Hay Festival 2019 Programme

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BBC events

Event 12

Big Debate programme broadcast LIVE from Hay

BBC Asian Network

Venue: BBC Tent
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Young people will be talking about books for teenagers and what they think about Asian and black characters in novels. We’ll also hear why young people love spoken word poetry. Some will perform their own work.

Free but ticketed
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Event 16

The Leak

BBC Radio Wales

Venue: BBC Tent
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Tom Price and guests from the world of comedy and entertainment review the week’s biggest stories, from around Wales and the world.

Free but ticketed
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Event 21

Free Thinking

BBC Radio 3

Venue: BBC Tent
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BBC Radio 3’s art and ideas programme explores Rachel Carson’s passionate book Silent Spring, first published in 1962 and argued to be the work which launched the environmental movement. But how does it speak to us now? For a recording of Free Thinking’s Cultural Landmark series presenter Rana Mitter is joined by guests Tony Juniper, Emily Shuckburgh, Dieter Helm and Kapka Kassabova.

Free Thinking is broadcast on Radio 3 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10pm. This recording will be broadcast on Wednesday 29 May and available as a BBC Arts & Ideas podcast.

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Event 30

Front Row Late

BBC Two

Venue: BBC Tent
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Mary Beard hosts an episode of BBC Two’s flagship topical arts show. Mary and her guests debate the big questions in the arts and culture.

Pre-recorded for broadcast at 23:05 later in the evening on BBC2.

Free but ticketed
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Event 403

Stephen Sackur and HARDTalk

BBC News

Venue: BBC Tent
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Join Stephen Sackur on the set of the BBC’s tough-talking interview programme. If you have a thirst for inquiring journalism and enjoy the cut and thrust of gladiatorial theatre, get a seat in the BBC Tent and judge for yourself.

Free but ticketed
Price: £0.00
 
 

Event 40

Click

BBC World News

Venue: BBC Tent
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Experience the BBC’s flagship science and technology TV show LIVE on stage. Host Spencer Kelly has spent over fifteen years exploring the world of technology, returning to Hay for a fourth year with mind-bending live demos of artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality.

A Click Hay Festival special will be broadcast on the BBC News Channel and on BBC World News

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Event 45

Free Thinking

BBC Radio 3

Venue: BBC Tent
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BBC Radio 3’s arts and ideas programme explores the ways in which writing about art can help us embrace a new way of seeing the work. Rana Mitter is joined by novelist and art essayist Siri Hustvedt, writer and broadcaster Simon Schama and Radio 3 New Generation Thinker and historian of Renaissance and early modern Europe Catherine Fletcher.

Free Thinking is broadcast on Radio 3 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10pm. This recording will be broadcast on Thursday 30 May and available as a BBC Arts & Ideas podcast.

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Event 49

Talking Books with Fatima Bhutto and George Alagiah

BBC World News and BBC News Channel

Venue: BBC Tent
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Internationally acclaimed writer Fatima Bhutto talks to George Alagiah. Growing up as a member of the Bhutto political dynasty, in 1996 at the age of 14 Fatima saw her father assassinated – and subsequently blamed his murder on her aunt Benazir Bhutto in her first book, Songs of Blood and Sword. Described as an epic tale full of romance, intrigue and tragedy, the characters in Bhutto’s novel are richly drawn. Her second book The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is set along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan and tells the story of characters living against a backdrop of conflict as they choose hope over love and the future over the present. Her latest novel The Runaway charts the lives of three people from different backgrounds who meet at a Jihadi training camp near Mosul, and paints a vivid picture of how the restlessness of youth can easily be exploited.

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Event 70

The Essay

BBC Radio 3

Venue: BBC Tent
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In this series of Hay Essays, writers respond to the themes of Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’, often described as the first modern novel, and a story which still resonates with us three hundred after it was written.

PLEASE NOTE - this event appears in the printed brochure at 7pm, but it is now taking place at 2.30pm
 
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Event 58

Talking Books with Nicci Gerrard and George Alagiah

BBC World News and BBC News Channel

Venue: BBC Tent
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Perhaps best known as one half of a husband and wife duo who have written more than fifteen psychological thrillers under the name of Nicci French, author Nicci Gerrard is an award-winning journalist in her own right. Her books appeal to readers who acknowledge that we all inhabit the fringes of some very dark places. Unafraid to cover difficult topics, her book Soham asks what we can learn from a recent notorious child murder case in the UK and questions how our response to evil is often manipulated by the media. Her latest book What Dementia Teaches Us About Love is a candid and thought-provoking investigation into the medical, moral and personal issues caused by a condition that now touches millions of us but that we still find it hard to speak about. She talks to George Alagiah.

