The comedians read the papers for laughs. A little breakfast-time mockery may be in order as they hunt for the news that makes the biggest splash and the least sense. Not for the easily offended or the politically confident. #factcheck #funcheck
The panel questions three of the big legends in Wales. They start with the image of medieval Wales as a nation conquered by England and then briefly set free by Owain Glyndwr. Stevens argues that the Welsh were a people rather than a single nation and that Glyndwr was no national redeemer. The second legend is modern Wales as a land made by coal. Miskell looks at how Welsh industry was far more diverse than this in the late 19th century. The third legend is the idea of Wales as a victim of Conservative oppression. Blaxland shows how the Tories have always enjoyed a strong base of Welsh support and argues that they were key architects of the devolved Welsh state.
The tree experts introduce the ancient yew at Runnymede, which may have been 1,700 years old when King John signed the Magna Carta under its branches in 1215; the existing Isaac Newton apple tree and other wonderful ancient trees from around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Power is head gardener at Stourhead. Muelaner is co-author of Ancient Trees of the National Trust.
Do you have a tree you need identifying? Bring us a leaf or a photo and we’ll ask our experts Brian and Alan and The Woodland Trust’s tree guru Jill Butler. They’ll be at the Woodland Trust stall onsite during the day.
Winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and twice winner of the Blue Peter Book Award, Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum is a complete horror. He hates children, animals and fun, not to mention corn on the cob. This book is about him, an angry fairy who lives in his bathtub, Jake the dog and a little girl called Polly. Plus, there are heroes and sweets and adventures. Join to celebrate the 10th anniversary of You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum!
The war historian explains the different challenges faced by the RAF and the Luftwaffe in 1940, the technologies of the planes and, above all, the skill, bravery and endurance of the airmen engaged in a contest that was of critical importance to the outcome of the Second World War.
Thomas Telford invented the modern road. A stonemason turned architect turned engineer, he built churches, harbours, canals, docks, the famously vertiginous Pontcysyllte aqueduct and the exquisite Menai Bridge in Wales. He created the backbone of our national road network. His constructions were the most stupendous in Europe for a thousand years, and astonishingly, almost everything he ever built remains in use today.
Children as young as six have already developed ideas about what boys and girls can ‘do’. As they progress through school further, cultural messages fix attitudes and are one part of why we have so few women engineers or male vets. Innovation, which thrives on diverse perspectives, is handicapped by the effects of such stereotyping. Our society needs to do better. Athene Donald is Professor of Experimental Physics and Master of Churchill College.
The Wye’s natural beauty has long been part of the river’s heritage, but many aspects of its history have been forgotten. Having both a Welsh and an English heritage, the Wye has a special unifying role in British culture, as well as exhibiting some of the classic features of a border. The river has been a psychological barrier separating cultures by language, religion and politics, and a physical barrier separating hostile rivals. By tradition the Wye was the last refuge of Vortigern and of Owain Glyndwr. In the 18th century, timber that was floated down the river from the Golden Valley built the British fleet that took on the French at Trafalgar.
An all-star group of entertainment and sustainability industry pioneers come together to debate the role content plays in focusing world attention on global warming. Writer James Cary’s comedy hits include Bluestone 42 and Miranda; Rebecca Welsh is a producer of Strictly Come Dancing and Come Dine With Me. Juliet Davenport is CEO of Good Energy and Catherine Davies is the Development Director at Shire Oak Films.
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.
The BBC’s Middle East Editor returns home to bring the news from Mosul, Gaza and Jerusalem. His 25-part series for Radio 4 about the region’s history starts on 15 May. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with analysis of the politics, economics and societies he’s reported on since he first arrived in the Gulf in 1990. Chaired by Peter Florence.
How does the green movement best respond to the collapse of the liberal consensus and the defunding of the American EPA? Is it a useful slap in the face to a movement that may have become a little too comfortably ensconced in the mainstream? Veteran environmentalist Jonathan Porritt joins Claire Fox from the Institute of Ideas and sustainability expert Ed Gillespie to talk with Forum for the Future’s Martin Wright.
The second novel in the popular historian’s Six Tudor Queens series mines the story of Anne Boleyn, the young woman who changed the course of history. Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love. But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.
Chaired by Phil Rickman.
Docx’s new novel, Let go my Hand, is a darkly comic and deeply moving 21st century love story between a son, his brothers and their father. Hamer’s follow-up to The Girl in the Red Coat is The Doll Funeral. Her central character is Ruby: “I’m a hunter for lost souls and I’m going to be with my real family”. They talk to Georgina Godwin.
In this interactive and family-friendly event, you will travel through a year at Hogwarts with Fleurble Laffalot. Discover fun facts about the first Harry Potter books as well taking part in some of the key elements of life at Hogwarts – the sorting ceremony, Quidditch, potions and transfiguration classes.
Our food system is in crisis: soaring rates of obesity and diet related ill-health, environmental degradation and escalating greenhouse gas emissions as well as record levels of waste which deny food to the hungry. How do we create a system that enables all citizens to eat affordable, healthy food regardless of where they live and what they earn? Could Brexit create a solution? Is a Food Act an answer? Boycott proposes a complete reimagining of how we farm, how we shop and how we eat. Rosie Boycott chairs the Mayor of London’s food policy unit. Chaired by Dan Saladino, presenter/producer of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme.
Humans are rather weak when compared to many other animals. We are not particularly fast and have no natural weapons. Yet we have influenced almost every part of the ecosystem and as a consequence we are changing the global environmental and evolutionary trajectory of the Earth. So how did we become the world’s apex predator and take over the planet? Maslin is Professor of Geography at UCL. He talks to Sarfraz Manzoor.
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.
In 1997, Bella Bathurst began to go deaf. Within a few months, she had lost half her hearing, and the rest was slipping away. For the next 12 years deafness shaped her life, until, in 2009, everything changed again. Sound draws on this extraordinary experience, exploring what it is like to lose your hearing and – as Bella eventually did – to get it back. What does that teach you about listening and silence, music and noise? She investigates the science behind deafness, hearing loss among musicians, soldiers and factory workers; sign language, and what the deaf know about these subjects that the hearing don’t. Chaired by Kamal Ahmed.