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David Crystal

By Hook or by Crook: A Journey in Search of English

Hay Festival 2007, 
The vaudevillian Linguistics Prof browses Britain celebrating the treasures of our language and culture.

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Robin Hanson

The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth

Hay Festival 2017, 

A dazzling vision of the future. Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations or ‘ems’: scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer and you have a robot brain but recognisably human. Applying decades of expertise in physics, computer science and economics, Hanson uses standard theories to paint a detailed picture of a world dominated by ems. Chaired by Daniel Davis.

Robin Hanson

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Nikalas Catlow, Tim Wesson and YOU!

Hay Festival 2012, 
What happens when aliens meet a mad scientist under the ocean, or secret agents take on giant slugs in the jungle? Well, that’s up to you… Bring a pad and pencil.
 
7+ years

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Tom Bower talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

Broken Vows: Tony Blair, The Tragedy of Power

Hay Festival 2016, 

When Tony Blair became prime minister in May 1997, he was, at 43, the youngest person to hold that office since 1812. With a landslide majority, his approval rating was 93% and he went on to become Labour’s longest-serving premier. What went wrong? #Corruptiooptimipessima. The Chilcot report is expected in June.

Tom Bower talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Behind the Scenes: Broadcasting House

A BBC Radio 4 Event at Hay

Hay Festival 2015, 

Presenter Paddy O’Connell talks about life behind the scenes at the BBC and programme-making. Plus he’ll give the audience a chance to contribute and influence the running orders of future editions of Broadcasting House.

Not for broadcast.

BBC Radio 4
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 1 hour
Behind the Scenes: Broadcasting House

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Jennifer Gray

Atticus Claw, Chickens and More

Hay Festival 2015, 
Find out about Atticus Claw, the world’s greatest cat burglar, and be introduced to the hen-sational Amy Cluckbucket, heroine of Jennifer’s new Chicken Mission series. Answer a quiz, hear all about the characters and help Jennifer plan the next part of the story.
6+ years
Jennifer Gray

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Jonathan Dimbleby

The Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War

Hay Festival 2016, 

The Battle of the Atlantic was crucial to victory in the Second World War. If the German U-boats had prevailed, the maritime artery across the Atlantic would have been severed. Mass hunger would have consumed Britain, and the Allied armies would have been prevented from joining in the invasion of Europe. There would have been no D-Day. Using fascinating contemporary diaries and letters, from the leaders and the sailors on all sides, Dimbleby maps the human stories, the intelligence breakthroughs and the strategic daring of this turning point in European history.

Jonathan Dimbleby

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Vivienne Westwood

Harpers Bazaar Presents: No Art No Progress

Hay Festival 2007, 
The iconoclast fashion Dame issues her cultural manifesto.

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Shani Boianjiu in conversation with Guillermo Altares

Segovia 2013, 

The new star of Israeli literatura speaks with the journalist and editor in chief of the international section of El País, Guillermo Altares, about her book The People of Forever Are Not Afraid: A Novel (La gente como nosotros no tiene miedo, Alfaguara) in which she captures the frustration, cruelty, rage and pain depicted in the military service of young soldiers. Translated into 23 languages, awarded with the «5 Under 35» and finalist of the 2013 Sami Rohr and the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013. 

 

Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish.


Co-organised with the Embassy of Israel in Spain.

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George Peterken, Fiona Stafford and Christiana Payne

Living Landscapes – Tree Charter Series 1

Hay Festival 2017, 

The changing ‘treescape’ of the UK holds clues to social, political and natural events throughout history. From agriculture to boat building, Dutch elm disease and the great storm of 1987, the state of trees and woods in our landscape tell a story of our past and hold lessons for our future. Author Fiona Stafford and woodland ecologist George Peterken, both featured in Arboreal, a Common Ground collection of woodland writing, talk to Christiana Payne, Professor of History of Art at Oxford Brookes University.

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Nick Arnold

Horrible Science

Hay Festival 2017, 

This is science with all the squishy bits left in. Join the author of Horrible Science for funny facts, scary stories and explosive experiments on stage. Horrible Science has amazed children for more than 20 yucky years with blood-curdling biology, frightful physics and crazy chemistry.

9+
Nick Arnold

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Kate Fletcher talks to Andy Fryers

Fashion: Craft of Use

Hay Festival 2016, 

Rather than continually making more clothes using more materials, there should be a greater emphasis on how clothes can be repaired, adapted and upcycled. The Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion at University of the Arts London presents an inspiring manifesto for improving durability and resourcefulness in the fashion industry.

