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Christopher Hitchens talks to Ian McEwan

God Is Not Great

London Events 2007, 
Christopher Hitchens presents his case against religion to a London audience. He talks to Ian McEwan.

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Yuval Noah Harari talks to Anita Anand

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Hay Festival 2015, 

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?

This event was recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books.

Yuval Noah Harari talks to Anita Anand

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Jeremy Paxman

The Victorians

Hay Festival 2009, 
Starting out from the hugely popular masterpieces of Victorian art, the grand inquisitor challenges our assumptions about the birth of modern Britain.

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Neil Gaiman talks to Claire Armitstead

A Conversation

Hay Festival 2015, 

The prolific and inspiring creator of game-changing books, comics, films and songs talks about his work. His latest book is Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances.

Neil Gaiman talks to Claire Armitstead

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Rob Yorke, David Gardner, Caroline Drummond, Poul Christensen

Tough Decisions on Food, Flora and Fauna

Hay Festival 2012, 
Food security raises serious concerns but this government, aiming to be the greenest ever, proposes to reconnect us with the countryside through nature, not farming. Which sacred cows will be sacrificed in a modernized rural sector? The CEO's of The Royal Agricultural Society and LEAF and the Chair of Natural England talk to rural commentator Rob Yorke.

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Tom Hollander, James Wood and Jon Canter

The Rev. Diaries

Hay Festival 2014, 

‘I went into the newsagent’s for a packet of fags and I saw the exercise book, and I thought, yes, that’s got your name on it. Or it soon will. Buy it and fill it with your thoughts, which are many and beautiful and frequently in service to the Lord. Make a diary of your time at St Saviour’s. Maybe, in two hundred years’ time, you’ll be celebrated as the Samuel Pepys of the Church of England. Or a sort of Reverend Bridget Jones. Is that too much to hope for, Lord?’ The creators of the glorious television comedy present the thoughts of Rev. Adam Smallbone.

Tom Hollander, James Wood and Jon Canter

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Brian May & Elena Vidal

A Village Lost and Found

Hay Festival 2010, 
A painstaking excavation of exquisite stereo photographs from the dawn of photography transports us back in time to the lost world of an Oxfordshire village of the 1850s. Pioneering stereographer TR Williams created these powerfully atmospheric views of rural society in 1856, and here today they burst into glorious 3D life.
Brian May & Elena Vidal

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James O’Brien talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

The Christopher Hitchens Lecture 2018

Hay Festival 2018, 

The LBC talkshow host has become one of the most exacting and powerful voices calling out political lies and speaking truths to both power and prejudice. He discusses the weaponising of fake news and ignorance, the power of dialogue and the urgent need for journalistic vigilance and authority. O'Brien is writing a book on these issues entitled How to be Right, to be published by Penguin Random House in November 2018.

James O’Brien talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Shashi Tharoor in conversation with Francisco Santos

Cartagena 2011, 
Shashi Tharoor is a very prolific author, as well as a journalist and human rights activist. He worked at the United Nations between 1978 and 1996, ultimately leading the team in charge of keeping the peace in the former Yugoslavia. He is currently a member of the Indian parliament. He will talk with Francisco Santos, director of RCN La Radio, about the challenges faced by India, an emerging world power. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Caitlin Moran

Moranifesto

Hay Festival 2016, 

This is a statement from the superstar author of How To Be A Woman about the world and the causes she cares about. It’s a compelling and hilarious rallying call for our times, tackling topics as pressing and diverse as reclaiming the word feminism, gaying up the Olympics, affordable housing, 1980s swearing, boarding schools and the reasons the internet is like a drunken toddler. Chaired by Stephanie Merritt.

Caitlin Moran

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Jill Evans MEP, Lisa Stevens, Kay Swinburne, John Bufton, Alan Butt Philip

European Election Question Time

Hay Festival 2009, 
Peter Florence chairs a hustings for the leading candidates (Plaid Cymru, Labour, Conservative, UKIP and Lib Dem) for the four Welsh seats voted for on 4 June. Questions welcome in advance via hayfestival.com/forum/europe.

Entry to this event is free, but you must book a ticket. There will be a collection for charity at the event.

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Emma Bridgewater, Hugh Peachey, Mike Moody and Daniel Butler

The 2009 Country Living Magazine Discussion: Thatcher, Farrier, Cooper…Call Centre Worker?

Hay Festival 2009, 
Rural skills are under threat, and without training for a new generation of craftspeople, the traditions we treasure will exist only in tales of days gone by. Chaired by countryside writer Daniel Butler, who talks to Hugh Peachey, gypsy wagon restorer and stonemason, Mike Moody, chair of the National Heritage Training Group, and entrepreneur Emma Bridgewater. Followed by a single malt whisky sampling by The Balvenie.

