In 1902 HG Wells wrote ‘Humanity has come some way, and the distance we have travelled gives us some earnest of the way we have to go. All the past is but the beginning of a beginning; all that the human mind has accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.’ The astronomer boldly explores post-human evolution and offers a SWOT analysis of mankind’s short- and longer-term futures. He considers the risks of asteroid impact, climate change and, most worrying of all, the downsides of biotech, AI and other fast-advancing technologies. Chaired by Dan Davis.
Our healthcare system has been one of the bedrocks of British identity since its introduction by Aneurin Bevan in 1948. It employs 1.2 million people and treats one million people every 36 hours in England alone. It is free at the point of delivery to all UK residents. The Consultant Neurologist proposes reforms for a sustainable future. O’Sullivan’s book Is It All in Your Head? True Stories of Imaginary Illness won the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize. Chaired by Julian Huppert.
Slow Fiction is inspired by the predella, the sequence of four or five pictures under a Renaissance altarpiece that tell the story of the annunciation, the adoration, or the pietà. If the large altarpiece painting is one moment in time, the predella shows the moments leading up to that key frame and sometimes what happens after. The artist Paul St George works with writers, translating selections of their writing into small sequences of sculptures making three-dimensional stories. Two of the first authors to be excited by this new way of bringing readers to writing are Polly Stenham, author of Hotel, and Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist: ‘To see my written words reimagined for a different audience, giving another take on the story-telling process – what we omit, what we emphasise, and what we leave behind – in a newly-configured presentation, is a true thrill.’
Meet Atticus Grammatticus Cattypus Claw, the world’s greatest cat burglar. This tabby spells trouble. Find out all about his latest adventure Atticus Claw Settles a Score.
Duration 45 mins.
Hay is delighted to revisit the colourful Casson family as Hilary takes us back in time with her latest book, which once again shows the lightness of touch and warmth that has won over millions of fans. Chaired by Gaby Wood.
When Millie’s asked to be the front woman for a new diet pill, she naively believes that all her troubles will be solved… The actress and comedy writer introduces her desperately funny first novel.
A boy and a bear go to sea with a comic book, a suitcase and a ukulele and encounter sea monsters, ghost ships and storms in this slightly scary, surreal and funny story. Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.
Duration 45 mins.
Three fabulous queens of teen, Sarah Webb, Sophia Bennett and Luisa Plaja, talk about why they love to write for girls and how they develop their stories.
It’s two decades since the author of Driving Over Lemons moved to his farm on the wrong side of a river in the mountains of southern Spain. In this latest, typically hilarious dispatch from El Valero we find Chris, now a local literary celebrity, using his fame to help his old sheep-shearing partner find work on a raucous road trip; cooking a TV lunch for visiting British chef, Rick Stein; discovering the pitfalls of Spanish public speaking; and, most movingly, visiting famine-stricken Niger for Oxfam.
The makers of the fabulous BBC crime drama discuss the characters, setting and plot, and the handling of the rape story in the third series. Exec producer Elaine Collins and script exec Clare Batty are joined by Ann Cleeves, who writes both the Shetland and Vera novels on the which the television dramas are based, and Alison O’Donnell, who plays DS Alison “Tosh” McIntosh. Chaired by the Radio Times TV Editor, Alison Graham.