The Olympian diving star shares what he’s learned about how to stay fit, healthy and positive. His secrets include delicious food, workouts anyone can do (he promises!) and invaluable motivational and lifestyle tips. He talks to the award-winning sports writer Carolyn Hitt.
We review an extraordinary year for cycling – from the Olympic Velodrome to the heroes and villains of the Tour de France – with the authors of On The Road Bike: The Search For A Nation’s Cycling Soul, Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike and It’s All About The Bike: The Pursuit Of Happiness On Two Wheels.
In October 2011 James Cracknell, two-time Olympic gold-medal rower and one of the greatest endurance athletes the world has ever known, suffered a seizure at home as his young son looked on in horror. A man who had known no limits, a man who had practically achieved the impossible, was now struggling to master life’s simple challenges.
A year earlier, as James undertook yet another endurance challenge in Arizona, he was knocked off his bike by the wing mirror of a petrol tanker. It had smashed into the back of his head at high speed, causing severe frontal lobe damage. The doctors weren’t sure if he would recover and, if he did, whether he would ever be the same again.
Touching Distance is an extraordinary, honest and powerful account as James and his wife Bev confront for the first time the lasting effects that the accident has had on their lives. It is the story of a marriage, of a family and of one man’s fight back to be the best husband and father he can be.
The consultant psychiatrist to Liverpool FC, Sky ProCycling, Ronnie O’Sullivan and the England football team introduces The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness. Chaired by Martin Chilton.
Rugby is a serious global business that is scaling up, and facing regional and global challenges and revolutions. WRU CEO and Chair of GlobalWelsh Martyn Phillips, Sam Warburton, the former Wales, Lions and Cardiff Blues captain and THE ref Nigel Owens discuss all aspects of the sport: its challenges, both on and off the field, and the culture that underpins the essence of the game, in conversation with Carolyn Hitt, author of Wales Play in Red.
Football has always been a numbers game: 4-4-2, the big number 9 and 3 points for a win. But what if up until now we’ve been focusing on the wrong numbers? What if the numbers that really matter, the ones that hold the key to winning matches, are actually 2.66, 53.4, 50/50, and 0 > 1? What if managers only make a 15% difference? What if Chelsea should have bought Darren Bent? Chaired by Gooner Clemency Burton-Hill.
Gareth Thomas had it all. He was a national hero, a sporting icon. He was a leader of men, captain of Wales and the British Lions. To him, rugby was an expression of cultural identity, a sacred code. It was no mere ball game. It gave him everything, except the freedom to be himself. This is the story of a man with a secret that was slowly killing him. Something he feared might devastate not only his own life but the lives of his wife, family, friends and teammates. His fear that telling the truth about his sexuality would lose him everything he loved almost sent him over the edge. The deceit ended when Gareth became the world’s most prominent athlete to come out as a gay man. His gesture has strengthened strangers, and given him a fresh perspective.
This year’s Hay Festival International Fellow spent the last year as Artist in Residence with the WRU and has produced this astonishing book about sport, about myth, about nationhood and identity. He is joined by the rugby columnist, author of Wales Play In Red. Chaired by Jasper Rees, author of Bred Of Heaven.
The batsman, former England Test captain, Telegraph columnist and author of Calling The Shots and Time To Declare previews this summer’s Ashes series. Chaired by Tom Holland.
Bernard Hinault is one of the greatest cyclists of all time. He is a five-time winner of the Tour de France and the only man to have won each of the Grand Tours on more than one occasion. Hinault is the last ‘old-school’ champion: a larger-than-life character from a working-class background, capable of winning on all terrains, in major Tours and one-day Classics. Nicknamed ‘The Badger’ for his combative style, he led a cyclists’ strike in his first Tour and instigated a legendary punch-up with demonstrators in 1982 while in the middle of a race. Hinault’s battles with teammates Laurent Fignon and Greg LeMond provide some of the greatest moments in Tour history.
Sports writer and journalist William Fotheringham is the Guardian's cycling correspondent and author of a number of books about the cycling world, including the number one bestseller Merckx: Half Man Half Bike and biographies of Fausto Coppi and Tom Simpson.
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A conversation with the legendary British cyclist, gold medallist in the Barcelona Olympics, Tour de France hero, and latterly the backroom ‘marginal gains’ genius of British cycling in his role as head of the R&D team, The Secret Squirrels.
