HAILED as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Richard Thompson is the first headliner to be named for next year’s Purbeck Valley Folk Festival.

The folk-rock pioneer will be joined by his band Electric Trio at the annual event which runs from August 16-19.

Having co-founded the groundbreaking group Fairport Convention as a teenager in the ‘60s, Richard Thompson and his band mates have often been credited with inventing British Folk Rock.

Thompson’s body of work includes over 40 albums, many Grammy nominations and has been recorded by artists including Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, REM, Del McCoury, Bob Dylan, Los Lobos, David Byrne and Don Henley.

Purbeck Valley Folk Festival organiser, Catherine Burke said: “We are over the moon to have one of the all-time greats of folk music returning to headline for us.

“I love this festival because of the amazing atmosphere made by the people who come. There’s loads of brilliant music; we’re music-lovers so we make sure it’s always really great music.”