THE keynote speaker at this year's Lincoln Book Festival has been forced to pull-out – because he is trapped in war-town Syria.
TV presenter and author Dan Snow was due to appear on Tuesday, October 2, in the grounds of Lincoln Castle to talk about his new book.
But the BAFTA-award winning TV star and author has been refused permission to leave the Middle East – where he is filming – because of fierce fighting in the country.
The 18-month battle between rebels and Government forces in Syria rose to unprecedented levels of violence last week when fighting in the country's second city Aleppo intensified.
Organisers are now contacting people who have already purchased tickets for the event. They will each be offered their money back and a free ticket to one of the other festival events.
Meanwhile a new venue has been found for Robert Hardy, renowned actor and medieval archery expert, who was due to appear in the castle marquee before Dan Snow. He will now appear at the Old Palace at the same time.
The rest of the events are going ahead as planned. Details can be seen on https://www.facebook.com/LincolnBookFestival
"Obviously we are very disappointed that Dan is unable to attend but more than that we hope he is able to return to the UK safe and sound," said Trust chairman Jon Grubb.
"We are doing everything we can to ensure that people who have booked tickets are not too disappointed and to sort out changes to the programme.
"Hopefully we will be able to get Dan back to the city at some point in the future."