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Per Petterson and Gerbrand Bakker talk to Daniel Hahn

Fictions – The Prizewinners

Hay Festival 2015, 

A conversation with two giants of European Literature, both of whom have won both the IMPAC Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Petterson follows Out Stealing Horses with his new novel I Refuse. Tommy’s mother has gone. She walked out into the snow one night, leaving him and his sisters with their violent father. Without his best friend Jim, Tommy would be in trouble. But Jim has challenges of his own which will disrupt their precious friendship. Bakker follows The Detour with June. On a hot summer’s day in June 1969 everyone is gathered to welcome Queen Juliana. The young boys and girls wave their flags enthusiastically. But just as the monarch is getting into her car to leave, little Hanne Kaan and her mother arrive late – the Queen strokes the little girl’s cheek and regally offers Anna Kaan her hand. It would have been an unforgettable day of celebration if only the baker hadn’t been running late with his deliveries and knocked down Hanne, playing on the roadside, with his brand-new VW van…

Per Petterson and Gerbrand Bakker talk to Daniel Hahn

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Simon Armitage

Pearl

Hay Festival 2016, 

Armitage’s acclaimed version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight confirmed his reputation as a leading poetry translator. This new work is an entrancing allegorical tale of grief and lost love. The narrator is led on a Dantean journey through sorrow to redemption by his vanished beloved, Pearl. Retaining all the alliterative music of the original, a Medieval English poem thought to be by the same anonymous author responsible for Gawain, Pearl is here brought to vivid and intricate life.

Simon Armitage

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Danny Dorling and Mary O’Hara

Inequality and Austerity

Winter Weekend 2014, 

Few would dispute that we live in an unequal and unjust world, but what causes this inequality to persist? Dorling, author of Inequality and the 1%, examines who is most harmed by these injustices and why, and what happens to those who most benefit. O’Hara, author of Austerity Bites, takes us on a journey to the sharp end of the cuts in the UK. Hard-hitting and uncompromising in their call to action, this event is essential for everyone concerned with social justice.

Danny Dorling and Mary O’Hara

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Adam Rutherford

Creation, Synthetic Biology and Hip-Hop

Hay Festival 2016, 

The geneticist, author of Creation: The Origin of Life/The Future of Life explains how the evolution of music is notably similar to biological evolution: sampling closely mimics synthetic biology, as wholesale pieces of other organisms are swapped to add functions and behaviours for our purposes. And now, as with the copyright issues that strangled creativity in hip-hop, patents in genetics act as crippling hindrances to scientific progress.

Adam Rutherford

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Brenda Maddox

Freud's Wizard: The Enigma of Ernest Jones

Hay Festival 2007, 
The amazing tale of the brilliant and sexually voracious Welsh psychoanalyst who rescued Sigmund from Vienna in 1938.

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Albert Mazibuko

SONGLINES SERIES 2

Hay Festival 2011, 
Albert Mazibuko of Ladysmith Black Mambazo talks to Simon Broughton

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Wojciech Jagielski talks to Guillermo Altares

Segovia 2011, 
The prestigious Polish journalist Wojciech Jagielski has just published Torres de piedra, a brilliant feature on the recent historical violence in Chechnya. Jagielski, a specialist in the Caucus, Central Asia and África, works for the leading Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, as well as contributing for the BBC and Le Monde. He already had Una oración por la lluvia and Un buen lugar para morir published in Spain, and on this occasion will provide his independent vision and deep knowledge of the Asian region to present his new work in the company of Guillermo Altares, editor of Elpais.com.

Simultaneous translation will be available from English into Spanish.

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Hay Writers’ Circle

Hay Festival 2009, 
New work by the local literary club.

Entry to this event is free, but you must book a ticket.

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Holly Webb

The Secret Kitten

Hay Festival 2015, 
Join author Holly Webb for an event based on her bestselling animal stories. Find out all about the real kittens, puppies and other animals behind the books, and take part in a craft activity based on the series.
6+ years
Holly Webb

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Adele Nozedar

Great British Sweets

Winter Weekend 2014, 

A gloriously indulgent celebration of our Great British love affair with sweet-making and good old-fashioned confectionery. From peardrops to humbugs, honeycomb confections to liquorice, coconut ice to sugar mice, Nozedar gives us the rich history of these classic sweets along with over fifty easy-to-follow recipes for how to make them at home.

There will be a vodka sherbet tasting at this event.

Adele Nozedar

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Adrian Tinniswood

The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War and Madness in 17th-Century England

Hay Festival 2007, 
To know the Verney family is to know the C17th. And as Tinniswood demonstrates, we know the Verneys very well indeed.

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Jonathan Drori

Around the World in 80 Trees

Hay Festival 2018, 

Trees are one of humanity’s most constant and most varied companions. From India’s sacred banyan tree to the fragrant cedar of Lebanon, they offer us sanctuary and inspiration – not to mention the raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup. Jonathan Drori, a trustee of The Woodland Trust and The Eden Project, uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human life, from the romantic to the regrettable.

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A World Without Bees

Hay Festival 2008, 
Guardian Environment Editor John Vidal faces the cataclysm with eco-authors Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum.