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Biography

Event 14

George Brinley Evans, Phil Steele and Mark Taubert talk to Hywel Francis

Before the End – Telling Your Story in Time

Venue: Starlight Stage

Two authors discuss how bereavement encouraged them to tell their own life stories against all the odds, in a society where men still often suffer silently. Historian and Professor Hywel Francis chairs Byw Nawr/Live Now, the end-of-life-care coalition in Wales. He talks to ex-miner George Brinley Evans and broadcaster Phil Steele. Taubert is a palliative and end-of-life-care consultant at Velindre Cancer Centre. They offer a clinical perspective on male depression and grief.

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Event 17

Miriam González Durántez

Made In Spain

Venue: Good Energy Stage

The lawyer and Inspiring Girls champion introduces her delicious “recipes and stories from my country and beyond” in a glorious celebration of Spanish culture and cooking.

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Miriam González Durántez

Event 20

Nick Clegg talks to Matthew d’Ancona

Politics: Between the Extremes

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Nick Clegg talks to Matthew d’Ancona

Event 21

Alec Ryrie

Protestants: The Faith that Made the Modern World

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

500 years ago, Martin Luther challenged the authority of the Pope with a radical new vision of what Christianity could be. The revolution he set in motion has toppled governments, upended social norms, and transformed millions of people’s understanding of their relationship with God. In his dazzling global history charting five centuries of innovation and change, Ryrie makes the case that the world we live in was indelibly shaped by Protestants.

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Alec Ryrie

Event 24

Ellie Sømme

Another Man’s Shoes

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Ellie’s father Sven and uncle Jacob, both leading scientists, led the XU Norwegian Resistance movement against the Nazi occupation in WW2. She tells a mesmerising story of espionage and heroism illustrated with artefacts and documents as she traces the survival of the XU all the way through the Cold War until 1988.

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Event 28

Chris Boardman talks to William Fotheringham

Triumph and Turbulence

Venue: Oxfam Moot

A conversation with the legendary British cyclist, gold medallist in the Barcelona Olympics, Tour de France hero, and latterly the backroom ‘marginal gains’  genius of British cycling in his role as head of the R&D team, The Secret Squirrels.

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Chris Boardman talks to William Fotheringham

Event 58

Amanda Owen

A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess

Venue: Good Energy Stage

The best-selling author describes the age-old cycle of a farming year and the constant challenges of life at Ravenseat, the remote Yorkshire hill farm she shares with husband Clive, nine children and 1,000 sheep. Chaired by Oliver Balch, author of Under the Tump.

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Amanda Owen

Event 62

Cory Doctorow and Adam Rutherford

Life: A Dialogue

Venue: Good Energy Stage

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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Event 65

Jeremy Paxman interrogated by Marcus Brigstocke

A Life in Questions

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Jeremy Paxman interrogated by Marcus Brigstocke

Event 68

Nicholas Hytner talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

Balancing Acts

Venue: Oxfam Moot

You start with a vision, and you deliver a compromise. You want a play to be challenging, ambitious, nuanced and complicated. You also want it to sell tickets. You want to make art, and you know you’re in show-business. The inside story of 12 years at the helm of The National Theatre is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes. Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren and, of course, William Shakespeare.

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Nicholas Hytner talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

Event 72

Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

Things That Matter

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

Event 73

David Mitchell

Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight: A young man’s voice from the silence of autism

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

The novelist launches his translation of the new book by Naoki Higashida. It’s part memoir, part critique of a world that sees disabilities ahead of disabled people, it opens a window into the mind and world of an autistic, non-verbal young adult, providing remarkable insights into autism in general. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.

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David Mitchell

Event 77

Ed Balls talks to Joan Bakewell

Speaking Out

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Ed Balls talks to Joan Bakewell

Event 80

Charlotte Rampling talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

Who I Am

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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.

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Charlotte Rampling talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

Event 83

Michael Rosen

The Disappearance of Emile Zola

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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.

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Michael Rosen

Event 84

Tom Daley

Tom’s Daily Plan

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

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.

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Tom Daley

Event 89

Simon Schama

An Enlightenment

Venue: Oxfam Moot

Drawing on his work over the past 40 years, the historian considers the context of contemporary Europe’s political upheavals, its challenges and its opportunities.  Schama’s books include Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, A History of Britain, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, Landscape and Memory and The Story of the Jews.

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Simon Schama

Event 90

Raja Shehadeh talks to Hugh Muir

Where the Line is Drawn: Crossing Boundaries in Occupied Palestine

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Brave, intelligent and deeply controversial, the award-winning author of A Rift in Time, Occupation Diaries, Language of War ~ Language of Peace and Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape explores the devastating effect of Occupation on even the most intimate aspects of life. Looking back over decades of political turmoil, Shehadeh traces the impact on the fragile bonds of friendship across the Israel-Palestine border, and asks whether those considered bitter enemies can come together to forge a common future.

