Hay Festival and the BBC have today unveiled the full line-up for the BBC Tent at Hay Festival Wales 2019 along with broader coverage for the Festival.
Programme guests include Fatima Bhutto, Simon Schama, Kapka Kassabova, Jeanette Winterson, Naomi Wolf, Nicci Gerrard, David Olusoga, John Browne, Dieter Helm, Siri Hustvedt, Rachel Parris, and Nigel Owens, alongside presenters Jo Whiley, Mary Beard, Fi Glover, Jane Garvey, George Alagiah, Qasa Alom, Spencer Kelly, Adam Rutherford, Grace Dent, Nick Robinson, Tim Harford, and Ian McMillan.
Across BBC TV, radio, BBC Sounds and online, 53 BBC shows will be recorded on site or broadcast live from the event, including BBC World News’ Talking Books, HardTalk and Click, BBC Two’s Front Row Late, BBC Radio 2’s Jo Whiley Show, and popular shows across BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3, BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester. BBC Arts Digital will also show festival highlights throughout the week.
Free booking is open online from 9am Monday 15 April at hayfestival.org or on 01497 822 629.
Lamia Dabboussy, Editor, BBC Arts said: “World-renowned writers go to Hay Festival and the BBC ensures they are broadcast back to the world across our many platforms, enabling all our audiences to enjoy the best in literary debate and discussion. Our BBC Tent has an action-packed programme this year, with appearances from the likes of Simon Schama and David Olusoga to Jeanette Winterson, Naomi Wolf, Rachel Parris and many more.”
Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, said: “It’s a joy to work with the BBC to amplify the conversations in this Welsh field and bring the festival to the world.”
BBC World News records three editions of Talking Books in front of a live audience as George Alagiah talks to Nicci Gerrard and Fatima Bhutto, while Stig Abell meets Kapka Kassabova. Meanwhile, Spencer Kelly presents the BBC’s flagship science and technology TV show Click, offering mind-bending live demos and tales of AI and virtual reality.
BBC Future looks at long-termism in a debate that explores the benefits of deep-time thinking in areas from climate change to politics. BBC Culture discusses the growing trend of bibliotherapy, where books are prescribed as medical treatments. Meanwhile, the 100 Women project debates issues around boycotting controversial artists.
BBC Two broadcasts an edition of Front Row Late hosted by classicist Mary Beard, joined by guests including David Olusoga, with lively and topical debate.
BBC Radio 2 broadcasts Jo Whiley’s evening show live from Hay Festival, with special guests from across the festival appearing alongside her usual handpicked selection of music.
BBC Radio 4’s flagship programme of ideas Start the Week explores the impact of human ingenuity – from the myth of Frankenstein to geoengineering – with guests Jeanette Winterson, Naomi Wolf and John Browne. Beyond Belief debates the relationship between faith and the imagination with a panel of artists, writers and neuroscientists; Adam Rutherford returns with Inside Science; Grace Dent presents The Untold; Nick Robinson presents a special festival edition of Political Thinking; and More or Less makes its Hay Festival debut as Tim Hartford and team discuss the statistics behind the news of the week.
BBC Radio 3 presents two live recordings of Free Thinking. Guests Tony Juniper, Emily Shuckburgh, Dieter Helm and Kapka Kassabova join Rana Mitter to discuss Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring. Meanwhile, Simon Schama, Siri Hustvedt and Catherine Fletcher explore the ways in which writing about art can help us embrace a new way of seeing a work of art in the second recording. The Essay invites five leading writers to respond to the themes of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, often described as the first modern novel, while Ian McMillan presents a live recording of the ‘cabaret of the word’ The Verb, featuring Hannah Sullivan, winner of the 2018 TS Eliot Prize, and comedian Rachel Parris.
BBC offers up a live recording of hit BBC Radio 4 podcast Fortunately… with Fi and Jane; Clemency Burton-Hill presents two live editions of BBC Radio 3’s Classical Fix; and Simon Mundie talks to Nigel Owens for a special episode of BBC Radio 4’s Don't Tell Me The Score.
BBC Asian Network presents a live broadcast of Asian Network’s Big Debate, discussing the big issues affecting British Asians today.
BBC Radio Wales broadcasts their special Festival daily show presented by journalist and broadcaster Guto Harri. Tonight at Hay will offer a roundup of festival highlights each day and conversations with star guests. Meanwhile, Tom Price returns with guests from the world of comedy and entertainment to review the week’s biggest stories in a recording of The Leak, and BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester showcase the region’s best new music in live sessions.
Away from the BBC Tent, 600 speakers appear in events across 11 days of Hay Festival. Award-winning writers gather to launch new work, while global policy makers, pioneers and innovators seek solutions to the biggest issues of our time, from the rise of populism to the climate crisis. A vibrant schedule of late-night music, comedy and entertainment appeals to all ages, while HAYDAYS and #HAYYA programmes encourage younger readers to get creative.
Hay Festival’s free Programme for Schools opens the festival on Thursday 23 May and Friday 24 May, while a series of projects encourage accessibility, including the Beacons Project, free tickets for students in higher education, a student exchange with Bradford Literary Festival, a day for adoptive families run with The Family Place, and Hay Compass, a special space on site to learn and discover for 16-25-year-olds, with free access to inspiring speakers.
Free to enter, the festival village is comprised of 10 tented venues, the Festival Bookshop, HAYDAYS courtyard, Wild Garden, Make and Take Tent, the Scribblers Hut, the Cube, the Mess Tent, and market stalls, cafés, exhibitions and restaurants.
Explore the full Hay Festival Wales programme here.