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Nik Gowing

Thinking The Unthinkable

Hay Festival 2016, 

Brexit? DAESH? President Trump? Europe’s migration crisis? Oil prices crashing? The ‘unusual extremes’ causing UK flooding? The international affairs analyst, a Visiting Professor at King’s College, London introduces new research revealing why top leaders in big corporates and governments struggle to handle the scale of new unthinkables.

Numbers are limited for this seminar. The full report, co-written with Chris Langdon, can be downloaded from here: http://www.thinkunthinkable.org

Nik Gowing

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Janice Hadlow

The Strangest Family: The Private Lives of George III, Queen Charlotte and the Hanoverians

Hay Festival 2015, 

George III wanted to be a new kind of king, one whose power was rooted in the affection and approval of his people. And he was determined to revolutionise his private life. He was sure that as a faithful husband and a loving father, he would be not just a happier man but a better ruler as well. As the children grew older, and their wishes and desires developed away from those of their father, it became harder to maintain the illusion of domestic harmony. The king’s episodes of madness undermined the bedrock of their marriage; his disapproving distance from the bored and purposeless princes, especially the dissolute Prince of Wales, alienated them; and his determination to keep the princesses at home, protected from the potential horrors of the European marriage market, left them lonely, bitter and resentful.

Janice Hadlow

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Atinuke

No. 1 Car Spotter

Storymoja Nairobi 2013, 

This inspiring storyteller introduces her No. 1 Car Spotter series – bright and plucky adventures set in West Africa. Trouble is brewing in No. 1’s village – cars are being stolen from outside Mama Coca-Cola’s chop house. No. 1 – never one to sit back and let bad things happen soon comes up with a plan. Hear all about it from the storyteller herself – Atinuke.

10–13 years with parents

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John Julius Norwich

Four Princes

Hay Festival 2017, 

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.

John Julius Norwich

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Steve Cole

Hay Festival 2013, 

A fun-filled frantic session with the creator of the Astrosaurs and Cows In Action series.

7+ years

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Belle & Boo

Hay Festival 2013, 

Join in story-time and craft activities with Belle & Boo, the bob-haired little girl and her adorable bunny friend.

4+ years

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Margaret Atwood talks to David Aaronovitch

Hay Festival 2003, 
The great Canadian novelist and poet discusses her ingenious and savage biotech fantasy Oryx and Crake with David Aaronvitch

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Rick Stroud

Kidnap in Crete

Hay Festival 2015, 

On a moonlit night in April 1944 a small band of fearless partisans, led by the British SOE agent Patrick Leigh Fermor, kidnapped a high-ranking Nazi general on the German-occupied island of Crete. Stroud is the author of The Phantom Army of Alamein: The Men Who Hoodwinked Rommel and The Book of the Moon. Chaired by Con Coughlin.

Rick Stroud

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Mark Skipworth

What the Paper Said: The Telegraph Archive

Hay Festival 2015, 

Hosted by senior Telegraph journalists, stories from 25 May at key historical moments over the past 150 years are brought to life using the paper’s unique archive. From World War One and D-Day to the rise of the Suffragettes and the birth of the nuclear age; not to mention fashion through the decades and legendary stars of sport. Here is a past world documented in fascinating and revealing detail by daily reporting.

Mark Skipworth

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Jim Baggott

Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation

Hay Festival 2016, 

There are many different versions of our creation story. Baggott tells the version according to modern science. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, he starts with the Big Bang and travels right up to the emergence of humans as conscious intelligent beings, 13.8 billion years later. Chaired by Dan Davis.

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Hari Kunzru and Samanta Schweblin talk to Claire Armitstead

Fictions: Bad Timing

Hay Festival 2017, 

New novels by two of the world’s most gifted and exacting prose writers bring the past terrifyingly into the present. In Kunzru’s White Tears, two ambitious musicians are drawn into a dark underworld in contemporary New York. Schweblin’s Fever Dream explores the history of a young woman and the boy who sits at her death-bed. Fever Dream has been long-listed for the 2017 International Man Booker Prize.

Hari Kunzru and Samanta Schweblin talk to Claire Armitstead

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Chris Riddell and Leigh Hobbs

Ottoline and Mr Chicken

Hay Festival 2017, 

Join illustrators Chris Riddell and Leigh Hobbs, the Children’s Laureates of the UK and Australia respectively, as they discuss and demonstrate their work in an event of inspiration, entertainment and live drawing.

6+
Chris Riddell and Leigh Hobbs

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Beatriz Preciado en conversación con Marianne Ponsford

Cartagena 2014, 
Filosofía y género son las especialidades de Beatriz Preciado (España), que estudió con Jacques Derrida y Ágnes Heller. Beatriz colabora en la emergencia de la teoría queer en Francia, a la que dedica su primer libro, Manifiesto contra-sexual, aclamado por la crítica francesa como el nuevo libro rojo de la teoría queer. Actualmente enseña Historia Política del Cuerpo y Teoría del Género en la Universidad de París VIII. Ha escrito numerosos ensayos, entre los que destacan Sex Design (Centre Pompidou, 2007), Multitudes queer (Multitudes, 2004) y Savoirs-Vampires@War (Multitudes, 2005). Conversará con Marianne Ponsford sobre su filosofía y trabajo.

