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Gavin Francis

Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins

Hay Festival 2013, 

One man, fourteen months, the world’s loneliest continent, minus 50°C, and the magnificent Emperor Penguins for company through a summer of perpetual sunshine into winter months of darkness.

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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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James Campbell

Comedy 4 Kids

Hay Festival 2011, 
Back with a brand new show, James will cover ways to make parsnips interesting, how to look a chicken in both eyes at the same time and why owls don't like Easter. And just so you know, it may also involve three dancing oatcakes called Celia, Amelia and Deal-or-no-Delia. Warning: Side effects may include your sides hurting!
 
7+ years & families Rib Ticklers

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Stephen Anderton and Charles Hawes

Discovering Welsh Gardens

Hay Festival 2009, 
The garden writer and his photographer look at gardens ancient and strikingly modern, and how to capture them in words and pictures.

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Bridget Christie, Tony Law, James Acaster and Nish Kumar hosted by Ed Gamble

The Machynlleth Comedy Festival Showcase

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Saturday Night Showcase returns, featuring the best breaking comedians and the comet-tailed stars of our fabulous sister festival over the mountains. You’ll hear them here second!

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Julia Donaldson

The Detective Dog

Hay Festival 2016, 

Julia Donaldson gives a first peek at Detective Dog Nell, her latest character, in a sensational all-singing, all-dancing performance. Join Julia and her friends as they introduce a dog who not only has super powers of smell but can also help children learn to read.

3+
Julia Donaldson

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Jerry Brotton

Reformations 14: Shakespeare

Hay Festival 2017, 

The author of This Orient Isle asks how we understand Shakespeare in a global world when his language seems more remote than ever. Drawing on his recent involvement in international productions of Macbeth and Othello he explains how Shakespearean character and language is created through rehearsal and stage action. He concludes by arguing that schools should stop studying the plays as words on the page but instead rehearse and perform them however they can.  

Jerry Brotton

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Michael Pollan talks to Rosie Boycott

Cooked: A Natural History Of Transformation

Hay Festival 2013, 

A rare opportunity to meet the Californian food superstar, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defence Of Food and Food Rules, as he champions the fundamentals of cooking – a defining human activity which sits at the heart of our cultures and shapes family life.

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Simon Mitton

Cambridge Series 3: From Alexandria to Cambridge

Hay Festival 2011, 
The historian of astronomy examines Five Books That Changed Our View of the Universe: Ptolemy's Almagest, Copernicus' De Revolutionibus, Galileo's Siderius Nuncius and Dialogo, and Newton's Principia. A facsimile of the Copernicus manuscript will be displayed.

More about Simon Mitton here 

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Bettany Hughes, Tom Holland, Tim Whitmarsh, Charlotte Higgins

The Greeks 4 - Sparta vs Athens

Hay Festival 2012, 
The classicists balloon-debate the strengths of the two superpower city States who fought the Peleponnesian War 431-404 BC - the artistic Athenian democracy and the military oligarchy in Sparta.

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Christianne Glossop and Glyn Hewinson

Bovine TB: The Cattle, the Farmers, the Vets and the Badgers

Hay Festival 2015, 

BTB can be harmful to humans and is fatal for cattle. Managing a breakdown can be economically disastrous and extremely stressful for farmers. The campaign to eradicate bTB combines challenging diagnostic science, field-by-field biosecurity, veterinary monitoring and political will. Glossop is Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, and has made the implementation of a comprehensive TB eradication programme her highest priority. Hewinson is a globally respected scientist in the field of TB immunology and diagnostics, who worked on the collaborative project that led to the sequencing of the M Bovis genome. They talk to Peter Florence.

Christianne Glossop and Glyn Hewinson

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UK Youth Debate

Rethinking the ways we support young people in society

Hay Festival 2012, 
The race is on to re-engage young people in building an inclusive, healthier, more equal and economically viable society. But changing times need fresh thinking and new solutions. It is essential that we find new, more effective approaches to engage young people in meaningful and relevant ways and enable their participation in building a more resilient society. This is set to be a lively panel debate as our panel of experts from a range of backgrounds explore the radical ways in which we can support young people to address the social challenges that they and future generations face. Chaired byMartyn Lewis.
 