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Raja Shehadeh talks to Hugh Muir

Event 92

Lucy Worsley

Jane Austen at Home

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Honouring the bicentenary of the novelist’s death, Worsley tells the story of Austen’s life and shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the places and spaces that mattered to her. It wasn’t all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle.

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Lucy Worsley

Event 97

Christina Lamb, Helena Kennedy, Rachael Jolley and Joan Bakewell

The War on Women

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

In a tribute to the late frontline journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts and her posthumously-published book, a panel of three exceptional and indefatigable heroes talk to Joan Bakewell about The War on Women. Lamb is the Foreign Correspondent of The Sunday Times and the author of Farewell Kabul and The Girl from Aleppo. Kennedy is a world-renowned Human Rights lawyer. Jolley is editor of Index on Censorship.

With thanks to Nick Guthrie

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Christina Lamb, Helena Kennedy, Rachael Jolley and Joan Bakewell

Event 101

Richard Parks

Extreme Adventuring

Venue: Starlight Stage

Parks describes his inspiring recovery from the shattering injury that ended his international rugby career. He tells of his commitment to his pioneering and world-first expeditions in the most extreme environments on earth.

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Event 110

Ben MacIntyre

SAS: Rogue Heroes –The Authorised Wartime History

Venue: Oxfam Moot

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, has a vision for a new kind of war: attacking the enemy where they least expect it – from behind their own lines. Despite the intense opposition of many in British High Command, Winston Churchill personally gives Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he can find. With unprecedented access to the SAS secret files, unseen footage and exclusive interviews with its founder members, the author of Operation Mincemeat, A Spy Amongst Friends and Agent Zigzag tells the remarkable early story of the Herefordshire Regiment.

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Ben MacIntyre

Event 116

Philippe Sands talks to Stephen Fry

The Baillie Gifford Prize Lecture: East West Street

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

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.

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Philippe Sands talks to Stephen Fry

Event 118

John Mullan, Sarah Churchwell and Colm Toíbín

Jane Austen 200

Venue: Good Energy Stage

The author of What Matters in Jane Austen celebrates the bi-centenary of the great novelist and talks about what defines her genius with the novelist, Colm Toíbín and Sarah Churchwell.

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Event 121

Rory Stewart

The Marches

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

The writer and politician  recounts his final journey with his 90-year-old father along the border between Scotland and England. They relive Scottish dances, reflect on Burmese honey-bears, and on the loss of human presence in the British landscape. On mountain ridges and in housing estates they uncover a forgotten country crushed between England and Scotland: the Middleland. They discover unsettling modern lives, lodged in an ancient land. Their odyssey develops into a history of nationhood, an anatomy of the landscape, a chronicle of contemporary Britain and an exuberant encounter between a father and a son. 

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Event 137

Tracey Emin in conversation with Dylan Jones

Talking About Art

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Tracey Emin in conversation with Dylan Jones

Event 145

Tony Robinson

No Cunning Plan

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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.

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Tony Robinson

Event 149

Thomasina Miers talks to Rosie Boycott

Home Cook

Venue: Starlight Stage

The founder of the Mexican street food cantina Wahaca introduces her most-loved recipes; recipes that she has fed her friends and family at her always busy kitchen table, recipes made up of family classics or food inspired by her travels and her favourite food-writers and chefs.

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Thomasina Miers talks to Rosie Boycott

Event 162

Harriet Harman talks to Laura Bates

A Woman’s Work

Venue: Tata Tent

A fascinating account of an exemplary Parliamentary and political career from an insider committed to progressing gender equality. There’s a great quote about her in The Times: “Countless blows have tempered Harman into something fearless and indestructible”. She talks to the founder of the Everyday Sexism project.

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Harriet Harman talks to Laura Bates

Event 514

Giles Tremlett

Isabella of Castile: Europe’s First Great Queen

Venue: Good Energy Stage
In 1474, a 23-year-old woman ascended the throne of Castile, the largest and strongest kingdom in Spain. Ahead of her lay the considerable challenge not only of being a young, female ruler in an overwhelmingly male-dominated world, but also of reforming a major European kingdom that was riddled with crime, corruption, and violent political factionism. The historian chronicles her life of Isabella of Castile as she led her country out of the murky Middle Ages and harnessed the newest ideas and tools of the early Renaissance to turn her ill-disciplined, quarrelsome nation into a sharper, modern state with a powerful, clear-minded, and ambitious monarch at its centre.
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Giles Tremlett

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