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Shami Chakrabarti

On Liberty

Hay Festival 2015, 

On 11 September 2001 our world changed. The West’s response to 9/11 has morphed into a period of ‘exception’. Governments have decided that the rule of law and human rights are often too costly. The Director of Liberty explores why our fundamental rights and freedoms are indispensable and examines the unprecedented pressures those rights are under today. She talks to Susie Symes, economist and chair of 19 Princelet Street.

Shami Chakrabarti

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Basharat Peer

The 2010 Rotblat Lecture: Curfewed Night

Hay Festival 2010, 
A Frontline Memoir of Life, Love and War in Kashmir that won the Crossword Prize. Chaired by Jon Snow.
Basharat Peer

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Peter Conradi and Mark Logue talk to Mark Skipworth

The King's Speech: How One Man Saved The British Monarchy

Hay Festival 2011, 
The inside story from the authors of the book edited from speech therapist Lional Logue's diaries. Mark Logue is his grandson.

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Angela Duckworth

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Hay Festival 2016, 

Why do naturally talented people frequently fail to reach their potential while other far less gifted individuals go on to achieve amazing things? The secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a passionate persistence. In other words, grit. The MacArthur Genius Award-winning psychologist shares fascinating new revelations about who succeeds in life and why. Chaired by Corisande Albert.

Angela Duckworth

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Emma Smith

Shakespeare’s First Folio

Hay Festival 2016, 

In late November 1623, the publisher Edward Blount finally took delivery at his bookshop, at the sign of the Black Bear near St Paul’s, of a book that had long been in the making: Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Professor Smith tells the story of that first collected edition of the plays, and follows the journeys of individual copies now located around the world with their tell-tale annotations, wine stains, provenance and uses.

Emma Smith

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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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John Harrison talks to Francesca Rhydderch

1519: Journey to the End of Time

Hay Festival 2015, 

In 1519 an arrogant and unscrupulous man sailed from the Caribbean with orders to find a missing Spanish expedition. He immediately set about carving himself an empire in modern Mexico, while the governor of Cuba sent a force out to kill him. Hernán Cortés explored the coast to Veracruz then struck inland, seduced by tales of a great empire rich in gold. He found the largest and best-run city on earth and reduced it to rubble.

Award-winning travel writer and historian John Harrison followed in his footsteps for four months, finding the jungle ruins and sophisticated hilltop cities which put the lie to the popular image of the Aztecs and their neighbours as bloodthirsty savages. Popular accounts always suggest Cortés was mistaken for a returning god; the truth is very different and far more interesting. Both the Spanish and the Aztecs thought that the world was coming to a close soon, and that they were pleasing their gods in performing vital last deeds.

John Harrison talks to Francesca Rhydderch

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Ian Beck & Glenn Dakin

Secrets, Smog & Steampunk

Hay Festival 2010, 
Travel in time for gothic adventure and intrigue in Pastworld and Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.
 
10+ years

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Roy Hattersley

In Search of England

Hay Festival 2010, 
An engaging and entertaining tour of the countryside in the most agreeable company.

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Thomas Friedman

That Used To Be Us

Hay Festival 2012, 
The New York Times foreign affairs writer looks at What Went Wrong with America - and How It Can Come Back. Chaired by Nik Gowing.

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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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Kevin Crossley-Holland and Philip Reeve

CILIP Carnegie Celebratory Event Arthur

Hay Festival 2008, 
Kevin Crossley-Holland and Philip Reeve–both winners of the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction and both shortlisted for the 2008 CILIP Carnegie Medal–discuss Arthurian legend with Claire Armitstead.

Hay Fever 10 yrs +

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Richard Kerridge, Jane Davidson and guests

The 2014 INSPIRE Lecture: Literature and Sustainability

Hay Festival 2014, 

This year’s INSPIRE/ASLE-UKI Literature and Sustainability lecture is given by Richard Kerridge, nature writer, critic and author of Cold Blood. The lecture is followed by a discussion with the 2013 INSPIRE winners, Dr Jayne Archer and Prof Richard Marggraff Turley, and the chair of ASLE-UKI, Adeline Johns-Putra, chaired by the director of INSPIRE, Jane Davidson. 

FREE BUT TICKETED

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Venki Ramakrishnan

The Royal Society Lecture: Antibiotics and the Cell's Protein Factory

Hay Festival 2016, 

Venki Ramakrishnan was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry for “studies of the structure and function of the ribosome” and in 2015 became president of the Royal Society. 

