Biography

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Tom Daley

Tom’s Daily Plan

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Olympian diving star shares what he’s learned about how to stay fit, healthy and positive. His secrets include delicious food, workouts anyone can do (he promises!) and invaluable motivational and lifestyle tips. He talks to the award-winning sports writer Carolyn Hitt.

Tom Daley

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Neil Gaiman talks to Claire Armitstead

A Conversation

Hay Festival 2015, 

The prolific and inspiring creator of game-changing books, comics, films and songs talks about his work. His latest book is Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances.

Neil Gaiman talks to Claire Armitstead

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Margaret Atwood and Gaby Wood

In conversation

Hay Festival 2018, 
In this extended session the Canadian writer discusses her poetry, short stories and novels, which include the Booker Prize winning The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace, Cat's Eye and her recent dystopian trilogy Oryx and Crake, Year of the Flood, and Maddaddam. Gaby Wood is director of the Man Booker Prize. See also event 189
Margaret Atwood and Gaby Wood

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Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

Things That Matter

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Australian writer and thinker is often described as the world’s most influential living philosopher. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life ethics in bioethics, and for his writing on the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save, Famine, Affluence and Morality, and most recently Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter. He talks to the Festival president.

Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

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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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Sandi Toksvig

The Hay Library Lecture

Hay Festival 2015, 

 A celebration of reading and books from the comedian, broadcaster and writer whose books include the novels Hitler’s Canary, Flying Under Bridges and Valentine Grey, children’s stories The Littlest Viking and The Troublesome Tooth Fairy, non-fiction best-sellers Peas & Queues and Girls Are Best and the play Bully Boy. Introduced by Sue Wilkinson.

Sandi Toksvig

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Monty Don and Nigel

My Family and Other Dogs

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Gardeners’ World star and social media sensation will bring his human best friend onstage to talk about dogs and love and family. #woof

Monty Don and Nigel

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Germaine Greer talks to Martha Kearney

The Annual Hamlin Lecture: Liberation

Hay Festival 2015, 
A conversation with the teacher, writer and grand provocateur about what would make life better. ‘I’m a liberation feminist, not an equality feminist. Equality is a profoundly conservative aim and it won’t achieve anything.’
Germaine Greer talks to Martha Kearney

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Michael Rosen

The Disappearance of Emile Zola

Hay Festival 2017, 

18 July 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Emile Zola is on the run. His crime? Intervening in the Dreyfus case and taking on the highest powers in France with his open letter J’accuse. Forced to leave Paris with nothing but the clothes he is standing in and a nightshirt wrapped in newspaper, Zola flees to England with no idea when he will return. This is the little-known story of his time in exile. Rosen offers an intriguing insight into the mind, the loves, the politics and the work of the great writer.

Michael Rosen

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Dan and Peter Snow

The Battle of Waterloo

Hay Festival 2015, 

Waterloo was the climactic showdown between the military giants of the age, Napoleon and Wellington, who faced each other for the first and only time across the sodden rolling Belgian farmland south of Brussels on the morning of Sunday 18 June 1815. More than 150,000 French, British, Dutch and Prussian soldiers fought an epic, bloody and decisive encounter that ended the Napoleonic Wars and led to Bonaparte’s final abdication and decades of international peace in Europe.

Peter and Dan Snow tell the story of Napoleon’s 100 Days Campaign, from his Elba escape to his defeat at Waterloo. Their book, The Battle of Waterloo Experience, provides what no other book on the battle contains – removable facsimiles of historic archival documents. You can relive this extraordinary moment in history by holding and examining rare or previously unpublished sketch maps, letters, orders, official papers and proclamations which up until now have been filed away in the National Army Museum’s collections or in other archives and museums around Europe.

Get close to the action by reading the campaign journal of a colonel of Hussars, the Duke of Wellington’s handwritten orders to the commander defending the farm of Hougoumont, the poignant letters written to family and loved ones by officers and men shortly after the battle, the paybook of a soldier of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard, and The Times of 22 June 1815, containing a complete transcript of Wellington’s renowned Waterloo Dispatch.

