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Mark Thompson

A Down To Earth Guide To The Cosmos

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Stargazing Live presenter takes us on a journey through space, tackling the key concepts of astronomy and unlocking the secrets of the sky, from the origins of our Universe to the ever-evolving techniques used to explore deep space. Chaired by Horatio Clare.

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Jo Hodgkinson

My Friend Nigel

Hay Festival 2013, 

Billy’s best friend is a snail called Nigel, which has hilarious repercussions. From the award-winning creator of The Talent Show.

4+ years

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Jan Zalasiewicz

The Planet in a Pebble: A Journey into Earth’s Deep History

Hay Festival 2011, 
Many events in the earth’s ancient past can be deciphered from a pebble: volcanic eruptions; the lives and deaths of extinct animals and plants; the alien nature of long-vanished oceans; and transformations deep underground, including the creations of fool’s gold and of oil...

Read a review of The Planet in a Pebble

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Nicholas Parsons

How Pleasant to Know Mr Lear

Hay Festival 2009, 
The comedy legend presents a delightful portrait of the nonsensical genius and creator of The Owl and the Pussycat, The Jumblies and The Dong with the Luminous Nose.

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Sam McBratney in conversation

Guess How Much I Love You

Hay Festival 2015, 

Sam McBratney has won many awards for his children’s books and is best known as the author of the multi-million selling family classic Guess How Much I Love You. He talks about his life and career and what it means to have created one of the world’s most famous picture books – which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Don't miss this chance to hear Sam read his famous story. There will also be a special Guess How Much I Love You goody bag for every child.

9+ years
Sam McBratney in conversation

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Irvine Welsh talks to Andrew O’Hagan

Fictions – A Decent Ride

Hay Festival 2015, 

In his funniest and filthiest novel yet, Welsh celebrates an unreconstructed misogynist hustler – a central character who is shameless but also, oddly, decent – and finds new ways of making wild comedy out of fantastically dark material, taking on some of the last taboos. So fasten your seatbelts, because this is one ride that could certainly get a little bumpy…

Irvine Welsh talks to Andrew O’Hagan

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Edmundo Paz Soldán, Jordi Puntí, Bruno Arpaia and Juan Carlos Botero with Juan David Correa

Literary lives

Cartagena 2012, 
The Bolivian writer Edmundo Paz Soldán has won the Juan Rulfo Story Prize (1997) and the Bolivian National Novel Prize (2002). His latest novel is entitled Los vivos y los muertos. Jordi Puntí is a writer and columnist who writes in Catalan and Spanish, contributes to the newspaper El Periódico and has won a number of literary prizes. His latest novel is called Maletas perdidas. The Italian writer and journalist Bruno Arpaia is author of the novels Tempo perso and The Angel of History. He has won a number of prizes in Italy, such as the Selezione Campiello Prize and the Giovanni Comisso Literary Prize. Juan Carlos Botero is the author of El arte de Fernando Botero, he has contributed articles to El Tiempo and El Espectador, and has won awards such as the Juan Rulfo Prize for his work as a storyteller. They will talk about their relationship with literature with the writer and journalist Juan David Correa.

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Kate Wilson

Are Apps the Picture Books of the Future?

Hay Festival 2011, 
Join one of the leading lights of children's publishing to discover the latest picture book developments for your little ones.
 
Parents

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Rosa Freedman and Nicolas Lemay-Hebert

Law in the Time of Cholera: Resolving the Dispute between Haiti and the United Nations - University of Birmingham Series

Hay Festival 2016, 

UN peacekeepers are bound, at the very least, to do no harm. But what happens when the peacekeepers bring untold suffering to those they are sent to protect? In 2010 a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers brought cholera into Haiti, a country where the disease had not existed for more than 100 years. More than 800,000 people have been infected and more than 9,000 have died. Yet no remedies have been made available to the victims, and the UN has relied on legal immunity to resist any claims being brought to court.  Freedman and Lemay-Hebert are Senior Lecturers at Birmingham University’s Law School and International Development Department.

photo courtesy of Justin Griffiths-Williams

Rosa Freedman and Nicolas Lemay-Hebert

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Nicky Gumbel talks to Dylan Jones

Alpha Male

Hay Festival 2014, 

Over the last twenty years, the vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton has developed the Alpha Course into one of Christianity’s biggest successes. He discusses his faith and mission with the editor of GQ.

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Frances Hardinge, Katherine Woodfine and Lyn Gardner

Mystery Moments

Hay Festival 2016, 

Unexplained death! Who knows what will happen next? Come and meet the authors of The Lie Tree, The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth and Rose Campion and the Stolen Secret – three hugely entertaining and gripping stories. In conversation with Emma Carroll.