The great Arsenal and England defender explains the struggles he’s faced to stay sober for 20 years and why he set up Sporting Chance, the charity which provides treatment and support for sports stars suffering from addictions. He gives his incisive thoughts on England’s continued failings in major tournaments and assesses why Arsenal has struggled to repeat the title-winning formula of his own time there.
The representation of women both in games and the games industry has been changing over the last few years. Come and meet Pratchett, the lead writer on Tomb Raider who specialises in developing the narrative structure, humour and characterisation in games and played a key role in the reinvention of the legendary Lara Croft.
A celebration of the first 20 years of the world’s premier classic performance car event – a story of cars, stars and the reinvention of a stately home.
A wide-ranging conversation about ambitions and opportunities with several of the remarkable women living and working here in the Border Country as profiled by writer Julia Gregson and photographer Alex Pownall in their book Crossing Borders. Horse trainer Venetia Williams has won over £1m in prize-money this year. Revel Guest is a film-maker and chair of the Hay Festival. Elizabeth Haycox is the owner of Richard Booth’s Bookshop and a Trustee of Hay Castle. Tiffany Murray is a novelist, author of Diamond Star Halo. The session will include a tribute to the late Jean Miller.
A graphic novel that gives a unique insight into the world of motor sport, from the former CEO of the Williams F1 Team.
A conversation with the owner of Pearl Island Arabians based in Herefordshire, one of the most successful stud farms in the world, breeding from pure Bahraini bloodlines. She talks about her work with horses and her racy novels in the Seven Bands of Gold series, which recall the bestselling tales of Harold Robbins. Jenny is a member of the Hay Writers Circle. She talks to Corisande Albert, producer of the Horsetales documentaries.
Parks describes his inspiring recovery from the shattering injury that ended his international rugby career. He tells of his commitment to his pioneering and world-first expeditions in the most extreme environments on earth.
Llanelli is one of the world’s greatest rugby towns, and home to one of the most loved and followed teams, The Scarlets. The broadcaster and journalist, whose other books include Who Beat the All Blacks?, yarns the best tales and traditions of the club with one of its most favoured sons, the legendary fly-half Phil Bennett. They talk to Dai Smith. A safe bet that stories will be told of 31 October 1972, when the final scoreboard famously read: Llanelli 9 Seland Newydd 3. There may be singing. #sosbanfach
Gonzo Davies, back-row forward and builder, knows the highs and lows of life; but as political and industrial corruption conspire to give parochial violence a national and international dimension, is he prepared to become the target of dark forces? The bestselling author of The Greatest Welsh XV Ever, best known now as the BBC’s voice of international rugby, brings us his first novel and looks forward to this autumn's Rugby World Cup.
The authorised biography of the Tottenham, Arsenal and England defender is a frank and often blistering account of a life lived between the soaring heights of celebrity football and the despairing depths of personal trauma. He talks to the author of Wenger.
Since the early days of the Raj, cricket has been entwined with national identity and Pakistan’s successes helped to define its status in the world. In recent years its cricketers have been a prey to problems which have threatened Pakistan’s very existence: fall out from the ‘war on terror’, sectarian violence, gangsterism and corruption, deep-seated crises in education, health and the environment, and a shortage of effective leaders. For twenty years, Pakistani cricket has been stained by the scandalous behaviour of the players involved in match-fixing.
The Speaker of the House, a former Junior competitor and LTA-qualified coach, argues the case for his ranking of the twenty greatest male tennis stars of all time, surface by surface, era by era. Rafa vs Bill Tilden? Perry vs Murray? Federer vs Lacoste? Anyone for an hour of nostalgic fanaticism?
Bryony Gordon was not a runner. A loafer, a dawdler, a drinker, a smoker, yes. A runner, no. Yet somehow, as she began to recover from the emotional rollercoaster of laying her life bare in her mental health memoir Mad Girl, she started to realise that getting outside, moving her body and talking to others for whom life was also an occasional challenge, might actually help her. Going for a run might not banish her sadness but at least it might show that she was damn well trying to beat it, which is sometimes half the battle. As she began to run further she started to see the limitations she had imposed on her life more clearly. Why couldn’t she be a runner? Or a bungee jumper? Or a deep-sea diver? Maybe rather than sitting on the sofa watching the world go by, fulfilling your dreams was just about standing up and taking that first step.
Bob Cole from Herefordshire was the long-distance Olympian who never got the chance to prove it. Eccentric and solitary, he competed on the professional circuit and was proclaimed world champion, but forever banned from the Olympics. Herington, author of a new biography, discusses the amazing story of a forgotten hero from the Chariots of Fire era.
Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? The New Scientist Managing Editor takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans as well as those who study them, Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice.
The great climber charts not only his many triumphs in the climbing world – from the Alps to the Eiger, and the Himalaya – but also the struggles he has faced in his life bringing up a family and maintaining a successful and loving marriage over the decades of travelling the world to conquer mountains. An evening with a legend.
When Andy Grant’s eyes blinked open from a 10-day coma in February 2009, he was alone in a hospital bed in Birmingham. He had a broken sternum, a broken leg, a broken elbow and shrapnel lodged in both forearms. He had a severed femoral artery, nerve damage to his hands and feet as well as deep gaping wounds in both cheeks. He had been blown up during a routine foot patrol in Afghanistan as a Royal Marine with 45 Commando. He became a gold medallist at the Invictus Games. You’ll Never Walk is his story.
Ninety-five per cent of all thoroughbreds in the world are descended from one horse, the so-called Darley Arabian, shipped from Aleppo to Yorkshire in 1704 by a second son who failed to make his fortune and died before he could follow his horse home. The former racing correspondent on the Independent tells the story of the men and women who owned and traded and bred the horses descended from that first stallion. He also follows the men they hired to train them, and the jockeys who rode them and sometimes rescued them from the knacker’s yard, unwittingly preserving the genetic line of winners that currently resides with the champion Frankel. Chaired by the producer of the Horse Tales documentaries Corisande Albert.
The first part of an evening of delicious cricket talk celebrates the career of the legendary broadcaster and commentator. Now that 'Blowers' has decided to declare his TMS innings closed, his book reveals the secrets of life in the commentary box and of the rich cast of characters with whom he shared it, from the early days of John Arlott and Brian Johnson to Aggers and new boys Boycott, Swann, Vaughan and Tuffers.
“I’ve discovered that going for a daily walk has become as essential to me feeling good for the rest of the day as that first cup of tea. But I would argue that all I am doing is responding to a natural need we all have. Humans have always been migrants, the physiological urge to be nomadic is deep-rooted in all of us and, perhaps because of that, our brains are stimulated by walking. I solve all sorts of problems, formulate ideas, work things out to that gentle rhythm of self-propelled movement.” As she explores the reasons why we walk, whether for creative energy, challenge and pleasure, or therapeutic benefits, Kate’s reflections and insights will encourage, motivate and spur readers into action.
One moment Kirkpatrick is attempting a rare solo ascent of Norway’s Troll Wall, the next he is surrounded by the TV circus while climbing Moonlight Buttress with the BBC’s The One Show presenter Alex Jones. Yosemite’s El Capitan is ever-present; he climbs it alone – strung out for weeks, and he climbs it with his 13-year-old daughter Ella – her first big wall.
The great England cricket captain, in later life a psychoanalyst, talks about the game, the players and the gentlemen. He is the author of The Art of Captaincy and On Form.
The Mongol Derby is the world’s toughest horse race. A feat of endurance across the vast Mongolian plains once traversed by the people of Genghis Khan, competitors ride twenty-five horses across a distance of 1,000 km. In 2013 Lara Prior-Palmer – nineteen, underprepared but seeking the great unknown – decided to enter the race. Driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness and a lifelong love of horses, she raced for seven days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she found she had nothing to lose, and tore through the field with her motley crew of horses. In one of the Derby’s most unexpected results, she became the youngest-ever champion and the first woman to win the race.
Andrew is one of the key figures in modern rugby history: an outstanding international who won three Grand Slams with England and toured twice with the Lions, he also played a central role in the game's professional revolution with his trailblazing work at Newcastle. As Director of Elite Rugby at the Rugby Football Union he did not merely have a ringside seat as one of the world’s major sports went through its greatest upheaval in a century: more often than not, he was in the ring itself. Hitt is a star columnist and rugby writer for the Western Mail.
Ian Robertson joined the BBC during the golden age of radio broadcasting. Almost half a century after being introduced to the rugby airwaves by his inspiring mentor Bill McLaren, the former Scotland fly-half looks back on the most eventful of careers, during which he covered nine British and Irish Lions tours and eight World Cups. ‘Robbo’ is one of the great storytellers, with a wealth of insight and anecdotes about the greats of the game and its many fans – including Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Nelson Mandela. Sitting in a field in Wales, he might even be persuaded to venture some predictions for RWC in Japan.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston burst to fame when he became the first man ever to complete a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the world. Now, fifty years on from that famous voyage, he reveals the true, extraordinary story of his life. Stadlen hosts his own weekend show on LBC.