The Newsnight presenter takes us behind the camera and onto the newsroom floor: “The things that are said on camera are only part of the story. Behind every interview there is a backstory. How it came about. How it ended. The compromises that were made. The regrets, the rows, the deeply inappropriate comedy. Making news is an essential but imperfect art. It rarely goes according to plan.
I never expected to find myself wandering around the Maharani of Jaipur’s bedroom with Bill Clinton or invited to the Miss USA beauty pageant by its owner, Donald Trump. I never expected to be thrown into a provincial Cuban jail, or to be drinking red wine at Steve Bannon’s kitchen table or spend three hours in a lift with Alan Partridge. I certainly didn’t expect the Dalai Lama to tell me the story of his most memorable poo.
The beauty of television is its ability to simplify. That’s also its weakness: it can distil everything down to one snapshot, one sound bite. Then the news cycle moves on.”
What makes a great screenplay? Structure? Dialogue? Can it take us places a novel can’t reach? Francine Stock of The Film Programme, Tim Robey, The Telegraph film critic, Oscar-winning (Gladiator) playwright of Mandela, Shadowlands and Les Miserables, Bill Nicholson and the legendary director and screenwriter of Withnail and I, Jennifer 8 and The Rum Diaries debate the strengths of their favourite film scripts and recommend a top ten screenplays of all time list. To join the conversation and make your own arguments for favourite movie scripts, please post on Hay Festival’s Facebook page or Twitter @hayfestival #nobodysperfect.
The historians reveal unknown secrets of Bletchley’s wartime operation and the Enigma, and discuss the code-breaking challenges we face in today’s rapidly changing and technologically complex world. McKay is the author of the bestselling The Lost World of Bletchley Park and Bletchley Park - The Secret Archives. Bletchley Park’s Enigma expert, Thomas Briggs, brings a genuine, working Enigma machine to the Festival.
The award-winning Egyptologist tells a story of ancient gods, pharaohs, emperors, adventurers, archaeologists and historians whose fates were all entwined with the river. Chaired by Paul Greatbatch.
Many young British women are actively choosing to embrace Salafism’s (or Wahhabism’s) literalist beliefs and strict regulations, including heavy veiling, wifely obedience and seclusion from non-related men. How do these young women reconcile such demands with their desire for university education, fulfilling careers and loving relationships? Drawing on more than two years of ethnographic fieldwork in London, Inge examines the attractions of Salafism.
Superkid is the brilliant Sarah McIntyre’s latest creation – the cartoon kid with superspeed, x-ray vision and bravery by the bagload. Find out if you have special secret powers too…
Duration 45 mins.
Action fans will enjoy this in-depth session about the pulse-pounding series starring teengers with special powers.
Rob Penn cut down an ash tree to see how many things could be made from it. Journeying from Wales and Ireland across Europe to the USA, he finds that the ancient skills and knowledge of the properties of ash, developed over millennia making wheels and arrows, furniture and baseball bats, are far from dead. He chronicles how the urge to appreciate trees still runs through us like grain through wood.
The fourth in the nail-biting series described as ‘Lord Of The Flies With Zombies’ is every bit as tense, bloody and action-packed as fans could wish.
1 November 2006, Alexander Litvinenko is brazenly poisoned in central London. Twenty-two days later he dies, killed from the inside. The poison? Polonium; a rare, lethal and highly radioactive substance. His crime? He had made some powerful enemies in Russia. Harding, foreign correspondent of the Guardian, argues that Litvinenko’s assassination marked the beginning of the deterioration of Moscow’s relations with the west and a decade of geo-political disruptions: from the war in Ukraine, a civilian plane shot down, at least 7,000 dead, two million people displaced and a Russian president’s defiant rejection of a law-based international order. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.
In our own time of anxious arrivals and enforced departures, the Jews’ search for a home is more startlingly resonant than ever. Belonging is a magnificent cultural history abundantly alive with energy, character and colour. From the Jews’ expulsion from Spain in 1492 it navigates miracles and massacres, wandering, discrimination, harmony and tolerance; to the brink of the twentieth century and, it seems, a point of profound hope. Schama tells the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a boxer in Georgian England; a general in Ming China; an opera composer in 19th- century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California.
The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? How do we stay human in a technological world? How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.