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Ian Mortimer

Rewriting History

Hay Festival 2010, 
Since his first book was published seven years ago, Ian Mortimer has challenged conventional understandings of the past. This includes correcting dubious facts as well as reconsidering the ways we 'do' history – from studying a man over the course of a single year to writing history as a guidebook, in the present tense. Here he explains the various approaches that have earned him scholarly respect as well as a place on the bestseller lists.

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Timbuktu and Hay

Hay Festival 2008, 
Catch up with the twinning projects involving local teachers, doctors and artisans. Films, stories and chat. Chaired by Paul Blezard and introduced by the Mayor of Hay.

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Mark Townsend with Kenny & John Meighan

Point Man

Hay Festival 2012, 
The point man leads the patrol into battle, the first to face ambushes, hidden bombs and snipers. In 2007 and 2008, 20-year-old Kenny Meighan was the longest-serving point man in Helmand province. But returning to his hometown in Essex, where prospects are bleak and his father still suffers from the nightmares of his own war experience, Kenny's struggle is far from over.

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Liz Kessler

Enchanting Tails

Hay Festival 2010, 
The creator of Emily Windsnap and Phillipa Fisher weaves her charm, as she reveals the secrets, dreams and mysteries that go into her writing. Perfect for fans of Cathy Cassidy with insatiable curiosity and a love of adventure.
 
8–12 years

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Bob Geldof in conversation

Bob Geldof talks to Peter Florence …and rock ’n’ roll

Hay Festival 2011, 
The sixth in a series of conversations over the last twenty years with the musician, campaigner and businessman focuses on song-writing, the environment and African trade.

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Luke Gamble

My Wild and Wonderful Friends

Hay Festival 2011, 
The vet tells the tales of his New Forest and Dorset practices.

More about Luke Gamble

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Caroline Lawrence

Roman Mysteries

Hay Festival 2009, 
Gladiators, togas, Latin and the odd mystery–what's not to love? Come and see the author of this hugely successful series talk about its grand finale, The Man From Pomegranate Street.

9–14 years

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Peter Falk talks to Paul Blezard

Hay Festival 2007, 
The treasured Hollywood actor yarns his comedy career and the iconic TV role of Columbo in his autobiography, called, of course, Just One More Thing.

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Mark Watson, Louise Gray and Jim Robbins

Today On Earth

Hay Festival 2013, 

What’s been happening in the environmental world during Festival week? We pick through the best and worst, sort the bizarre from the banal and generally sift the global media. The comedian and the journalists discuss. Chaired by Andy Fryers.

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Growing up different: Precious Williams, Lemn Sissay and Ross Van Horn

Storymoja Nairobi 2012, 
What’s your idea of a normal childhood? What kind of childhood makes a writer? These festival authors who grew up in mulit-racial backgrounds, juggle notions of adversity and security, loneliness and independence, fantasy and reality.

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Joseph Stiglitz & Linda Bilmes

The $3 Trillion War

Hay Festival 2008, 
The Nobel Economist and his co-author audit The True Cost of the War in Iraq. Chaired by Nik Gowing.

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Andrew Cope and Lara the Dog

Hay Festival 2008, 
Andrew introduces the inspiration for his Spy Dog books and tells you more about the thrilling adventures of her namesake, or as the highly-trained special agent is known  by the government, GM451.

Hay Fever 7 yrs +

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Liz Davies talks to Francine Stock

Growing Old Outrageously

Winter Weekend 2013, 

The co-author discusses her delightful memoir of a later-life friendship and what happens when two ladies of a certain age decide to test Graham Greene’s maxim: Leap and the net will appear! This is a book for thrill-seekers, the adventurous and armchair travellers alike, a celebration of friendship, laughter and all that’s good in the world. 

Liz Davies talks to Francine Stock

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Holly Baxter

The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media

Hay Festival 2014, 

The creator of the famous blog issues a brilliantly bolshy and raucously funny rallying call to girls and women of all ages: The Vagenda asks real women everywhere to demand a media that reflects who we actually are.

