A conversation with the legendary British film director, whose award-winning films include The Queen, Philomena, Dangerous Liaisons, Florence Foster Jenkins, My Beautiful Laundrette and Dirty Pretty Things. He talks with Peter Florence, founder and director of the Hay Festivals.
The author of Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat tells the story of Oleg Gordievsky – described by John le Carré as “the best true spy story I have ever read”. On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy for MI6. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia.
Join European heritage experts as they tackle questions of local loyalties in relation to the cosmopolitan ideal of world citizenship: what does this all mean for how Europeans relate to Britain today? Dr Irena Edwards is Chairman of the Czech National Trust, Joep de Roo runs the European projects Innocastle and OpenHeritage, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović is Secretary-General of Europa Nostra. Chaired by Justin Albert, Director of National Trust Wales and Trustee of the International National Trusts Organisation.
The award-winning author and scientist invites you to celebrate trees in all their variety as she leads a journey exploring the extraordinary diversity of trees and forests. With fascinating facts and figures, Nicola will encourage children (and adults) to treasure te world’s biodiversity and give tips on how to help stop it slipping away.
Starting from Ralph Vaughan Williams’ classic ‘pastoral romance for orchestra’, King explores how Britain's history and identity have been shaped by the mysterious relationship between music and nature. The landscape we celebrate as unsullied and ripe with mystique is a living, working, and occasionally rancorous environment – not an unaffected idyll – that forged a nation's musical personality, and its dissenting traditions. He listens to the music from the far west of Wales to the Thames Estuary and the Suffolk shoreline, taking in Brian Eno, Kate Bush, Boards of Canada, Dylan Thomas, Gavin Bryars, Greenham Common and the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass to chart a new and surprising course through a familiar landscape.
What are the Brexit implications for Wales and for the coherence of the United Kingdom? Kenny is Co-director of the British Academy’s ‘Governing England’ programme, and is a member of an external experts panel convened by the Scottish Parliament to advise on the constitutional implications of Brexit. Morgan is Welsh Government Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language. Price is leader of Plaid Cymru.
We’re constantly bombarded by advice on what pregnant women should do – but what does science really tell us about how early development impacts on future health? Aiken explores how life in the womb affects not only our children’s lifelong health and wellbeing, but maybe even our grandchildren’s too. Aiken is Honorary Consultant in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Cambridge University. Her work involves caring for women during high-risk pregnancies and researching how to improve the long-term outcomes for their babies.
Ian Robertson joined the BBC during the golden age of radio broadcasting. Almost half a century after being introduced to the rugby airwaves by his inspiring mentor Bill McLaren, the former Scotland fly-half looks back on the most eventful of careers, during which he covered nine British and Irish Lions tours and eight World Cups. ‘Robbo’ is one of the great storytellers, with a wealth of insight and anecdotes about the greats of the game and its many fans – including Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Nelson Mandela. Sitting in a field in Wales, he might even be persuaded to venture some predictions for RWC in Japan.
Meltem Arıkan received the Freedom of Thought and Speech Award 2004 from the Turkish Publishers Association after the government tried to censor her fourth novel Yeter Tenimi Acıtmayın (Stop Hurting My Flesh). In 2013, her play Mi Minor was claimed by the Turkish authorities to be a rehearsal for the Gezi Park demonstrations later that year. The ensuing mob hysteria and death threats led to her leaving Turkey, where she now faces a life sentence on charges of attempting the violent overthrow of the government. Memet Ali Alabora, the play’s director, has also been charged with treason and also now lives in exile in Wales, with his wife, actress Pınar Öğün. The writer and director will discuss issues of censorship and exile as well as their work with researcher Filiz Çelik and writer Dylan Moore.
The new book by the author of Capital is a dystopian thriller set in a near-future Britain that invites comparison with Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Orwell’s 1984. Kavanagh begins his life patrolling the Wall. If he’s lucky, if nothing goes wrong, he only has two years of this, 729 more nights. But somewhere, in the dark cave of his mind, he thinks: wouldn’t it be interesting if something did happen, if they came, if you had to fight for your life?