Comedy

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Jennifer Saunders talks to Francine Stock

Bonkers – My Life in Laughs

Hay Festival 2014, 

The writer and actor’s life is full of riotous adventures: accidentally enrolling on a teacher training course with a young Dawn French, bluffing her way to each BBC series, shooting Lulu, trading wild faxes with Joanna Lumley, and touring India with Ruby Wax and Goldie Hawn.

 

Jennifer Saunders talks to Francine Stock

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Tom Hollander, James Wood and Jon Canter

The Rev. Diaries

Hay Festival 2014, 

‘I went into the newsagent’s for a packet of fags and I saw the exercise book, and I thought, yes, that’s got your name on it. Or it soon will. Buy it and fill it with your thoughts, which are many and beautiful and frequently in service to the Lord. Make a diary of your time at St Saviour’s. Maybe, in two hundred years’ time, you’ll be celebrated as the Samuel Pepys of the Church of England. Or a sort of Reverend Bridget Jones. Is that too much to hope for, Lord?’ The creators of the glorious television comedy present the thoughts of Rev. Adam Smallbone.

Tom Hollander, James Wood and Jon Canter

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Caitlin Moran

Moranifesto

Hay Festival 2016, 

This is a statement from the superstar author of How To Be A Woman about the world and the causes she cares about. It’s a compelling and hilarious rallying call for our times, tackling topics as pressing and diverse as reclaiming the word feminism, gaying up the Olympics, affordable housing, 1980s swearing, boarding schools and the reasons the internet is like a drunken toddler. Chaired by Stephanie Merritt.

Caitlin Moran

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Stephen Fry

More Fool Me

Hay Festival 2015, 

Ultra-high-functioning addict meets gravity in this latest volume of autobiography. The writer and actor talks to Peter Florence.

Stephen Fry

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Rob Brydon

Small Man in a Book

Hay Festival 2012, 
The actor and author talks about his book. Joy.

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Hugh Dennis talks to Marcus Brigstocke

Britty Britty Bang Bang

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Now Show and Outnumbered star muses on a self-confident, pluralist Olympic Britain – a country where a major politician can dangle helplessly from a zip wire like a discarded straw dolly and gain in popularity, and whose Jubilee Queen can send herself up and then descend by parachute.

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John Bishop talks to Dylan Jones

How Did All This Happen?

Hay Festival 2014, 

The late-onset superstar and stadium-rocking comedian discusses his extraordinarily happy memoir How Did All This Happen?

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Graham Norton talks to Viv Groskop

Hay Festival 2017, 

The actor and comedian introduces his debut novel Holding in which the loves and secrets and losses of an Irish community are exposed when human remains are found on a farm. Norton’s best-selling memoirs include The Life and Loves of a He-Devil and So Me.

Graham Norton talks to Viv Groskop

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Michael Palin talks to John Crace

Travelling to Work

Hay Festival 2016, 

An interview with the treasured actor, writer, traveller and diarist.

Michael Palin talks to John Crace

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Al Murray/The Pub Landlord Double Bill

Hay Festival 2014, 

Listen to an evening with the phenomenal comedian.

Part 1: Watching War Films With My Dad

In the first part Al discusses his passion for history with James Holland. Growing up in the 1970s, Al, with the help of his dad, became fascinated with the history of World War Two. They didn’t go to football; they went to battlefields. Because like so many of his generation whose childhood was all about Airfix, Action Man and Where Eagles Dare, he grew up in the cultural wake of the Second World War…

Part 2: The Pub Landlord – The Only Way Is Epic

In the second part Al brings his legendary stand-up character to Hay Festival. Britain’s most irrepressible inn-keeper will be serving up his premier brew of ale-inspired acumen and bar-room buffoonery.

“An exceptional balancing act. Performing in his short-sleeved white shirt, with a working beer pump behind him, Murray’s interaction with his crowd remains one of the wonders of the comedy world…satire with scope and a real sting.” The Times

“It’s wickedly witty stuff, and the knowledge that Murray is in fact a staunch, rather high-born Europhile with an MA in modern history makes this outwardly boorish satire on British provincialism more seductive still – right down, in fact, to the occasional guilt-ridden moment of doubt as to exactly what it is you’re laughing at.” The Telegraph

Al Murray/The Pub Landlord Double Bill

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The John Finnemore Sketch Show

Winter Weekend 2011, 
John Finnemore, writer and star of Radio 4’s Cabin Pressure, regular guest on The Now Show, and popper-up on Miranda and That Mitchell And Webb Look, presents an hour of sketches from his new Radio 4 sketch show, with Simon Kane, Carrie Quinlan and Lawry Lewin. Come and laugh your Christmas stockings off.

