Shifty McGifty and his accomplice Slippery Sam, a pair of notorious robber dogs, have recently swapped their life of crime for a career in cupcakes. Join their creators as they entertain with the comic rhymes and illustrations from their most recent hit.
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.
For the 3,000 children in London’s Science Museum and the many thousands of others around the country, 15 December 2015 was a day filled with pride and excitement. Major Tim Peake’s successful International Space Station mission confirmed the UK as a Space-faring nation, and is inspiring a generation of young people. The Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic describes the challenges involved, the progress made and the potential benefits to life on earth as the company strives to create the world’s first commercial Space line.
Butler has worked in trouble spots all over the world in places including Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, Myanmar and India. He captures human drama and architectural distress with pen, ink and watercolour. He has won an International Media Award and the V&A Illustration Award for his work. He shows his work and talks to Oliver Bullough.
The US Ambassador to the UK discusses entrepreneurship and enterprise with Secretary Clinton’s senior advisor on innovation.
What would you sacrifice for the sake of the one you love? The Forbidden Door tells passionate, funny and hauntingly interwoven stories. Twisting human nature’s need to disobey the rules into beautiful tales of love and loss, this is storytelling for adults; there are no big eyes or nursery rhymes. Expect impossible quests, heart-stopping twists, love, loss, high drama, low comedy and pure moments of total abandonment from the real world. The Devil’s Violin is Daniel Morden – story, Oliver Wilson-Dickson – violin, Sarah Moody – cello, and Dylan Fowler – guitar.
The historian conjures the supreme C16th monarchs whose empires and kingdoms shaped the modern world. He explores the schism in Christianity and the flowering of Islam in the Ottoman Empire. He shows with exquisite erudition how Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain and Suleiman the Magnificent forged the politics, culture and religion of their time and ours.
Bread, chocolate and pasta are year-round comfort foods. Meet an artisan baker, a chocolatier and a Welsh-Italian cook who set up family food businesses, and learn how you can do the same from your kitchen table. Chaired by former Country Living Deputy Editor Kitty Corrigan.
We are thrilled to launch Tom’s new novel, the story of two generations of the Hamer family working the Funnon Farm. There is Idris, stubborn, strong, a man of the plough and the prayer-sheet, haunted by the War. Then comes Oliver, a near mythic giant bestriding the landscape, a fighter, a man of the hills as hard as the prehistoric stone. Then there is Etty, Oliver’s mother, the centre of this close constellation, watching new technologies and old ways converge on the farm and on the life of her son. Addlands is instantly a classic of rural British fiction. The author talks to the journalist and writer, Oliver Bullough, his brother.
Explorer Maria Leijerstam and world-record-holding athlete Josie Pearson introduce Spark – a new vibrant series of non-fiction books for young readers. Maria relates her epic adventures visiting different parts of the world, including her recent expedition to Antarctica, while Josie shares her experience of winning a Gold medal at the Paralympic Games in London 2012.
What is time? Is our sense of time’s passage an illusion? The human brain is a complex system that not only tells time but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological flow and enables ‘mental time travel’ - simulations of future and past events. Chaired by Raymond Tallis.
“Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.” Since Niels Bohr said this many years ago, quantum mechanics has only been getting more shocking. We now realise that it’s not really telling us that “weird” things happen out of sight, on the tiniest level, in the atomic world. Rather, we can now see that everything is quantum: our everyday world is simply what quantum becomes at the human scale. But if quantum mechanics is right, what seems obvious and right in our everyday world is built on foundations that don’t seems obvious or right – or even possible. The writer Philip Ball was formerly an editor at Nature.
Nicholson tells the story of women in the 1950s: a time before the Pill, when divorce spelled scandal and two-piece swimsuits caused mass alarm. She is the author of Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900–1939, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War and Millions Like Us: Women’s Lives During the Second World War. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham’s canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her memoir is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care? Chaired by Lucy Cotter.
The consultant cardiac surgeon at Papworth looks at the development of tools to measure how well surgeons and hospitals are performing. He addresses the crucial decisions faced by anyone contemplating a medical intervention: should I keep taking the tablets? Should I have an operation? Which surgeon should I choose? He reveals why requesting a surgeon with the lowest patient mortality rate could be a mistake; how anaesthetists seem to make no difference to the outcome of an operation, but surgeons do; and why patients operated on the day before a surgeon goes on holiday are twice as likely to die as those operated on during that surgeon’s first day back.
The Lost Gods takes up where The Sleeping Army left off, transporting us back to Francesca Simon’s brilliantly-imagined modern Norse England. Freya has been to Hel and back but the gods are looking for celebrity…
Do you think scientists are boring boffins who don’t leave the lab? Think again! The brainiacs of history spent hundreds of years breaking the rules, blowing things up and performing dangerous experiments. Come and celebrate 400 years of rebel antics. Expect plenty of silly wigs and terrible jokes. Dress up as a scientist and be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Dan Green’s Rebel Science, shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2016, which celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people.
Jones mixes cultural investigation, art appreciation and dental history in an ingenious and wonderfully entertaining account of how we only learned to really smile in Revolutionary France. Colin Jones is Professor of History at Queen Mary University of London. He talks to Rothschild, winner of the Wodehouse Prize and chair of the National Gallery.