What does Tony Blair's New Labour stand for? Who better to ask than the party's "spin guru" and MP for Hartlepool? And who better to interrogate him than the great journalist and editor of The Crossman Diaries and author of The Making of the Prime Minister? Dai Smith is the biographer of Aneurin Bevan.
Recognised as the key figure in the Golden Age of British Literature for his books Elidor, The Owl Service, Red Shift and The Stone Book Quartet, Garner talks about his writing and introduces his first adult novel Strandloper which explores and melds the Dreaming of the Aborigines and the ancient green magic of England
In 1984, Birmingham accountant Alex Goodman went for a walk in his local woods with his family. The outing turned to bloody carnage and Goodman found himself, hours later, alone in a hospital bed with no memory and no past. The 10 year odyssey that followed is the story he brought to the explorer and writer, who has written the tale as The Sett.
Lord Burford tells the true tale of William Shakespeare, the pen name used by Queen Elizabeths courtsatirist, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, whose devastating exposes of Court Life incurred the wrath of the government and resulted in his own posthumous oblivion.
As the Russian Presidency is increasingly pressurized by a Communist resurgence, David Pryce-JOnes tells the inside story of shifting allegiances and alliances within Gorbachev and Yeltsin's Kremlin. The collapse of the Soviet Union caught everyone by surprise. Why did the Communist Party not seek to defend its hold on power through the use of force? Pryce-Jones asked those responsible in the Soviet Union and its satellites to explain how they had come to take a course leading to their own surrender of power.
The writer and broadcaster presents his new novel Credo, a magnificent epic tussle of faith and passion, sensuality and Christianity set in the Dark Ages. Bragg's bestselling novels include The Maid of Buttermore, A Time to Dance and Crystal Rooms.
The author of A Village Affair, The Choir, A Spanish Lover, The Rectors Wife and The Best of Friends talks about her new novel Next of Kin - a story about incomers and insiders, change and resignation, set at the tragic heart of Britain's dairy farmland.
Paleontologist, Professor of Zoology and geology, the world's greatest scientific essayist has a fantastic ability to connect the most diverse material and cultural references from Jurassic Park to the Old Testament and Eugenics in a brilliant exploration of the central idea of evolution. Gould's seminal and best-selling books include Wonderful Life, Bully for Brontosaurus and Eight Little Piggies.
The author of the greatest contemporary version of the Iliad in War Music, Kings and The Husbands Logue reads from his new volume of Selected Poems - "Modern Poetry at its best" - Dennis Potter, "I am crazy about it" - Henry Miller Raine reads from Clay. Whereabouts Unknown, poems written whilst he was working on History: The Home Movie. :I cannot think of anyone else writing today whose every line is so unfailingly exciting" - John Carey
Genetics is coming uncomfortably close to the questions asked by philosophy, theology, and even politics. It deals with issues of fate, of life amd death. If everything is in the genes, what is left of free will? If man is but a glorifed ape, where is the soul? If society is just a mechanisim for ensuring that genes are transmitted, what room is there for good and evil? The Galton Professor of Genetics and Reith Lecturer explores these questions, and talks about what is really In The Blood.
The author of Flaubert's Parrot, Metroland and A History of the World in 10½ Chapters reads from and tlaks about his collection of stories Cross Channel. "Julian Barnes, who has an exceptional following in France, seems to have done more for Anglo-French relations than anyone since Edward VII" - Sunday Telegraph.
At the tawdry heart of the Regency period lies the bitter mismatch of the Prince and Princess of Wales, their tattered marriage and long and courageous fight for justice that is the subject of Fraser's study of Caroline of Brunswick - "an admirably convincing portrayal of a woman who evidently had more sprit than sensibility" - Sunday Telegraph
Festival Driector Peter Florence chairs this discussion of treasured books with comedienne Jenny Eclair and the investigative journalist Paul Foot. Eclair recommends Nell Dunn's Poor Cow. Foot recomendeds Byron's Don Juan. Florence recommendeds Graham Greene's screenplay The Third Man.
The pre-eminent Welsh painter, internationally acclaimed for his landscape work, talks to the art critics Nicholas Usherwood and Jonathan Miles about his series of intimate portraits of friends and acquaintances painted between 1944 and 1994, published now in a book by Gomer Press.
Barker won the 1995 Booker prize for The Ghost Road, the final novel in her WW1 trilogy of Regeneration and The Eye in the Door. Seymour is the highly acclaimed biographer of Robert Graves. They talk to The Sunday Times critic Peter Kemp.
To celebrate the Society's 150th anniversary, we are delighted to give the British premiere screening of Harry Marshall's film of Sir Wilfred Thesiger: Heart of a Nomad followed by a Question Time session with the director and the great travel writer himself, his official biographer, Alexander maitland, and his agent Adrian House.
Immortalised as the alcoholic and unemployed - and unemployable - actor in Withnail and I, Grant talks to the writer and director who cast him as Withnail, and in the film How to Get Ahead In Advertising about his start and subsequent career in Hollywood movies by Altman, Coppola and Scorsese.