10+

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Julian Clary and David Roberts

The Bolds to the Rescue

Hay Festival 2016, 

The comedian/entertainer/writer and award-winning illustrator introduce you to their latest book, a brand new adventure about a family of hyenas living in an ordinary suburban street.  An unmissable event packed with wildly hilarious readings in Julian’s unique style, together with live drawing from David.

8+

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Maureen Lipman

Hay Festival 2006, 
The actress, writer, widow of the peerless Jack Rosenthal, and national treasure.

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Leigh Hodgkinson and YOU!

Magical Mix-ups

Hay Festival 2012, 
There’s a party to plan, but there’s been a mix-up in Fairyland. Bring coloured pencils and glitter pens to help Emerald and Sapphire put everything right.
 
7+ years

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Anthony Arlidge and Igor Judge

Magna Carta Uncovered

Hay Festival 2015, 

The 1215 Runnymede Charter was both radical, in the way subjects tried to limit the power and conduct of government, and conservative, in following the form of Anglo Saxon Charters and trying to return government to the ways of early Norman and Angevin kings. The QC and the former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales examine what brought King John to the table, and the impact it’s had on the law of the land.

Anthony Arlidge and Igor Judge

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Sinclair McKay talks to Mark Skipworth

The Secret History of Bletchley Park

Hay Festival 2012, 
The author discusses his History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre by the Men and Women Who Were There.

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Mark Hix talks to Dylan Jones

On Baking

Hay Festival 2013, 

The chef patron of Hix Oyster and Chop House and Hix Oyster and Fish House in Dorset, conjures anything that can be cooked in the dry heat of an oven, from a honey-baked ham to a sophisticated saffron custard tart.

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Tahmima Anam talks to George Alagiah

Talking Books: The Bones of Grace

Hay Festival 2016, 

Born in Bangladesh, Anam grew up in Paris, New York City and Bangkok. Anam’s debut novel, A Golden Age, centres on the Bangladesh Liberation War and was inspired by her parents who were freedom fighters during the conflict. The novel won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. Anam’s next book, The Good Muslim, explores the after-effects of war and examines the conflicts within modern-day religion and family. She will be discussing her newest work The Bones of Grace, a tragic love story which traverses continents and communities and delves into larger themes like the importance of family history and reconciliation.

Arts Council of Wales International Writers Series, 4

This event will be recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books

Tahmima Anam talks to George Alagiah

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Franny Armstrong, Liz Crow and Jasvinder Sanghera talk to Rosie Boycott

Here We Stand

Hay Festival 2014, 

Contributors to Honno’s new anthology about women campaigners discuss how they became politicised, and how they were personally changed by the process of changing the world. Armstrong is director of the climate change blockbuster Age of Stupid, and is now working on a TV drama series based on the true story of the police spies who infiltrated British activist groups and the women who unwittingly had relationships and even children with them. Crow is a disability rights activist and performance artist. Sanghera has won many awards and accolades for her work against honour-based abuse and forced marriage.

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Bryony Dixon and Francine Stock with music by Neil Brand

The BFI Presents: Dickens Before Sound

Hay Festival 2012, 
A magical series of pre-1914 silent short films from Dickensian sources includes Scrooge, Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist and DW Griffith’s The Cricket on the Hearth with live accompaniment.

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Is Islam Incompatible With Democracy?

Michael Gove, Rageh Omaar, Ziauddin Sardar, Martin Bright, Tahmina Anam

Hay Festival 2007, 
From the beleaguered Iraqi parliament and Sharia courts in Karachi to Westminster’s ‘hearts and minds’ projects in Preston and East London, can Islam and democracy ever find common ground?

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Billy Bragg, Henry Porter, Philippe Sands

Power Inquiry 1

Hay Festival 2007, 
In this first Power Inquiry session examining the nature of democracy in Britain, the singer Billy Bragg, author of The Progressive Patriot, is joined by Observer and Vanity Fair journalist Henry Porter and Professor Philippe Sands QC. Chaired by New Statesman editor John Kampfner.

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Eric Hobsbawm: The Age of Extremes

The Raymond Williams Lectures

Hay Festival 1995, 
The Historian Eric Hobsbawm talks to Dai Smith about his histroy of the Twentieth Century. "It takes far greater gifts - and far greater nerve - to simplify and scintillate than to criticise and to complicate. This book displays both these admirable qualities in abundance." - New Society.

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Anthea Bell talks to Daniel Hahn

The BCLT Interview - From Sebald to Asterix

Hay Festival 2012, 
The pre-eminent literary translator discusses her work on a great range of European books from WG Sebald to Asterix with the Programme Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation.
 

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Richard Sennett

Together- The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Co-operation

Hay Festival 2012, 
The thinker discusses one of the most difficult challenges facing us today: living with people who are different – racially, ethnically, religiously or economically.
 
Richard Sennett is unable to come to Hay, as he needs to be in close proximity to the hospital in London where he is being treated, but he is - heroically - adamant he wants to do his session so we are going to beam him on a live video link..