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John Mitchinson, John Lloyd and James Harkin

QI’s Greatest Hits

Hay Festival 2015, 

QI’s very core is ‘the astonishing fact’: painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. To celebrate the reissue of their backlist, join us for a canter through their best-ever discoveries: Jeeves wasn’t a butler. Coffee isn’t made from beans. Woodlice drink through their bottoms. Light is invisible. Mount Everest isn’t the tallest mountain. Florence Nightingale spent 50 years in bed. There are 613 commandments in the bible. Monkeys pay to look at porn. An hour of endless fun with the QI writing team.

John Mitchinson, John Lloyd and James Harkin

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James Evans

Merchant Adventurers

Hay Festival 2014, 

In the spring of 1553 three ships sailed north-east from London into uncharted waters. The scale of their ambition was breathtaking. Drawing on the latest navigational science and the new spirit of enterprise and discovery sweeping the Tudor capital, they sought a northern passage to Asia and its riches. When their ships became separated in a storm, each ship had to fend for itself. Their fates were sharply divided. One returned to England, to recount extraordinary tales of the imperial court of Tsar Ivan The Terrible. The tragic, mysterious story of the other two ships has to be pieced together through the surviving captain’s log book, after he and his crew became lost and trapped by the advancing Arctic winter.

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Sophia Bennett

The Look

Hay Festival 2012, 
Join the creator of Threads, as she talks to Lucy Peden, Features Editor at Bliss magazine in a special event about following your (secret) dreams. Sophia and Lucy will be discussing image and how to cope with life's big ups and downs like teenager Ted, the main character in her new book The Look.
 
Plus buy a ticket for this event and you get the chance to win tea with Sophia and Lucy afterwards in a VIP area!
 
12+ years

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Hannah Critchlow

Increasing Consciousness...

Hay Festival 2017, 

Join the superstar neuroscientist on a voyage of conscious discovery. A 1.5 kg brain tissue mass magically produces our individual view of the world, our myriad emotions, memories, associations and thoughts that make each of our lives unique. Why are neuroscientists only able to properly probe consciousness now? And what are we yet to discover? Come with an open mind... 

Hannah Critchlow

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Phil Rickman, Belinda Bauer, Elly Griffiths

Rural Noir: Down these mean lanes

Hay Festival 2011, 
Rickman’s Merrily Watkins series is one of the great treasures of contemporary crime fiction set in the Border Country. Bauer’s Exmoor thriller Blacklands won the CWA Gold Dagger. Griffiths’ forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway goes down the mean lanes of Norfolk. Chaired by Paul Blezard.

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Bob Geldof talks to Peter Florence

Segovia 2006, 
The charismatic rock star and founder of Live Aid talks about music, Ireland and Africa: the G8 leaders, aid programmes and trade tariffs with Peter Florence, Director of the Hay Festival.

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Stuart Rose and Kamal Ahmed

Business No Longer As Usual

Hay Festival 2011, 
Can big business be truly sustainable? Join the architect of M&S Plan A, chaired by the Business Editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

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Will Self talks to Alexander Linklater

Hay Festival 2006, 
The superverbal and imaginatively thrilling novelist and journalist launches his The Book of Dave, based around the rants of Dave Roth, a disgruntled East End taxi driver, who writes his woes down and buries them only to have them discovered 500 years later and used as the sacred text for a religion that has taken hold in the flooded remnants of London.

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Lee Child talks to Sarah Crompton

Never Go Back

Hay Festival 2014, 

The thriller writer talks about the action-packed, high-tension, mega-selling eighteenth book featuring his hero Jack Reacher.

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Tom Holland and Paul Cartledge

The Greeks 1 - Herodotus

Hay Festival 2012, 
The C5th BC Father of History, who pioneered the systems of ‘inquiry’, holds a mirror up to our own concerns about East and West. Herodotus has an almost modern fascination with the variety of human culture.
 
The first of 13 sessions exploring the wonders of Ancient Greece, as part of our commitment to Britain's Olympic year.

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Rory McGrath

Bearded Tit

Hay Festival 2008, 
The larky comedian rhapsodises his lifelong passion for bird-watching in his Love Story With Feathers.

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Alexander McCall Smith talks to SJ Parris

Fictions – The Master

Hay Festival 2015, 

WINNER OF THE 2015 BOLLINGER EVERYMAN WODEHOUSE PRIZE FOR COMIC FICTION

A conversation with the prolific master storyteller whose latest books are the comic masterpiece Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party, The Novel Habits of Happiness in his Isabel Dalhousie series, the 15th Ladies No.1 Detective Agency book The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Café and the gorgeously romantic The Forever Girl.