Dan and Peter Snow

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Tracey Emin in conversation with Dylan Jones

Talking About Art

Hay Festival 2017, 

Tracey Emin’s art is one of disclosure, using her life events as inspiration for works ranging from painting, drawing, video and installation, to photography, needlework and sculpture. Emin reveals her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in candid and, at times, excoriating work that is frequently both tragic and humorous.

Emin’s work has an immediacy and often sexually provocative attitude that firmly locates her oeuvre within the tradition of feminist discourse. By re-appropriating conventional handicraft techniques – or ‘women’s work’ – for radical intentions, Emin’s work resonates with the feminist tenets of the ‘personal as political’. In Everyone I’ve Ever Slept With, Emin used the process of appliqué to inscribe the names of lovers, friends and family within a small tent, into which the viewer had to crawl, becoming both voyeur and confidante. Her interest in the work of Edvard Munch and Egon Schiele particularly inform Emin’s paintings, monoprints and drawings, which explore complex personal states and ideas of self-representation through manifestly expressionist styles and themes.

Tracey Emin was born in London in 1963, and studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited extensively internationally including solo and group exhibitions in Holland, Germany, Japan, Australia and America. In 2007 Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale, becoming the second female artist ever to do so. That same year, Emin was made a Royal Academician and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art, a Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent and a Doctor of Philosophy from London Metropolitan University. In 2011 she became the Royal Academy’s Professor of Drawing and in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the visual arts.

She talks to the editor of GQ magazine.

Tracey Emin in conversation with Dylan Jones

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Jeremy Paxman interrogated by Marcus Brigstocke

A Life in Questions

Hay Festival 2017, 

Why is this lying bastard lying to me?” was at the front of his mind as the grand inquisitor conducted every interview on Newsnight. He has been known to be less hard on the students of University Challenge. He is lightly grilled with a touch of spice by the satirist and Now Show star.

Jeremy Paxman interrogated by Marcus Brigstocke

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Colm Tóibín talks to Sarah Churchwell

Nora Webster and On Elizabeth Bishop

Hay Festival 2015, 

Set in 1960s Ireland, Tóibín’s new novel Nora Webster introduces one of the most complex and captivating heroines of contemporary fiction. He discusses the book and his new study On Elizabeth Bishop. He creates a vivid picture of the American poet while also revealing how her work has helped shape his sensibility as a novelist and how her experiences of loss and exile resonate with his own.

Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

Colm Tóibín talks to Sarah Churchwell

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Charlotte Rampling talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

Who I Am

Hay Festival 2017, 

The actor reminisces in an intimate self-portrait, with stories and photographs from her long career – from classic movies Georgy Girl and The Night Porter to Broadchurch and The Sense of an Ending.

Charlotte Rampling talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Niall Ferguson

Kissinger: The Idealist, 1923-1968

Hay Festival 2016, 

No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Hailed by some as the ‘indispensable man’, whose advice has been sought by every president from John F Kennedy to George W Bush, he has also attracted immense hostility from critics who have cast him as an amoral Machiavellian – the ultimate, cold-blooded ‘realist’. In his first volume of biography, the historian examines Kissinger’s early life (as a Jew in Hitler’s Germany, a poor immigrant in New York, a GI at the Battle of the Bulge, an interrogator of Nazis, and a student of history at Harvard) to understand his debt to the philosophy of idealism. By tracing his rise, fall and revival as an adviser to Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller and Richard Nixon, Ferguson assesses Kissinger’s contribution to the theory of diplomacy, grand strategy and nuclear deterrence.

Niall Ferguson

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Cosey Fanni Tutti and John Grant

Art Sex Music

Hay Festival 2017, 

The avant-garde musician, conceptual artist and pornographic model discusses her candid, taboo-breaking and fascinating autobiography with the musician John Grant.

