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Julia Hobsbawm

Fully Connected

Hay Festival 2017, 

The networking expert and entrepreneur takes us on a journey ‘from Telex to Twitter’ to illustrate how the answer to the Age of Overload can come from devising management-based systems which are both highly practical and intuitive; and which draw inspiration from the huge advances the world has made in tackling other kinds of health and mental wellbeing. 

Julia Hobsbawm

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Johann Hari

Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions

Hay Festival 2018, 

A persuasive and inspiring argument exploring the subject matter of his radical and brilliant book Lost Connections. Across the world, Hari found social scientists who were uncovering evidence that depression and anxiety are not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, as we are often told. In fact, they are largely caused by key problems with the way we live today. Once he had uncovered nine real causes of depression and anxiety, they led him to scientists who are discovering seven very different solutions – ones that work.

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Mark Price talks to Nik Gowing

Fairness for All

Hay Festival 2017, 

Drawing heavily on the much vaunted John Lewis Partnership of which he was Managing Director, Price champions ‘inclusive capitalism’, by which he means getting people in and on in work. Acting responsibly to all stakeholders is central to his theme; with employees, the most important stakeholder - drivers of it all. He became Minister of State for International Trade in February 2016.

Mark Price talks to Nik Gowing

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Shashi Tharoor

Why I Am a Hindu

Hay Festival 2018, 

The writer, diplomat and politician offers a profound examination of Hinduism, one of the world's oldest and greatest religious traditions. He lays out Hinduism’s origins and its key philosophical concepts, and its everyday beliefs and practices, from worship to pilgrimage and caste. Tharoor is unsparing in his criticism of extremism and unequivocal in his belief that what makes India a distinctive nation with a unique culture and democratic tradition will be imperilled if Hindu fundamentalists, the proponents of ‘Hindutva’, or politicised Hinduism, seize the high ground.

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Johnnie Walker talks to Paul Blezard

Hay Festival 2007, 
From DJ-ing local dance halls, and buccaneering with Radio Caroline to his current status as Radio 2 guru, Walker has always been an adventurer in contemporary music.

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Tony Juniper, Beccy Speight, Andrew Simms and Adam Shaw

Natural Capital: Securing the Future or Just a Sell-out - Woodland Trust Series

Hay Festival 2016, 

Natural Capital, the world’s stock of natural resources, is a concept with increasing political and economic traction. Paying particular attention to the role of woods and trees, this debate will explore whether it can help deliver an enhanced natural environment for the benefit of everyone, or whether it poses significant risks by making nature conservation a commodity. Juniper is a campaigner, writer, sustainability advisor and environmentalist, Speight is CEO of the Woodland Trust, Andrew Simms is an economist at The New Weather Institute and Shaw is a journalist and broadcaster.

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Edward Bulmer

Watching Paint Dry: A Masterclass in Colour

Hay Festival 2017, 

As one of the country’s leading architectural historians and interior designers, Edward Bulmer has been involved in the restoration and redecoration of numerous historic buildings including Goodwood and Althorp. With this experience he has created a range of Natural Paints that are also historically authentic and accurate.  As an artist, he has developed this range using just 12 natural pigments used by artists for centuries. This delivers incredible depth of colour and a high-quality finish. It also allows buildings to breathe and our own air to be toxin-free. He talks to Giles Kime, Interiors editor of Country Life.

Edward Bulmer

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John Boyne

Fictions: The Heart’s Invisible Furies

Hay Festival 2017, 

Boyne’s new novel spans 80 years of Irish history. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, Cyril Avery will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home and a country. Boyne is the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Absolutist. He talks to Peter Florence.

