THE Oxford Times is reviving its popular literary lunches, with the historian John Julius Norwich lined up for a pre-Christmas date in the historic surroundings of Christ Church, Oxford.

The 79-year-old 2nd Viscount Norwich, who rarely uses his title, will talk about his autobiography Trying To Please.

As son of the diplomat Duff Cooper, and the beautiful socialite Lady Diana, he spent his childhood consorting with celebrities from Winston Churchill and General de Gaulle to Hilaire Belloc and HG Wells.

He has written histories of Venice, the Byzantine Empire, Norman Sicily and the Mediterranean, as well as books on Shakespeare’s history plays, music, travel and architecture.

For four years he was the chairman of the BBC radio panel game My Word! and was a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz. He has written and presented some 30 TV documentaries.

The Oxford Times Literary Lunch is on Thursday, December 4, in the McKenna Room at Christ Church, Oxford. Tickets are £30, including a three-course lunch with wine and coffee. To book call 01865 305305.