Alexander McCall Smith talks to SJ Parris

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Robert Webb talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

How Not to Be a Boy

Hay Festival 2018, 

Webb has been a male for his whole life. As such, he has been a boy in a world of fighting, pointless posturing, and the insistence that he stop crying. As an adult man, he has enjoyed better luck, both in his work as the Webb half of Mitchell & Webb as an acclaimed actor and comedian, and as author of this part memoir, part call to arms.

Robert Webb talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Graham Rankin

The Flowering of Aberglasney

Hay Festival 2010, 
The award-winning story of the restoration of the Welsh gardens, now celebrating their tenth year after reopening.
Graham Rankin

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Simon Bartram

Bob, the Man on the Moon

Hay Festival 2010, 
Come and laugh along as Bob and his special dog Barry take on a new cosmic adventure. Don’t forget to bring a plentiful supply of funny faces!
 
5–8 years

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Simon Velez

The Bamboo Architect

Hay Festival 2013, 

The visionary Colombian architect is the most eminent proponent of bamboo as an essential building component. He talks about his work and commitment to convert bamboo from a symbol of poverty into a symbol of sustainability. Introduced by Marianne Ponsford.

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Michael Wood

Found in Translation

Hay Festival 2014, 

One of the translators of this encyclopedic philosophical lexicon – The Dictionary of Untranslatables – examines some of the philosophical, literary and political terms and concepts that defy easy – or any – translation from one language and culture to another. He talks to Daniel Hahn, the national programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation.

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Marius Daniel Popescu in conversation with Geoffroy Gérard

Segovia 2013, 

The Swiss poet, awarded with the Robert Walser Prize and the Cultural Prize of Literature of the canton of Vaud, for his novel La Symphonie du Loup, and Grand Prix Littéraire du Web 2012 for his latest novel Les Couleurs de l'hirondelle, speaks with the Belgian expert in communication, Geoffroy Gérard.

 

Simultaneous translation from French into Spanish.


With the collaboration of the Swiss Embassy in Spain and the Swiss Cultural Foundation Pro Helvetia.

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Nikita Lalwani and Tahmima Anam talk to Ariane Koek

Fictions: Moralities

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Village pitches a British-Asian documentary maker into an open prison in India; The Good Muslim follows the divergent lives of a brother and sister in the aftermath of the 1971 Bangladesh war, and the rise of religious fundamentalism.

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Orlando Figes talks to Oliver Bullough

Crimea

Hay Festival 2011, 
A magisterial account of the terrible C19th war of land and religion that gave us The Charge of the Light Brigade, Sebastopol and Florence Nightingale as it pitted Imperial Russia against Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire.
 
More about Orlando Figes

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David Eagleman

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Cartagena 2011, 
How do you imagine life after death? David Eagleman, neurologist and writer, talks to us about Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, a novel that the Wall Street Journal describes as “imaginative and ingenious”, translated into 23 languages and a bestseller in a number of countries. The book’s stories are inspired by both fiction and science, creating a universe of possibilities that is sure to move us. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Georgia Byng and Andy Stanton

Super Powers

Hay Festival 2008, 
Byng’s once-miserable orphan, Molly Moon, finds excitement and bizarre adventure through her hypnotic abilities. Stanton’s dastardly anti-hero Mr Gum is even more menacing and laugh-out-loud wicked with the use of his Power Crystals. The authors talk adventure, laughter and character with Jonathan Douglas.

Hay Fever 8 yrs +

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George Monbiot

Feral: Rewilding The Land, The Sea And Human Life

Hay Festival 2013, 

The campaigning journalist argues for the mass restoration of damaged ecosystems, the reintroduction of wolves, lynx, beavers, moose and boar to Britain, and a life richer in adventure and surprise. Chaired by Horatio Clare.

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David Aaronovitch

Voodoo Histories

Hay Festival 2010, 
Why do people believe the conspiracy theories around Diana, 9/11, the moon landings and the pseudohistory of the Grail?

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Cars Are Killing The Planet

The Economist Debate

Hay Festival 2006, 
Channel 4 News' Jon Snow chairs as freedom, practicality and pleasure are set against pollution, asthma, global warming and terrifying geopolitics. Will post-petrol tech save the day? Speakers include Jeremy Leggett of SolarCentury, Vijay Vaitheeswaran of The Economist and Edmund King, Executive Director, RAC Foundation.