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Presented by UKC Development Office

We are sorry that this event has been postponed. If you are a ticket holder you will be contacted directly by our Box Office team.

The In Conversation series continues with the ‘Queen of Crime’, Val McDermid who will be joining Gavin Esler live in the Gulbenkian Theatre at 18.30 with doors opening at 18.00.

Val McDermid has sold over 17 million books to date across the globe and is translated into more than 40 languages. She is perhaps best-known for her Wire in the Blood series, featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for television starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris. She has written three other series: private detective Kate Brannigan, journalist Lindsay Gordon and, most recently, cold case detective Karen Pirie, whose debut appearance in The Distant Echo is soon to become a major ITV series.

McDermid continues to be a remarkably versatile writer for stage, microphone and screen as well as books. In the last couple of years, she has returned to writing for the theatre with Margaret Saves Scotland as well as creating the TV series Traces based on her original idea and starring Molly Windsor and Martin Compston.

She is also an experienced broadcaster with regular and hugely popular appearances on TV and radio. Val has guest edited BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, fronted features for BBC Two’s The Culture Show, written and presented many radio documentaries and appeared on a remarkable range of TV shows from Question Time to Have I Got News For You.

Val has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year, the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger, the Grand Prix des Romans D’Aventure, the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award, the Stonewall Writer of the Year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She is the recipient of six Honorary Doctorates and is an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

The Conversation will conclude with an audience Q&A. You can join the conversation on Twitter beforehand using #GavinAsks, or email a question to

You can extend your evening by joining us for a three-course dinner to be held in Darwin Conference Suite, joined by Val McDermid and Gavin Esler . You will be offered this option when booking a ticket to the evening’s talk.

Donations and all ticket sales will support students through scholarships and hardship bursaries. If you would like to learn more about the Kent Opportunity Fund, please visit the website:

Extend your evening after In Conversation with Val McDermid by joining us for a post-show dinner in Darwin Conference Suite. The dinner is a perfect opportunity for you to continue the conversation.  Tickets for the dinner can be purchased after selecting your ticket to the event or separately by clicking here.

Our award winning in-house caterers, Kent Hospitality, will be serving a pre-dinner drinks reception followed by a three course meal with wine and coffee for a package price of £35.00 per person.

The menu will be announced shortly. We can accommodate your dietary requirements, but please email if you are unsure about the options.


ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

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