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Sounding It Out

A BBC Radio Drama Event at Hay

Hay Festival 2015, 

Alison Hindell, the BBC’s Head of Audio Drama, in conversation with two leading writers of radio drama. Come for some tips on creating memorable stories and characters out of words and sound.

Not for broadcast.

Photo: Alison Hindell by Mark Bassett

BBC Radio Drama
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 1 hour
Sounding It Out

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Elif Shafak and Maureen Freely

Well-behaved Women Rarely Make History

Hay Festival 2007, 
Freely’s thriller Enlightenment spans 25 years of contemporary Turkish society. Shafak previews her forthcoming novel The Bastard of Istanbul and launches her Hay Festival Press story The Happiness of Blond People.

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Colin Jones talks to Hannah Rothschild

Smile Revolution

Hay Festival 2017, 

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.

Colin Jones talks to Hannah Rothschild

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James Hawes, Arabella Weir, Terence Blacker

Hay Festival 2000, 
Cult creator of A White Merc With Fins and  Rancid Aluminium, Hawes establishes himself as the poet of the late-lad-crisis in his blackly funny new novel Dead Long Enough. Weir follows the success of Does  My Bum Look Big In This with the feel-good girlfriends story Onwards and Upwards. They talk to Terence Backer, whose Kill Your Darlings is published in July.

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Geoffrey Robertson

Crimes Against Humanity and The Tyrannicide Brief: The Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold

Hay Festival 2007, 
The leading human rights lawyer discusses his work on war crime tribunals in Africa, and his latest books Crimes Against Humanity and The Tyrannicide Brief: The Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold.

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Barry Norman and Philip Kerr talks to John Russell

L. A. Stories

Hay Festival 1995, 
The hugely popular presenter of Film 95 Talks to Classic FM's John Russell about the lastest adventure of his Hollywodd sleuth Bobby Lwnnox in the itty new thriller The Mickey Mouse Affair. Kerr introduces his $1,000,000 thriller Gridiron - about a state-of-the-art "smart" building in downtown LA, whose computer revolts against its architects like a contemporary Frankenstein.

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Jon Salfield and Simon Stanton

The Alegria Duo

Hay Festival 2014, 

The exhilarating World music fusion of the guitar/percussion duo has excited audiences around Europe. Guitarist Jon Salfield and percussionist Simon Stanton have crafted a unique and dynamic repertoire combining Flamenco and Latin traditions, with elements of North African, Caribbean and jazz traditions, and a healthy dose of improvisation.

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Nell Leyshon, Rhidian Brook, Vicente Molina Foix

Talking About Shakespeare: Lunatics, Lovers and Poets, 2

Hay Festival 2016, 

The second of three events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the deaths of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare in which three of the writers commissioned introduce their work. Leyshon is the author of the novels The Colour of Milk and Memoirs of a Dipper, and Bedlam, the first play by a woman ever to be performed at Shakespeare’s Globe; Brook’s most recent novel is The Aftermath; Molina Foix is one of Spain’s most distinguished novelists and film directors. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.

Nell Leyshon, Rhidian Brook, Vicente Molina Foix

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Karla Wursterová, Péter Balázs and Michal Cerny

What Role Does Central European Co-operation Play In Shaping European Foreign Policy?

Budapest 2013, 

Karla Wursterová, Executive Director of the International Visegrad Fund in Bratislava, Slovakia, discusses with Péter Balázs, Director of the CEU Center for EU Enlargement Studies and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary and Michal Cerny, Director of the Czech Centre in Budapest, how co-operation among Central European states (the Visegrad Group and the Central European Initiative) influences the formation of European foreign policy.

Co-organized with CEU in collaboration with Napvilag Kiado
Event in English

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Joe Klein, David Halberstam, Christopher Hitchens and Jonathan Freedland

The Story is America

Hay Festival 2002, 
One of America's most brilliant political journalists, Klein was the anonymous author of the outrageous and unexaggerated satire Primary Colours and has just Published The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton. Halberstam's War In A Time of Peace explores America's role as the only international super-power and the effects of a generational shift in national leadership, the modern media's emphasis on entertainment over foreign news, and the leap in military technology and American economic prosperity that has rendered foreign policy largely irrelevant to many US citizens. Hitchens writes for Vanity Fair. Freedland writes for The Guardian and is the author of Bring Home the Revolution.

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Tim Wu talks to Rajan Datar

The Attention Merchants: How Our Time and Attention are Gathered and Sold

Hay Festival 2017, 

In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of advertising enticements, branding efforts, sponsored social media, commercials and other efforts to harvest our attention. The lawyer and Columbia professor analyses who’s monetising us in the digital realm, and how to resist.

Tim Wu talks to Rajan Datar

Hay Player

Meg Rosoff

Beck

Hay Festival 2017, 

The final novel from Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet is a sweeping coming-of-age adventure of a mixed-race boy transported to North America in the 1900s. Mal sadly passed away in 2015, leaving Meg Rosoff to complete the story. In conversation with Daniel Hahn she discusses the process of working with Mal’s idea, writing it in her own way, and about the reception to the book.

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12+
Meg Rosoff