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Dan Saladino, Louise Gray, Joanna Blythman, Peter Greig

What’s the Beef with Meat?

Hay Festival 2018, 

Global meat consumption is on an unhealthy trajectory. Short of cutting meat out of our diet entirely, from mega-farms to self-sufficiency, chicken sheds to free-range and organic, we discuss the options available and their pros and cons. And then of course there are the edible insects…The BBC Food Programme presenter Dan Saladino talks with Louise Gray, author of The Ethical Carnivore, Joanna Blythman from the Sustainable Food Trust and author of Swallow This and farmer Peter Greig, former Food Producer of the Year in Radio 4's Food and Farming Awards.

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Catherine Barr, Steve Williams and Amy Husband

The Story of Life Workshop

Hay Festival 2015, 
Award-winning illustrator Amy Husband and local authors Catherine Barr and Steve Williams will take children on the extraordinary journey of evolution. You will draw, cut and colour all kinds of creatures to create your own timeline of life on Earth.
6–10 years
Catherine Barr, Steve Williams and Amy Husband

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Juliet Barker

England Arise

Hay Festival 2015, 

In the summer of 1381 England erupted in a violent popular uprising as unexpected as it was unprecedented. Sceptical of contemporary chroniclers’ accounts, Barker draws on the judicial sources of the indictments and court proceedings that followed the rebellion to offer a new perspective on the so-called Peasants’ Revolt. She introduces us to the loyal rebels who believed they were acting in the king’s best interests, and suggests that the boy-king Richard II sympathised with their grievances. Had it been implemented, their radical agenda would have transformed English society and anticipated the French Revolution by four hundred years. In conversation with Stephanie Merritt.

Please click here to prebook lunch at Relish Restaurant on site

Juliet Barker

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Anthony Lester talks to Martine Croxall

Five Ideas to Fight For: How Our Freedom is Under Threat and Why it Matters

Hay Festival 2016, 

Human Rights, Equality, Free Speech, Privacy and the Rule of Law: the battle to establish these five ideas in law was long and difficult, and Anthony Lester was at the heart of the 30-year campaign that resulted in the Human Rights Act, as well as the struggle for race and gender equality that culminated in the Equality Act of 2010. Today our society is at risk of becoming less equal. From Snowden’s revelations about our own intelligence agencies spying on us, to the treatment of British Muslims, our civil liberties are under threat as never before. The internet leaves our privacy at risk in myriad ways; our efforts to combat extremism curtail free speech; and cuts to legal aid and interference with access to justice endangers the rule of law.

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Arnold Wesker

The Shakespeare Lecture - Birth of a Play

Hay Festival 1995, 
The playwright analyses The Merchant of Venice and describes how and why he wrote his own play Shylock - not a rewrite of the Shakespeare, but and original work based on the same three stories; illustrated with readings from Shylock, which is set in the C16th Jewish Ghetto of Venice. Wesker is the author of 32 plays, short stories, and his autobiography As Much As I Dare.

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Raymond Tallis

Tetchy Interludes

Hay Festival 2014, 

The medic/philosopher takes a wry look at a variety of topics such as stupidity (including the author’s own), fashions in academe, and the human propensity for mission drift. His latest book of essays is Epithemean Imaginings.

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David Melling

Hugless Douglas

Hay Festival 2014, 

Come along for interactive storytelling with the 2014 World Book Day author-illustrator, and learn how to draw his huggable bear, Hugless Douglas. Watch out for the bear himself…
Duration 45 minutes
4+ years

David Melling

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The RSPB Cymru Lecture: Saving Special Places

Hay Festival 2008, 
Graham Wynne talks about why the RSPB, a UK-based conservation charity, is involved in saving the Harapan Rainforest? Find out how the destruction of this special place is not only a disaster for the local people and wildlife, but also for the world's climate.

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Food Bloggers Forum

Our Passion For Irish Food – Nutrition, Economics or Culture?

Kells 2014, 

Some of Ireland’s leading food bloggers discuss what drives their passion for food. A panel debate featuring Kristin Jensen (Edible Ireland), Imen McDonnell (Modern Farmette), Aoife McElwain (I Can Has Cook), Caitriona Redmond (Wholesome Ireland), and Lily Ramirez-Foran (A Mexican Cook). Chaired by Kevin Sheridan.

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Ros Ridley

Cambridge Series: Peter Pan and the Mind of JM Barrie

Hay Festival 2017, 

Ridley views the Peter Pan stories through the eyes of a neuroscientist and explores J M Barrie's interest in cognition, theory of mind and the nature of consciousness. Barrie's stories are rich in post-Darwinian questions about the origins of human nature and the mental abilities of animals, children and adults. Ridley was Head of the Medical Research Council Comparative Cognition Research Team in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University.

Ros Ridley

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Hugh Warwick

Linescapes: Remapping and Reconnecting Britain’s Fragmented Wildlife

Hay Festival 2017, 

It is rare to find a landscape untouched by our lines – the hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate; and the green lanes, roads, canals, railways and power lines, designed to connect. This vast network of lines has transformed our landscape.

In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of the lines we have drawn. As our lives and our land have been fenced in and threaded together, so wildlife habitats have been cut into ever smaller, and increasingly unviable, fragments. He talks to Oliver Balch author of Under the Tump.

Hugh Warwick

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Adventurers and Sporting Heroes

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.