We are facing a global health problem with the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. A large number of antibiotics work by preventing bacteria from making proteins, which are essential to carry out the various functions of all life. Proteins are made using instructions encoded in our genes by a large molecular machine called the ribosome. The ribosome is enormous in molecular terms, because it consists of almost half a million atoms. Solving its precise atomic structure was crucial to understand how it worked. It also showed how antibiotics bind to it and how new ones could be designed. The ribosome is also ancient and the structure provides strong evidence that it emerged from a primordial RNA world and by making proteins, helped to transform life into the form we know today.

Join Venki as he talks to Roger Highfield about his ground-breaking research. 

Venki Ramakrishnan

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Marcus Brigstocke, Andre Vincent and Carrie Quinlan

The Early Edition 1

Hay Festival 2009, 
The comedians analyse the news. No headline is safe...

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Richard Dannatt talks to Nik Gowing

Leading from the Front

Hay Festival 2011, 
The forthright Chief of the General Staff (2006–2009) reviews his military career and the current state of the nation’s defences.
 
Read more about Richard Dannatt

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Mary Portas

Shop Girl

Hay Festival 2015, 

Retail and brand communication guru Mary Portas discusses her recently released memoir, Shop Girl, and shares her memories of growing up in Watford in the 70s and her first steps into the world of retail at Harvey Nichols and Harrods in the early 80s.

Born into a large Irish family, Mary’s childhood is full of love, laughter, fun and mischief. However when Mary is 16 tragedy strikes and her world is blown apart. New responsibilities at home mean her ambitions to act are pushed to one side. But things play out unexpectedly: after vowing she doesn’t want to work in a shop for the rest of her life Mary takes to the camp and glamour of dressing displays in Harvey Nichols and Harrods like a duck to water, and Mary, Queen of Shops is born.

She talks to Gaby Wood, the Telegraph’s Head of Books.

Mary Portas

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Satish Kumar talks to Andy Fryers

Hay Festival 2015, 

Satish Kumar, a former monk and long-term peace and environmental activist, talks us through his life: his 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage, co-founding the Schumacher College, and his hopes for the future.

Satish Kumar talks to Andy Fryers

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Helen Peters

The Secret Hen House Theatre

Hay Festival 2012, 
A heart-warming debut that will whisk you away in the spirit of The Swish of the Curtain and I Capture the Castle. A treat.
 
9+ years

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George Alagiah, Fiona Reynolds, Frances Osborne, Janine di Giovanni and Philippe Sands talk to Clemency Burton-Hill

Hay 25 - The Way We Live Now 5

Hay Festival 2012, 
The panellists discuss another two of the Questions in our big anniversary project.
 
What can the country and the city learn from each other?
What determines what food you buy?

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Matthew Rice

Rice’s Architectural Primer

Hay Festival 2010, 
The illustrator and designer charts the grammar and vocabulary of British buildings, explaining the evolution of styles from Norman castles to Norman Foster.
Matthew Rice

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John Julius Norwich

The Great Cities on Earth

Hay Festival 2010, 
The historian explores metropolitan development from the dawn of civilization to the future of modernism, and from Uruk and Memphis to Tokyo and Sao Paulo.

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Eoin Colfer and Mark Billingham

In Conversation

Hay Festival 2011, 
The old pro crime master, creator of the DI Thorne series, discusses the dark side with the ingenious creator of Artemis Fowl, who launches his first adult crime novel Plugged.
 
Plugged - Eoin Colfer

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Mick Collins talks to Andy Middleton

Hay on Earth 2015 Forum: The Unselfish Spirit

Hay Festival 2015, 

We have been treating the Earth as an object to be exploited, and have consequently cut ourselves off from evolving co-operatively with nature. We have to find new ways of doing, knowing and being so that we can live in harmony with all life. Mick Collins, author and occupational therapist, talks to Andy Middleton.

Mick Collins talks to Andy Middleton

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Daisy Goodwin and SJ Parris talk to Diana Quick

Fictions: Period Pieces

Hay Festival 2011, 
Goodwin’s My Last Duchess is a tale of love and money as an American princess is pitched into C19th English society. Prophecy is a C16th thriller set within the sectarian espionage of Elizabeth I’s court.
My Last Duchess - Daisy Goodwin
Heresy - S. J. Parris