Cowes born, multi-award-winning actor Jeremy Irons will open the Red Funnel Isle of Wight Digital Literary Festival on Friday October 9.

Irons will read Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in Eight Fits).

The actor has a rich and much-lauded career in theatre, film and television. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1990 for his performance as Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune.

He was awarded Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe and Emmy for his role in the television miniseries Elizabeth I alongside Helen Mirren.

Most recently he starred alongside Regina King in the HBO series WATCHMEN, the revamp led by Damon Lindelof.

The Hunting of the Snark has been chosen for its Island connection: the book is dedicated to Gertrude Chataway and opens with a poem that uses her name as a double acrostic.

Carroll met the nine-year-old Gertrude on the beach in Sandown in 1875.

Maggie Ankers, chair of the Red Funnel Isle of Wight Literary Festival, said: “We can think of no better person to open our event than the much respected Jeremy Irons.

“Jeremy’s connection to the Island and those of Carroll’s poem are a great start to a literary weekend that offers something for everyone.”

How to view the free digital festival