Speakers Martyn Lewis (Chairman of YouthNet and NCVO), Shaun Bailey (Youth worker and Conservative politician) Simon Milner (Policy Director, Facebook), Emma MulQueeny (Rewired State & Young Rewired State), Josh Cope (Youth participation worker, UK Youth), Dan Sutch (Head of Development Research, Nominet Trust)

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Guy Walters

The Real Great Escape

Hay Festival 2013, 

Squadron Leader Roger Bushell masterminded an attempt to smuggle hundreds of POWs down a tunnel built right under the noses of the guards of Stalag Luft III, a top-security prisoner-of-war camp for captured Allied airmen in Lower Silesia. Great movie. The truth is stranger and more wonderful. Chaired by Mark Skipworth.

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Roger Pedersen

Cambridge Series: Stem Cells

Hay Festival 2010, 
The neuroscientist who runs the Cambridge Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine asks what stem cells tell us about ourselves.
Roger Pedersen

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Doris Kearns Goodwin talks to Jon Snow

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Hay Festival 2009, 
A magnificent study of presidential ambition and political manoeuvring, lauded by Barack Obama.

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Taller con Jenny Valentine

Segovia 2009, 
Acompaña a la autora de Busco a Violet Park y ganadora del Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2008; Jenny compartirá sus experiencias literarias y hablará de los personajes de sus libros y de su proceso creativo.

Para niños de entre 13 y 16 años, en inglés

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Tony Robinson talks to Ben Crystal

Hay Festival 2012, 
A conversation with the Time Team and Blackadder star - actor, presenter, archaeology champion, children’s writer and political activist.

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Marcus Brigstocke, Saci Lloyd, Ed Gillespie and Juliet Davenport

I’m An Expert, Get Me Out of Here

Hay Festival 2017, 

Join enthusiastic host Ed Gillespie and two teams of the great and the good for this riotous and irreverent game show. Expect a heady mix of topicality, tomfoolery and randomness. No (live) insects will be hurt during the proceedings. We can’t guarantee the same for our heroic participants’ feelings, pride or reputation.

Marcus Brigstocke, Saci Lloyd, Ed Gillespie and Juliet Davenport

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Ian McEwan talks to Marcus du Sautoy

Fictions: Machines Like Me

Hay Festival 2019, 

McEwan’s new novel Machines Like Me takes place in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda’s assistance, he co-designs Adam’s personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever – a love triangle soon forms. These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma. Ian McEwan’s subversive and entertaining new novel poses the fundamental question: what makes us human? Du Sautoy’s new book is The Creativity Code: How AI is learning to write, paint and think.

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Cressida Cowell, Jeremy Strong, Ciaran Murtagh and Andy Stanton

Punny Flannel

Hay Festival 2012, 
Four fearsomely funny writers come together in a wonderfully random mish-mash look at laughs. Chaired by James Campbell.
 
7+ years

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Jane Haynes, Martin Scurr and Kate Wood

Doctors Dissected

Hay Festival 2015, 

The authors of Doctors Dissected discuss what might be the most formative experiences, or rites of passage, on the journey to becoming a doctor. Psychotherapist Jane Haynes talks to two 'experienced' doctors, her co-author Martin Scurr and contributor Kate Wood, about these unforgettable moments in their lives. Personal, conversational and unpredictable, Doctors Dissected steals behind cultural issues into the heartlands of doctors who are drawn to a life in medicine, conducting an autopsy as to the consequences of choosing a profession in which the practitioner is constantly faced with lonely decisions that very often are a matter of life and death.

Jane Haynes, Martin Scurr and Kate Wood

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Simon Schama

The Story of the Jews

Hay Festival 2014, 

The historian presents his magisterial study of the Jewish people with previews of the themes, stories and arguments that inform the second and final volume of his epic When Words Fail including the persistence of anti-semitism, even after the Holocaust and, disturbingly with gathering force, into our own times.

Simon Schama

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CILIP Kate Greenaway Breakfast

Hay Festival 2010, 
Join Grahame Baker Smith (Leon & the Place Between) and Viviane Schwarz (There are Cats in this Book) as they draw and chat about creating picture books, as well as their shortlisting for one of the most prestigious awards for children's illustration. For all generations of readers – parents, youngsters and aspiring illustrators alike. Chaired by Children's Laureate and twice winner of the CILIP Greenaway Medal Anthony Browne
 
Complimentary Cafédirect coffee will be served.
 
Family event
 
See the Blog for more details.

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Ian Thompson

The Sun King's Garden

Hay Festival 2007, 
Louis XIV celebrated his many military and amorous conquests by commissioning André le Nôtre to extend his magnificent 16,000-acre gardens at Versailles.

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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.