The John Finnemore Sketch Show

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Steve Coogan and Stephen Frears

Philomena

Hay Festival 2014, 

Martin Sixsmith’s book Philomena has been made into a multi-award-winning film by screenwriter and actor Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge, The Trip, Despicable Me) and the director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things). They talk to Alan Yentob.

Steve Coogan and Stephen Frears

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Jo Brand talks to Peter Florence

Hay Festival 2011, 
The comedian and writer discusses her new volume of autobiography Can’t Stand Up for Sitting Down.
Jo Brand talks to Peter Florence

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Tim Minchin talks to Sarah Crompton

Words and Music

Hay Festival 2012, 
The comedian-songwriter talks about satire, love-songs and his work on the smash-hit RSC production Matilda.

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John Lloyd and Jon Canter

Afterliff

Winter Weekend 2013, 

The brilliant successor to Douglas Adams’ and John Lloyd’s 1983 classic The Meaning of Liff. A liff is a familiar object or experience that English has no words for. Afterliff corrects this disgraceful oversight: including ‘Ljubjana’ interj. – What people say to the dentist on the way out; ‘Eworthy’ adj. – Of a person: worth emailing but not worth phoning or meeting. John Lloyd is the legendary producer of Blackadder, Not The Nine O’Clock News and QI, and is joined by Jon Canter, Afterliff's co-author.

John Lloyd and Jon Canter

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John Lloyd, John Mitchinson and James Harkin

1,339 QI Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop

Winter Weekend 2013, 

At QI’s very core is the astonishing fact: painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. Pigs suffer from anorexia. Wagner always wore pink silk underwear. Rugby School’s first official rugby kit in 1871 included a bow tie. Lord Kitchener had four spaniels called Shot, Bang, Miss and Damn. It is impossible to whistle in a spacesuit. Join in the fun with the QI writing team.

John Lloyd, John Mitchinson and James Harkin

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Michael Rosen

Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells A Story

Winter Weekend 2013, 

From minding your Ps and Qs to wondering why X should mark the spot, Alphabetical is a book for everyone who loves words and language. Whether it’s how letters are arranged on keyboards or Viking runes, text-speak or zip codes, this book will change the way you think about letters forever.

14+ years

Michael Rosen

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Jasper Fforde

The Song of the Quarkbeast

Winter Weekend 2013, 
The comic crime thriller author and all round nice guy reveals his latest caper - A long time ago Magic faded away, leaving behind only yo-yos, the extremely useful compass-pointing-to-North enchantment and the spell that keeps bicycles from falling over.

11+ years
Jasper Fforde

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Bryony Gordon

The Wrong Knickers: A Decade of Chaos

Hay Festival 2014, 

Like Carrie Bradshaw, Gordon may have had a column in a national newspaper, but her twenties weren’t one long episode of Sex and the City. They were a decade of hangovers, heartbreak, and hideously awkward mornings-after, all over her overdraft limit. She tells the tales to Georgina Godwin.

Bryony Gordon

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John Mitchinson, John Lloyd and James Harkin

1,339 QI Facts To Make Your Jaw Drop

Hay Festival 2014, 

At QI’s very core is ‘the astonishing fact’: painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. Pigs suffer from anorexia. Wagner always wore pink silk underwear. Rugby School’s first official rugby kit in 1871 included a bow tie. Lord Kitchener had four spaniels called Shot, Bang, Miss and Damn. It is impossible to whistle in a spacesuit. Join in the fun with the QI writing team.

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David Baddiel talks to David Aaronovitch

Hay Festival 2011, 
The comedian and writer whose credits include the fundamentalism satire movie The Infidel discusses his new novel The Death Of Eli Gold.
 
The Death of Eli Gold - David Baddiel

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Jon Ronson

Lost At Sea

Hay Festival 2013, 

In his latest curious adventures into human eccentricity the humorist investigator goes on patrol with America’s real-life superheroes, nerds a UFO convention in the Nevada Desert with Robbie Williams, and asks a robot whether it has a soul. 

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Marcus Brigstocke, Andre Vincent, Carrie Quinlan and Guest

The Early Edition

Hay Festival 2010, 
The comedians review the papers and mock the day’s media.

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Giles Coren talks to Paul Blezard

How To Eat Out: Lessons From A Life Lived Mostly In Restaurants

Hay Festival 2013, 

Bad waiters, bum tables, little rip-offs, big cons, old fish, cheap meat, yesterday’s soup and tomorrow’s gastroenteritis… The splenetic humorist tells us how to avoid the lot, and even come out of it with free champagne and a dish named after you by way of apology.

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Helen Fielding talks to Peter Florence

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

Hay Festival 2014, 

What do you do when a girlfriend’s 60th birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s 30th? Does the Dalai Lama actually Tweet or is it his assistant? Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day? Pondering these, and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of single-motherhood, Tweeting, texting and rediscovering her sexuality in what SOME people rudely and out-datedly call ‘middle age’.

Helen Fielding talks to Peter Florence