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Tony Fitzjohn talks to Ben Fogle

Born Wild

Hay Festival 2011, 
A story of passion, adventure and skulduggery on the frontline of African conservation in Kenya and Tanzania.
 
Read a review of Born Wild

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Antony Beevor talks to Claire Armitstead

Hay Festival 2010, 
The historian discusses his research and analysis in his award-winning body of C20th European study.
Antony Beevor talks to Claire Armitstead

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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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Richard Sennett

The Craftsman

Hay Festival 2008, 
The sociologist pursues a philosophical enquiry into why people work hard and take pride in what they do.

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Anna Coote, Neal Lawson and Mark Boyle

Nef Debate 3: What if a 21-Hour Working Week Became the Norm?

Hay Festival 2011, 
Is it time to rethink the working week? We’re surrounded by overwork and unemployment, overconsumption and too little time to do things for ourselves that increase our wellbeing. Chaired by Andrew Simms.

The New Economics Foundation (nef) is sponsored by The Ecology Building Society

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Karl Ove Knausgård in conversation with Kirsti Baggethun

Segovia 2012, 
International best-selling Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård has written autobiographical books that have sparked controversy and fascination in equal measure. His novel A Time for Everything was praised by the New York Review of Books as ‘marvellous’. He talks to his translator Kirsti Baggethun about A Death in the Family, the first of six autobiographical novels in his series My Struggle.
 
Simultaneous translation available from Norwegian into Spanish. With the collaboration of the Embassy of Norway in Spain and NORLA (Norwegian Literature Abroad, Fiction and Non Fiction).

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Sarah Winman, Téa Obreht, Mirza Waheed and Sam Leith talk to Lisa Dwan

Fictions: Waterstone’s Eleven

Hay Festival 2011, 
We profile four of the emerging novelists championed in the Waterstone’s new writing promotion. Winman’s When God Was a Rabbit is a family story set over four decades; Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife resonates over three generations in the Balkans; Waheed’s The Collaborator is set in the heart of terrible conflict in 1990s Kashmir and Leith’s The Coincidence Engine conjures The Directorate of The Extremely Improbable and a chase across America.

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Gillian Tett

Reformations 5: Capitalism

Hay Festival 2017, 

Wall Street and The City like to operate under the flag of Adam Smith; his free market economic ideas are often considered to be a defining bedrock of capitalism. In reality, those financial capitalists today have completely forgotten the core essence of his ideas; indeed, their vision of capitalism and the modern company totally perverts them. Tett’s reformation is a call to arms for all devotees of Adam Smith – to return to his original ideas about market forces and reform that idea of capitalism in a fundamental manner. Tett is US Managing Editor of the FT and the author of The Silo Effect, Fool’s Gold and Saving the Sun. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.

Gillian Tett

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Holly Webb

Hay Festival 2010, 
A rare opportunity to look into the enchanting world of Holly Webb, the creator of Rose and many mischievous animal adventures including Lost in the Snow.
 
8–12 years
 
See the Blog for more details

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Trezza Azzopardi, Jon McGregor

Fiction: Intimacy

Hay Festival 2010, 
The Song House is about language and music, memory and place; Even The Dogs is an intimate exploration of life at the edges of society; littered with love, loss, despair and a glimpse of redemption. Chaired by Kathryn Gray.

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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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Francesca Simon

Horrid Henry

Hay Festival 2012, 
Join one of the UK’s best-loved children’s writers as she introduces four brand new stories in which Henry makes his own scary movie. It promises to be ghoulishly good.
 
7+ years

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Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schonberger

Big Data

Hay Festival 2013, 

Just as water is wet in a way that individual water molecules aren’t, big data can reveal information in a way that individual bits of data can’t. The tech and business gurus show us the surprising ways that enormous, complex and messy collections of data can be used to predict everything from shopping patterns to flu outbreaks. Chaired by Stephanie Flanders.

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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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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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Mavis Nicholson talks to Sarah Crompton

What Did You Do in the War, Mummy?

Hay Festival 2011, 
The broadcaster has interviewed women from lumber-jills and landgirls to undercover spies and entertainers about the new freedoms, the make-do and mend, the hopes and the fears, as well as the post-war adjustments they had to make.

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Rose McGowan talks to Laurie Penny

Brave

Hay Festival 2018, 

McGowan is a film-maker, thought leader and agent of change. Brave is her raw, honest, and poignant memoir/manifesto: a no-holds-barred, pull-no-punches account of the rise of a millennial icon, fearless activist, and unstoppable force for change who is determined to expose the truth about the entertainment industry, dismantle the concept of fame, shine a light on a multibillion-dollar business built on systemic misogyny, and empower people everywhere to wake up and be BRAVE. Laurie Penny is author of Bitch Doctrine and Everything Belongs to the Future.

Rose McGowan talks to Laurie Penny

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Alice Rawsthorn

Hello World: Where Design Meets Life

Hay Festival 2013, 

The pre-eminent design critic explores the history of design’s influence on our lives – from the macabre symbol invented by C18th pirates and one woman’s quest for the best possible prosthetic legs to the evolution of the World Cup ball. Chaired by Suzy Klein.

 

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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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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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Jeremy Leggett, Jim Watson and Nick Butler

Nef Debate 1: What if Oil Hits $200 a Barrel?

Hay Festival 2011, 
Are we ready for the end of cheap oil, or does it mean the end of civilisation as we know it? Chaired by Andrew Simms.

The New Economics Foundation (nef) is sponsored by The Ecology Building Society

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Dai Smith, Madeleine Gray, Alan Edmunds and Ceri Gould join Huw Bowen

Welsh Heroes and Villains 3 – Culture

Hay Festival 2012, 
Bards, poets, writers, actors, and musicians populate Welsh history to an extraordinary degree. So too do the icons of modern popular culture from the Manic Street Preachers to Gavin and Stacey. Why has Wales been so blessed with creative talent? And what is distinctively Welsh about our cultural heroes?
 

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Samah Al Shaik, Rewa Zeinati, Abdullah Abu Shumais, Isra’a Kalash, Karl Ove Knausgård, Jonathan Levi, Owen Sheers, Christoph Peters and Hind Shoufani

Poetry & Fiction Soireé

Beirut 2013, 

The writers share examples of their work in the original language with the audience. Samah Al Shaik (Palestine), Rewa Zeinati (Lebanon), Abdullah Abu Shumais (Palestine), Isra’a Kalash (Palestine), Karl Ove Knausgård (Norway), Jonathan Levi (USA), Owen Sheers (UK), Christoph Peters (Germany) and Hind Shoufani (Palestine). Presented by John Kampfner.

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Fernando Delgado and Elvira Lindo

Segovia 2012, 
Fernando Delgado’s novel La Verdad También se Inventa will be discussed in a session with the writer Elvira Lindo, who presents Lugares que no Quiero Compartir con Nadie, her vision of New York City where she lives part of the year.
 
Co-organized with Fundación Lara

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ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century

Hay Festival 2008, 
Brain physiologist Susan Greenfield explores human nature, our past, what makes us individual, the connection between the brain and the mind, and what a society of fulfilled individuals might actually mean.