlock, ‘the most famous magician in Britain’. Andy will be signing copies at the festival.


Madeline is well known to genre fans for her many appearances in films, TV series and stage productions. She is perhaps best remembered for her role as Miss Caruso in the 1973 Bond film Live and Let Die, and for her appearances in Hammer and other horror films including The Vampire Lovers (1970), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), Theatre of Blood (1973) and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974).

Her comedy films include Up Pompeii (1971), Up the Front (1972) and Carry On Matron (1972). She also appeared in the films The Killing of Sister George (1968) and The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972). Maddy’s TV roles include The Persuaders, The Two Ronnies (Hampton Wick serial), Doctor At Large, and Steptoe and Son.


Screenwriter and author Stephen Volk is best known for being the evil mind behind BBC TV’s notorious – some say legendary – “Halloween hoax” Ghostwatch and for creating the award-winning ITV paranormal drama series Afterlife starring Lesley Sharp and Andrew Lincoln.

His feature screenplays include period ghost story The Awakening starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton, William Friedkin’s The Guardian, and Ken Russell’s Gothic starring Natasha Richardson as Mary Shelley with Gabriel Byrne as Lord Byron. He was also behind ITV’s supernatural thriller Midwinter of the Spirit starring Anna Maxwell Martin and David Threlfall. For the stage he wrote The Chapel of Unrest starring Jim Broadbent and Reece Shearsmith, and won a BAFTA for Best Short Film for The Deadness of Dad starring Rhys Ifans.

He is also the author of four short story collections – Dark Corners, Monsters in the Heart (which won the British Fantasy Award), The Parts We Play, and, most recently, Lies of Tenderness. His other books include the acclaimed Dark Masters Trilogy, Under a Raven’s Wing, and the nonfiction Coffinmaker’s Blues: Collected Writings on Terror.

Photo credit: Peter Coleborn


David McGillivray describes himself as a general factotum of the entertainment business: actor, producer, playwright, screenwriter and film critic. Once described as the ‘Truffaut of smut’, he has worked with genre names including Norman J. Warren, Pete Walker, Ray Selfe and John Lindsay.

He first met Norman J. Warren in 1967, when Warren was editing his first feature Her Private Hell, Subsequently McGillivray wrote two screenplays for Warren, Satan’s Slave (1976) and Terror (1978). The two men kept in touch, working on minor projects together including a short, Turn Your Bloody Phone Off (2013), for FrightFest. Part of Susu (2018), Warren’s last film, which he produced for director Yixi Sun, was shot in McGillivray’s house in London’s King’s Cross. For Pete Walker, he wrote Frightmare, House of Whipcord, House of Mortal Sin, and Schizo.

Books include his seminal history of British sex films ‘Doing Rude Things’ and his scandalous autobiography ‘Little Did You Know’ as well as co-writing the hugely popular series of plays based around The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomens Guild Dramatic Society. He has written for Julian Clary since the early 1980s.


Liverpool-born Ramsey – our festival’s esteemed President – is an acclaimed horror fiction writer, editor and critic, writing for more than 50 years. He’s the author of more than 30 novels and hundreds of short stories, many winning literary awards. Three of his novels have been adapted into films.

Since Ramsey first came to prominence in the mid-1960s, critics have cited him as one of the leading writers in his field: “Campbell reigns supreme”, “perhaps the finest living exponent of the British weird fiction tradition”, and “future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood.”

In a 2021 appreciation of his collected works, The Washington Post said “they constitute one of the monumental accomplishments of modern popular fiction.”

Photo credit: Ramsey and his wife, Jenny Chandler, by Tony Knox


We’re delighted that Jenny is joining the festival line-up this year. Attending The Actors Workshop in Notting Hill in the late 1960s, she’s had an extensive career in film, TV and theatre, working with directors including John Cassavetes (HUSBANDS), Pier Paolo Pasolini (CANTERBURY TALES), Michelangelo Antonioni (THE PASSENGER), Ridley Scott (THE DUELLISTS), Derek Jarman (JUBILEE, in which she played the dual roles of Queen Elizabeth I and Bod, leader of the girl anarchists), and Nicholas Roeg (THE WITCHES). 

Other genre film credits include Robert Fuest’s cult classic THE FINAL PROGRAMME (1973) – we’re planning a special 50th anniversary screening at the festival – as well as THE CREEPING FLESH (1973) and SON OF DRACULA (1974). Her many TV appearances include THE SWEENEY, LOVEJOY, THE NEW AVENGERS, TAGGART, BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, and PLAY FOR TODAY. 

Jenny has recently finished filming with Paul Kindersley, playing the dysfunctional mother of a dysfunctional family in his film THE BURNING BABY. She has worked on two other films and several installation pieces with Paul, and will soon be appearing in the Netflix series KAOS (2024).


We are thrilled that Jane will be joining the 2023 festival. She’s appeared extensively on stage and screen, and is perhaps best known for playing Joyce Barnaby in MIDSOMER MURDERS. Her many other TV credits include BEASTS, UNDERWORD, SINCHRONICITY, THE PETER PRINCIPLE, ROB ROY, POLDARK (original series), and LOVEJOY. 

Theatre credits include Ophelia in Hamlet at the Old Vic Theatre and world tour, Short Sharp Shock at the Royal Court, Viola in Twelfth Night, and Sasha in Ivanov (Prospect Theatre Company). Her father Patrick Wymark appeared in genre films including WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW, WHERE EAGLES DARE, CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED, and DOPPLEGANGER.

At this year’s festival, we’re partnering with Headpress Publishing for the official launch of Andrew Screen’s new ‘THE BOOK OF BEASTS’ – which will include a special panel discussion on Nigel Kneale’s 1976 folk horror anthology series, and episode screenings on the big screen. Jane appeared in the unforgettable ‘Baby’ with the late Simon MacCorkindale.


We’re delighted that actor, writer, comedian, and all-round Doctor Who and Nigel Kneale superfan Toby (“it’s pronounced Hayd-oak”) will be dropping by the festival again, joining our ‘Day of Beasts’ event on Sunday 22 October, and chatting about his new book, THE QUATERMASS FILES: VOLUME ONE, which is due to be published this December. This detailed examination of the Quatermass serials and films features dozens of previously unpublished interviews. Vol. One concentrates on the BBC productions of the 1950s.

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