Holly Baxter

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Frank Close

Anti Matter

Hay Festival 2009, 
The eminent particle physicist examines the reality of the great sci-fi staple catastrophe, and how it grew from the meeting point of relativity and quantum theory in the early C20th, to the discovery of the first antiparticles, cosmic rays, annihilation, antimatter bombs and antiworlds, all the way to CERN in Geneva.

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Simon Sebag Montefiore

Titans

Hay Festival 2013, 

The historian traces his adventures in history from Stalin and the Borgias to Catherine The Great and Mrs Thatcher.

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John Barrow

Cambridge Series 2: The Book of Universes

Hay Festival 2011, 
The mathematician encounters universes where the laws of physics can change from time to time and from one region to another, universes that have extra hidden dimensions of space and time, universes that live inside black holes, colliding universes, inflationary universes, and universes that come into being from something else – or from nothing at all.

Profile of John Barrow here 

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Stevie Davies, Elena Moya Pereira, Blake Morrison

Fiction: The Past

Hay Festival 2010, 
Into Suez pitches a Welsh RAF family into Egypt in 1949; The Olive Groves of Belchite moves between the long shadows of the Spanish Civil War and the business battles of a global economy; The Last Weekend intrudes escalating rivalry and the past into a summer idyll in East Anglia. They talk to Anita Sethi.

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The Keep

The Genius of the Marches

Hay Festival 2016, 

An entertainment: a constellation of writers, artists and photographers of the Welsh Marches celebrate the first issue of The Keep, Hay’s new literary and arts magazine, with an evening of readings, stories and pictures, under the editorial baton of Iain Finlayson.

With Owen Sheers, Ben Rawlence, Nina Lyon, Jasper Fforde, Soma Ghosh, Oliver Balch, Tom Bullough, Dix and Marsha Arnold.

The Keep

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David Crystal

What The Dickens!

Hay Festival 2012, 
The linguistics Prof mines the work of the novelist - one of the greatest ever writers of dialect, dialogue and description, and an inventive master of vocabulary and language.

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Michael Wood

The Story of England

Hay Festival 2011, 
Fifteen hundred years of English history told through the archaeology, records and DNA of the village of Kibworth in Leicestershire. Spellbinding.
 
Read more about The Story of England

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Pascale Petit

What The Water Gave Me

Hay Festival 2010, 
The poet reads her new collection, and shows the images by Frida Kahlo that inspired the poems.
Pascale Petit

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Samir El-Youssef and Brian Chikwava chaired by Georgina Godwin

Story: Migrations

Hay Festival 2009, 
Caine Prize-winner Chikwava’s Harare North is an original and brilliant tale of illegal immigration into London. El-Youssef’s The Illusion of Return displaces his Palestinian characters to America and to London.

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Doris Lessing talks to Marianne Ponsford

Segovia 2006, 
Doris Lessing, author of The Golden Notebook, one of the world's greatest living writers, discusses her literary career with Marianne Ponsford, Director of the cultural magazine Arcadia. The author, who has been awarded numerous international literary prizes (Somerset Maugham Award from the Society of Authors, Prix Médicis, Austrian State Prize for European Literature, German Federal Republic Shakespeare Prize, Mondello Prize, Grinzane Cavour Prize, etc.), is a prolific writer and her most recent novels are The Sweetest Dream and the collection of stories The Grandmothers. She received the Príncipe de Asturias Prize in 2001.

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Kevin Maher, Taiye Selasi and Gavin Extence chaired by Chris White

Fictions – Debuts

Hay Festival 2013, 

Three of the debut novels selected for the 2013 Waterstones Eleven: Maher’s lyrical and funny The Fields tells of an interrupted adolescence in 1984 Dublin. Selasi’s Ghana Must Go is the story of the simple, devastating ways in which families tear themselves apart, and of the incredible lengths to which a family will go to put itself back together. Extence’s The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a funny and heartbreaking tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero and an improbable journey.