John Boyne

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Lauren Child talks to Marcus du Sautoy

Time to Dream

Hay Festival 2018, 
Waterstones Children’s Laureate Lauren Child, creator of Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort, Hubert Horatio, Bartle Bobton-Trent and Charlie and Lola, will be in conversation with super-geek mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, consultant and code designer for the Ruby Redfort series. This exciting and unusual combination of author/illustrator and mathematician brings together two of the very best in their fields to discuss the poetry of illustration, creativity, taking time to dream, telling stories with codes and theorems and the excitement of finding the hidden patterns and mathematics in all art.
Lauren Child talks to Marcus du Sautoy

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Rhidian Brook

Fictions: The Killing of Butterfly Joe

Hay Festival 2018, 

Llew Jones wanted to see the States and write about the experience. Then he met Joe Bosco, a butterfly salesman as charismatic as he was infuriating, and they were soon hurtling across 1980s America together, caught up in an adventure that got way, way out of control. Now Llew is in jail, his friend is gone, and he has to give his side of the story if he’s ever going to get free . . . Part existential road trip, part neo-Gothic thriller, part morality tale, The Killing of Butterfly Joe is a dazzling and propulsive novel full of characters you’ll never forget. The film of Brook’s novel The Aftermath starring Keira Knightley and Alexander Skarsgård comes out later this year. He talks to Peter Florence.

Rhidian Brook

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Giles Yeo

Cambridge Series 19: Are Your Genes to Blame When Your Jeans Don’t Fit?

Hay Festival 2016, 

We become fat because we eat too much. Why some eat more than others, however, is powerfully genetically controlled. The Director of Genomics/Transcriptomics at Cambridge explores some of these genes and observes: “Many genes have been identified that increase our risk of becoming obese and most of these function in the brain to influence food intake. Obese people find it hard to lose weight not because they are bad and lazy, but because they are fighting their biology.”

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Maureen Lipman talks to Jim Naughtie

Hay Festival 2007, 
The national treasure receives the 2007 Listening Books Award, celebrating outstanding contribution to the spoken word. Chaired by LBA Trustee Jim Naughtie.

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Christopher Lloyd

The Complete Plays of William Shakespeare

Hay Festival 2016, 

How many plays did Shakespeare write? Which feature ghosts? Which are non-fiction and which are made up? The WhatOnEarth Wallbook author explores the world of human emotion using a giant timeline, a coat of many pockets and a series of everyday objects as props.  Audience participation required, suitable for ages 6-106.

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Carwyn Jones talks to Guto Harri

What Next For Wales?

Hay Festival 2015, 

The First Minister of Wales responds to the UK election results, detailing how Wales will respond to the new Westminster Parliament, whether he will be seeking any new powers, who he will be collaborating with and what he hopes to achieve for Wales over the next five years.

Carwyn Jones talks to Guto Harri

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Nigel Shadbolt

The Digital Ape: How to Live (in Peace) With Smart Machines

Hay Festival 2018, 

The smart-machines revolution is re-shaping our lives and our societies. Shadbolt dispels terror, confusion and misconception. We are not about to be elbowed aside by a rebel army of super-intelligent robots of our own creation. We were using tools before we became homo sapiens, and will continue to control them. How we exercise that control – in our private lives, in employment, in politics – and make the best of the wonderful opportunities, will determine our collective future well-being. Shadbolt is one of the UK’s foremost computer scientists. He is a leading researcher in artificial intelligence, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, and chairman of the Open Data Institute, which he co-founded with Tim Berners-Lee.

Nigel Shadbolt

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Sue Black

All that Remains: A Life in Death

Hay Festival 2018, 

Sue Black confronts death every day. As Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology, she focuses on mortal remains in her lab, at burial sites, at scenes of violence, murder and criminal dismemberment, and when investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident or natural disaster. She reveals the many faces of death she has come to know, using key cases to explore how forensic science has developed, and what her work has taught her. There is tragedy, but there is also humour in stories as gripping as the best crime novel. Our own death will remain a great unknown. But as an expert witness from the final frontier, Sue Black is the wisest, most reassuring, most compelling of guides. Chaired by Hannah MacInnes.

Sue Black

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Ifor ap Glyn

The Empty Chair: The National Poet of Wales on Hedd Wyn

Hay Festival 2017, 

2017 marks 100 years since the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. One of those who fell in battle was Ellis Humphrey Evans, the poet from Meirionnydd whose Bardic name was Hedd Wyn. He died before being announced winner of the Chair at the National Eisteddfod in Birkenhead. The empty chair was draped in black, and Hedd Wyn is still remembered throughout Wales, as he is in Flanders, as a potent symbol of bloodshed and loss. Ifor ap Glyn will talk about the life, work and remarkable legacy of Hedd Wyn.