7+ years

Adventurers and Sporting Heroes

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David Lodge

Deaf Sentence

Hay Festival 2008, 
Comic maestro David Lodge introduces his brilliant, elegiac novel about one man’s effort to come to terms with deafness and death, ageing and mortality.

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Steve Jones

Here Comes the Sun

Hay Festival 2017, 
It was fifty years ago on Thursday Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play and the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles' Abbey Road is just two years away. Steve Jones plans to jump on the bandwagon and is hard at work on a book named after its most famous track, George Harrison's Here Comes the Sun. It will say something about his own research on the ecology of sunlight and its effects on evolution in many creatures (ourselves included) but most of all will concentrate on how modern men and women (particularly the younger ones) have, since Abbey Road abandoned life under blue skies in favour of staying indoors, with potentially alarming effects on their health and happiness. Even though it will certainly be raining when he gives his talk, Steve Jones hopes that he can illuminate a field that does not get the attention it deserves".
Steve Jones

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Michelle Paver talks to Daniel Hahn

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness

Hay Festival 2019, 

The novelist discusses her six-book Wolf Brother series, set among a forest clan in a prehistoric Northern Europe. Torak’s tale is a terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life. One of the great masterpieces of children’s fiction, The Chronicles are to continue in three new titles launching with The Viper’s Daughter in spring 2020.

9+
Michelle Paver talks to Daniel Hahn

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Elizabeth Day talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

How To Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong

Hay Festival 2019, 

A conversation with the novelist and podcaster. “If I have learned one thing from this shockingly beautiful venture called life, it is this: failure has taught me lessons I would never otherwise have understood. I have evolved more as a result of things going wrong than when everything seemed to be going right. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis.”

Elizabeth Day talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

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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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Christopher Hitchens

Why Orwell Matters

Hay Festival 2002, 
The great and prolific contrarian, scrouge of Henry Kissinger and Mother Theresa, hawkish advocate of American military action against Al Qaeda, and literary superstar, champions the cause of the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm, Down and Out In Paris and London and KeepThe Aspidistra Flying.

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Thomas Pakenham

The Company of Trees

Hay Festival 2016, 

The acclaimed historian shares his profound love of trees and reverence for nature, rooted in the family estate of Tullynally in Ireland. He travels to the Tibetan border in search of a particular magnolia, to Eastern Patagonia to see the last remaining giants of the Monkey Puzzle tree, while the first of the Chinese-inspired gardens at Tullynally was planted entirely with seeds from south-west China. An expedition to Tibet’s Tsangpo Gorge goes awry only to lead to a fruitful exploration of the Rongchu Valley, which yields more than 100 bags of seeds, including the Tibetan golden oak, the Tsangpo cypress and blue-stemmed maples.

Thomas Pakenham

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Henny Beaumont talks to Georgina Godwin

Hole in the Heart: Bringing Up Beth

Hay Festival 2016, 

On Mother’s Day 2004 the artist Henny Beaumont gave birth to her third child. For the first few hours, her baby seemed no different from her two other little girls. With stunning art and refreshing honesty, Henny describes how family life changed the moment the registrar told her and her husband that their daughter might have Down’s syndrome. Henny’s wit and irony transform a deeply traumatic personal experience into a story that will resonate with every parent. She shares her family’s journey - in beautiful black and white drawings – from hospital to home, and from early years to school, in this moving, wise and unsparing graphic memoir.

Henny Beaumont talks to Georgina Godwin

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Piers Torday

The Wild Beyond

Hay Festival 2015, 
Piers Torday’s bestselling first book, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2014. Join Piers as he shares the passion for nature that inspired the trilogy, and find out if Kester can save the world from disaster.
9+ years
Piers Torday

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Sustaining A Growing Population

The Eirgrid Debates 2

Kells 2013, 

With the world’s population expected to hit 10 billion by 2100, the earth’s capacity to sustain the human population and its increasing demands remains a critical issue. What are the energy implications for Ireland? What will be the balance between technological breakthrough and lifestyle change?

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David Crystal

The Story of Be: A Verb’s Eye View of the English Language

Hay Festival 2018, 

It's the most simple, unassuming, innocent-looking verb: 'to be'. Yet it is jam-packed with more different meanings, forms and uses than any other English word. As he reveals ‘be's’ multiple incarnations, Prof Crystal takes us to the heart of our flexible and changing language. We meet circumstantial be ("how are you?"), numerical be ("two and two is four"), quotative be ("so I was like, 'wow'"), and ludic be ("oh no he isn't!"), and a whole swarm of other meanings.

David Crystal

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Jules Pretty

The Edge of Extinction

Hay Festival 2015, 
The natural world is rapidly diminishing. Traditions and cultures are dying out.
Extinction has denied many human groups and languages a future and it now
even threatens the ways of life of the affluent.
Pretty takes us on a personal journey to show why we should look again at those marginal communities who still live close to nature, the land and sea. The lessons these disappearing societies have to teach us may well be ones that we later come to rely on. Chaired by Andy Fryers.
Jules Pretty

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Kathryn Gutteridge, David Green, Steven Thrush

Does the future of the NHS lie in the resilience and innovation of its staff?

Hay Festival 2018, 

It is 70 years since the creation of the NHS, and health sector staff face more challenges than ever. How do our health care staff remain resilient, compassionate and continue to innovate in the face of mounting pressures from over-stretched NHS budgets, pay freezes, and a demanding population?