John Cooper Clarke, Alice Roberts and Frank Bruno among the names confirmed for 2019’s Leeds International Festival

John Cooper Clarke.
John Cooper Clarke.

Musicians, writers and even a boxing champion are set to play a knockout part in an event tipped as one of the highlights of this year’s Leeds cultural calendar.

Leeds International Festival organisers today announced the first batch of famous names signed up for their 2019 programme, which runs from May 2 to 12.

Billed as a metropolitan celebration of new ideas and innovation, the festival – which is also known as L19 – will feature the likes of punk poet John Cooper Clarke, evolutionary biologist and TV presenter Prof Alice Roberts and conceptual artist Tommy Cash,

Other names confirmed today include award-winning novelist Matt Haig, economist Simon Anholt, singing star Jermain Jackman and former world heavyweight boxing champ Frank Bruno, who will be talking about music and black mental health.

Festival executive Gemma Holsgrove said: “We are delighted to be bringing this year’s festival to life with some really dynamic first announcements.

“We have some of the world’s leading thinkers, innovators and pioneers coming to Leeds to explore new ideas and innovation and sitting alongside local creators showcasing new and experimental works while celebrating the city’s rich cultural diversity and unshakeable creative spirit.

“These events are just a taste of what L19 will be bringing to the city for 10 days in May.”

Taking place for the third year in a row, the festival is funded by LeedsBID (Business Improvement District).

It will be staged across the city, with details of individual venues – including areas called The Village and The Discovery Zone – due to be announced in the next few weeks.

Tickets for the festival’s various events went on sale today, visit the www.leedsinternationalfestival.com website for further information.