New headline acts have been added to next month’s Wolverhampton Literature Festival line-up. The festival returns for its fifth year from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 February, with an online offer celebrating the creative communities of the Black Country and beyond. The new acts join an array of outstanding performers, speakers, authors and poets already announced for the digital festival.

Heavy Metal fans can celebrate the fire and power of Metal God Rob Halford, frontman of the iconic band Judas Priest, as he returns to his Black Country roots to discuss his candid and revealing memoir ‘Confess’. Rob will be charting his journey from a council estate to international musical fame and audiences will be able to hear the tales of unlikely encounters with everybody from Superman, Andy Warhol, Madonna, Jack Nicholson and the Queen.

Author Will Self will be returning to the festival alongside author and Professor in English Literature from the University of Wolverhampton, Sebastian Groes, and Dr Tom Mercer, Lecturer in Psychology, looking at the intricacies of remembering fiction we read in the past and how our perspective changes when we re-read stories. In this event audience members will be invited to take part in an interactive memory experiment. This event is co-organised by BBC Arts and the Groes’ Art and Humanities Research Council-funded research project Novel Perceptions. 

The popular comedian and co-host of Radio 4's award winning 'Infinite Monkey Cage' (with Professor Brian Cox)", Robin Ince, will also be joining the line-up along with Wolverhampton’s funny lady Susan Murray to discuss his book ‘I’m A Joke and So Are You’ with the two highlighting the hilarious and often moving examination of the human condition with fun, laughter and some insight into the audience’s psyche.

City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “It is fantastic that the line-up of the festival is being added to and that the festival is attracting talent from around the world from all creative industries. There is so much to get involved in and with these new events added I urge everyone to take a look at these exclusive and intimate virtual events.”

The new events sit alongside other festival headliners, which include some of the region’s most nationally-renowned, home-grown talent such as author Sathnam Sanghera, Line of Duty and Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio and activist Patrick Vernon OBE.

There are also craft-masters from further afield such as journalist and New York resident Jon Ronson and Shobna Gulati, making this year's festival the most ambitious to date.