Cosey Fanni Tutti and John Grant

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Bridget Kendall talks to Oliver Bullough

A Very Diplomatic Correspondent

Hay Festival 2016, 

Unshackled now from her role as the BBC’s Diplomatic Correspondent, the doyenne of international journalism talks about her thirty years as a foreign correspondent. She covered the fall of the Soviet Union from Moscow and the heydays and dogdays of the Clinton administration from Washington. A fluent Russian speaker, she has become the authority on the rise and rule of Vladimir Putin and the re-emergence of Russia as a superpower. She will be Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge from July.

Bridget Kendall talks to Oliver Bullough

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Nick Clegg talks to Matthew d’Ancona

Politics: Between the Extremes

Hay Festival 2017, 

The former Deputy Prime Minister lifts the lid on the workings and failings of the 2010--2015 coalition government, analyses the 2017 European electoral cycle, and assesses the opportunities for the liberal centre ground of politics.

Nick Clegg talks to Matthew d’Ancona

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Ed Balls talks to Joan Bakewell

Speaking Out

Hay Festival 2017, 

The highs and lows of life in and out of politics – from the despatch box to Strictly stage with one of Britain’s most influential and charming political figures. He’s funny, and acute about the madhouse of Parliament. Ed Balls is not currently an MP.

Ed Balls talks to Joan Bakewell

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Kent Nerburn and Robert Plant talk to Andrew O’Hagan

Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder

Hay Festival 2017, 

This special event marks the UK launch of Kent Nerburn’s award-winning work of creative non-fiction depicting the epic and intensely moving journey he made over 20 years ago with a Native American elder named Dan.  Musician Robert Plant picked up a copy of Neither Wolf Nor Dog whilst touring the States in 2014 and his passion for this masterpiece has led to its publication here in Britain.  

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Cory Doctorow and Adam Rutherford

Life: A Dialogue

Hay Festival 2017, 

How and why do we survive, and what makes us unique? A conversation between a novelist and a scientist exploring the worlds they inhabit in Doctorow’s superb new speculative fiction Walkaway and Rutherford’s A Brief History of Everyone who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes.

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Philippe Sands talks to Stephen Fry

The Baillie Gifford Prize Lecture: East West Street

Hay Festival 2017, 

Sands’s inquiry into the origins of 'genocide' and 'crimes against humanity' is also a personal quest for his family in the Ukrainian city of Lviv. It won this year’s Baillie Gifford Prize. Hay Festival-goers will have heard Sands explore many of the themes of the story here over the past decade. We revisit East West Street this year to honour one of the greatest works of literature of the festival’s lifetime; a book that might be read around Europe and around the world to inform the way contemporary history is developing.

Philippe Sands talks to Stephen Fry

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Simon Singh

The John Maddox Lecture: Fermat’s Last Theorem

Hay Festival 2015, 

‘I have discovered a truly marvellous proof, which this margin is too narrow to contain…’ Twenty years after a mild-mannered Englishman solved Pierre de Fermat’s 350-year-old theorem, Singh tells the true story of how mathematics’ most challenging problem was made to yield its secrets in a thrilling tale of endurance, ingenuity and inspiration.

Simon Singh

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Tony Robinson

No Cunning Plan

Hay Festival 2017, 

The actor and hugely successful children’s writer yarns his working life from child stardom in the first production of Oliver! and the joy of Baldrick, to the documenting of Time Team archaeology and The Worst Jobs in History. Robinson was knighted in 2013 for public and political service. Chaired by Lucy Cotter.

Tony Robinson

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Mary McCartney talks to Monty Don

At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends

Hay Festival 2015, 

There are moments in our lives, and throughout the year, when we come together with our friends and family, and food plays a huge part in turning these moments into something special. Traditionally, many of these occasions call for meat – whether it’s roast beef for Sunday lunch, or burgers at a BBQ – but Mary wants to show us that vegetarian cooking can be just as celebratory and special.

* The Relish Festival Restaurant will be serving a vegetarian feast from the cookbook from 8.30pm. To book call Relish on 01285 658 444.

Mary McCartney talks to Monty Don