Ifor ap Glyn

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Ed Gillespie talks to Andy Fryers

Only Planet – a Flight-free Adventure Around the World

Hay Festival 2016, 

Slow traveller Ed Gillespie takes us on an inspirational global circumnavigation without going anywhere near an airport. From cargo ships to camels, hitchhiking to hovercrafts, Ed proves that getting there really is half the fun. Crossing Shamanic lakes, Mongolian deserts and climbing jungle volcanoes, he meets grizzled sea dogs, drunken smugglers, peckish pythons and billions of butterflies. This highly visual talk focuses on the exhilaration of taking it slowly and rediscovering hope both for humanity and for the planet we all share.

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Alan Garner

Strandloper: Man of Leaf and Golden Hood

Hay Festival 1996, 
Recognised as the key figure in the Golden Age of British Literature for his books Elidor, The Owl Service, Red Shift and The Stone Book Quartet, Garner talks about his writing and introduces his first adult novel Strandloper which explores and melds the Dreaming of the Aborigines and the ancient green magic of England

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Pete Brown

Miracle Brew – A Journey into the Four Ingredients of Beer

Hay Festival 2017, 

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, but very few people have any idea what it is made of. We all know that wine is made by fermenting pressed juice from grapes and cider comes from pressing apples but what about beer? Beer is traditionally made from four natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast and water, and each of these has an extraordinary story to tell. Brown is a journalist and author who specialises in making people thirsty.

Pete Brown

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Andrea Wulf

Reformations: The distinction between the arts and science

Querétaro 2017, 

The 30th Hay Festival coincides with the 500th anniversary of the reforms proposed by Martin Luther. In order to celebrate this important milestone in Western critical thinking, we have asked a number of thinkers to give us a “reform” that would be applicable now. Andrea Wulf will talk about the traditional distinction between the arts and the sciences, proposing a reformation of this classic separation of disciplines and questioning why the imagination is not present in science. Followed by a question and answer session with Peter Florence.

Andrea Wulf

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Deborah Bull, Rupert Chistiansen

Hay Festival 2000, 
The Royal Ballet's principal dancer kepy a fascinating and wittily entertaining diary of the company's work during the year of the Covent Garden closure. A Member of The Arts Council, a nutritionist and programme director of the new Clore Studio, she discusses her book Dancing Away and her insiders view of The Royal Opera House with writer Rupert Christiansen. Christiansen is the author of Visitors: Culture Shock in 19th Century Britain. The last chapter deals with the status of ballet and the foreign ballerina in the late nineteenth century London.

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The Everyman Debate

The Classics

Hay Festival 1995, 
Which books do we define as classics? Whom do we include or dismiss and why? In this game of Fantasy Festival, Kaleidoscope's  Paul Vaughan chairs and open discussion about the creation of a cannon of literary classics with the panellists Dame Iris Mursoch, Professor John Bayley, publisher Peter Washington, and Daniel Johnson, Literary Editor of The Times. The discussion will be recorded for broadcast on Radio 4's Kaleidoscope on Tuesday 30th May. 

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Ali Sparkes

Monster Mother/Genius Child

Hay Festival 2015, 
You’re probably clever, but are you a genius? Or a genius’s mum? Find out how Jack – a 12-year-old with an IQ of 170 – ends up on the run with a bank robber in Car-Jacked. Ali explores whether being a child genius is good for you. And – as a mum of brilliantly talented kids – whether Jack’s monster mother is actually inspired…by herself…
10+ years
Ali Sparkes

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Floella Benjamin

Coming to England

Hay Festival 2017, 

An actress, author, producer and working peer, Benjamin is best known for her work presenting children’s TV programmes such as Play School. Join her for a truly inspiring event as she talks about her childhood memoir and the journey she made as a youngster from Trinidad to embark on a very different life with her family in England in 1960. She shows how having the courage to believe in yourself can help you tackle new challenges and overcome adversity.

9+
Floella Benjamin