THE Curious Arts Festival will return to the magical grounds of Pylewell Park in the New Forest Friday July 20- Sunday 22.

And it has been revealed that the nation's favourite choirmaster, TV presenter and national treasure Gareth Malone will appear.

Organisers say they are thrilled to be joined by the Bournemouth School educated star along with bestselling authors Kate Mosse and Adam Kay, award-winning restaurateur and food writer Russell Norman, and Lemn Sissay, Dolly Alderton, Flyte and Outlya.

Also announced is The Great Brain Robbery, The Magpie and the Wardrobe and HMS Sweet Charity.

They are part of the first wave of writers and performers who will be joining one of the UK's top boutique arts festivals.

Curious offers fabulous novelists, exceptional historians, performing poets, some of the UK's most exciting musicians and bands, a stellar line up of comedy talent and a uniquely engaging programme for children.

1n 2018 the capacity remains at 5,000. Small IS beautiful, say promoters, and the atmosphere will be as dreamy and eccentric as ever. You might find yourself learning how to write a Petrarchan sonnet, losing your life-savings at Black-Jack, creating a vintage doll's house from scratch or joining a LOVE workshop among many other offerings and experiences.

Expect illuminating adventures, lively literary chat, breakfast briefings on the day's news, cocktail masterclasses, cartoon clubs, the return of MJ's pop-up choir, a fine array of food providers and fireworks.

Of course the festival would not be complete without its annual cricket match: The Authors XI play Pylewell Park in what will be a hotly contested match.

Children’s events include puppetry, pop up theatre events, story-telling and journalism workshops as well as comedy for kids.

Tickets, including early-bird weekend tickets are now on sale at