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Margaret Atwood and Gaby Wood

In conversation

Hay Festival 2018, 
In this extended session the Canadian writer discusses her poetry, short stories and novels, which include the Booker Prize winning The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace, Cat's Eye and her recent dystopian trilogy Oryx and Crake, Year of the Flood, and Maddaddam. Gaby Wood is director of the Man Booker Prize. See also event 189
Margaret Atwood and Gaby Wood

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Hilary Mantel in conversation with Peter Florence

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Booker Prize-winning author will be launching Bring Up The Bodies, her sequel to Wolf Hall.

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Elizabeth Chapman

The LSE Lecture: 100 Years And Counting

Hay Festival 2013, 

In 2013 the collections of the Women’s Library move to join those at the Library of the London School of Economics to create a powerful resource for discovering the history of campaigning women. The Library Director explores some of the stories revealed in the collections. Chaired by Gaby Wood.

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Roddy Doyle talks to Glenn Patterson

The Dead Republic

Hay Festival 2010, 
In his first visit to Hay, the Booker Prize winning novelist discusses the final part of his Henry Smart trilogy, which maps C20th Ireland through A Star Called Henry, Oh, Play That Thing and now The Dead Republic.
Roddy Doyle talks to Glenn Patterson

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Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

Things That Matter

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Australian writer and thinker is often described as the world’s most influential living philosopher. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life ethics in bioethics, and for his writing on the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save, Famine, Affluence and Morality, and most recently Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter. He talks to the Festival president.

Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

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Quentin Blake

The Hay Library Lecture: In and Out of the Book – The Uses of Illustration

Hay Festival 2013, 

This year’s library lecture is given by the illustrator and writer, whose long collaboration with Roald Dahl and his own work, which includes Clown, Zagazoo, Mrs Armitage, Mister Magnolia and his recent study Beyond The Page, have confirmed him as one of Britain’s greatest artists.

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Andrew Roberts

How Hitler Lost the Second World War

Cartagena 2010, 
The British historian and journalist Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War, has analysed the conflict in which more than 50 million people died. Were the German generals that blamed Hitler for the defeat right, or did they just incriminate him to hide their own mistakes? 

This event is in English. Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available.

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Richard Wyn Jones and James Mitchell talk to Bethan Rhys Roberts

Scottish Independence: How Might it Affect Wales?

Hay Festival 2014, 

In light of the First Minister for Wales’s call for UK-wide constitutional conventions, how does the Scottish independence vote, whether yes or no, affect the people of Wales?

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Gavin Francis

Adventures in Human Being

Hay Festival 2015, 

We have a lifetime’s association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. The doctor takes us on a journey through health and illness, offering insights on everything from the ribbed surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart and the womb; from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot. If the body is a foreign country, then to practise medicine is to explore new territory: the explorer and author of Empire Antarctica leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human.

Gavin Francis

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Rupert Everett

Vanished Years

Hay Festival 2013, 
Rupert Everett’s first memoir – Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins – was an international bestseller and an instant classic on publication in 2006. Reviewers compared him to Evelyn Waugh, David Niven, Noel Coward and Lord Byron.

Mischievous, touching and nothing less than brilliant, his new memoir is filled with brand-new stories, from childhood to the present. Astonishing encounters; tragedy and comedy; vivid portraits of friends and rivals; razor-sharp observations of the celebrity circus from LA to London and beyond... there is something extraordinary on every page.

A pilgrimage to Lourdes with his father is both hilarious and moving. A misguided step into reality TV goes horribly wrong. From New York to Moscow to Berlin to Phnom Penh, Vanished Years takes the reader on a wild and wonderful new journey with a charming (and rather disreputable) companion.

He talks to Paul Blezard.

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Alan Bennett and Nicholas Hytner

The Lady in the Van

Hay Festival 2015, 

In an exclusive preview event, the celebrated writer and director of the new film talk to Francine Stock about their collaboration and introduce clips from the movie. Maggie Smith stars in the true story of the relationship between Alan Bennett and the singular Miss Shepherd, a woman of uncertain origins who ‘temporarily’ parked her van in Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for 15 years.

The Lady in the Van is in cinemas from 13 November.

Alan Bennett and Nicholas Hytner

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Robert Macfarlane talks to Horatio Clare

Woodland Trust Series 3: Landmarks

Hay Festival 2015, 

Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. The author of The Old Ways, Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.

Robert Macfarlane talks to Horatio Clare

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Maya Angelou

In Performance

Hay Festival 2002, 
The Phenomenal Woman returns to Hay to launch her final memoir A Song Flung up to Heaven, which covers her return to America in the 1960s and her friendships with Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and James Baldwin.