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Event 64

Inside Science

BBC Radio 4

Venue: BBC Tent
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Adam Rutherford and guests, including mathematician Steven Strogatz, discuss the big ideas in science today. 

Broadcast Thursday 30 May at 4.30pm and 9.30pm.

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Event 53

Tom Sutcliffe with Jeanette Winterson, Naomi Wolf, John Browne

Start the Week

Venue: BBC Tent
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BBC Radio 4
Tom Sutcliffe presents Radio 4’s flagship programme of ideas, exploring the impact of human ingenuity – from the myth of Frankenstein to geoengineering – with guests Jeanette Winterson, Naomi Wolf and John Browne. This session is slightly longer as it will include a reading for the radio 3 series The Essay, with a writer responding to the themes of Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’.

PLEASE NOTE - this event appears in the printed brochure at 2.30pm, but it is now taking place at 7pm.

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Event 404

Stephen Sackur and HARDTalk

BBC News

Venue: BBC Tent
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Join Stephen Sackur on the set of the BBC’s tough-talking interview programme. If you have a thirst for inquiring journalism and enjoy the cut and thrust of gladiatorial theatre, get a seat in the BBC Tent and judge for yourself.

Free but ticketed
Price: £0.00
 
 

Event 82

Textual Healing: Can Fiction Heal?

BBC Culture

Venue: BBC Tent
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Practised around the world by psychologists and social workers, and even prescribed by the NHS, bibliotherapy has become something of a buzzword in the past few years, although it has been going for centuries. The ancient Greeks posted signs above library doors, informing readers that they were entering a healing place for the soul. And in the 19th century doctors and psychiatric nurses doled out everything from the Bible to travel literature and works in ancient languages. BBC Culture’s literature writer Hephzibah Anderson and guests discuss the stories they turn to in times of crisis, and find out whether fiction really does have the power to change our lives for the better.

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Event 87

Long-termism: How to Think in Deep Time

BBC Future

Venue: BBC Tent
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From climate change to politics, short-termism is at the root of many of the challenges we face in the 21st Century. How do we employ a deeper-time perspective, and prioritise the well-being of future generations? Author and BBC presenter Linda Geddes speaks to a panel from the worlds of science, governance and philosophy: Martin Rees, Sophie Howe and Roman Krznaric. Part of BBC Future’s Deep Civilisation season, which aims to stand back from the daily news cycle and widen the lens of our current place in time.

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Event 91

The Verb

BBC Radio 3

Venue: BBC Tent
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Ian McMillan presents Radio 3’s ‘cabaret of the word’, featuring award-winning writers alongside the most innovative up-and-coming performers. This year guests include Hannah Sullivan, winner of the 2018 TS Eliot Prize, and comedian Rachel Parris. Join us for our special Hay edition of The Verb, “a linguistic leftfield joy that manages to be cosy and surreal, and which Ian McMillan presides over like a kindly pub landlord” – Radio Times.

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Event 96

Talking Books with Kapka Kassabova and Stig Abell

BBC World News and BBC News Channel

Venue: BBC Tent
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Kapka Kassabova spent her formative years behind the Iron Curtain in Bulgaria and much of her work focuses on journeys and the search for a sense of place and identity amidst sometimes turbulent histories. Described by one reviewer as "a poet and author who writes in English, with a European imagination", her first novel Reconnaissance tells the story of a young backpacker travelling through New Zealand whose journey develops into something deeply personal, exploring memory and family myth. In 2008 her memoir Street Without a Name won critical acclaim for its meditation on the speed of change across eastern Europe. In Twelve Minutes of Love she travels through the intimate history of Argentine Tango and her latest book Borders sees her return to the Balkans to explore the physical and psychological lines that define the region. The award-winning novelist, poet and travel writer talks to Stig Abell. 

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Event 102

100 Women: Tainted Love – Should we boycott controversial artists?

BBC News

Venue: BBC Tent
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Following recent sexual abuse allegations levelled against several high profile creatives, should we be pausing for thought before going to the cinema, the art gallery or the bookshop? Should we look beyond our favourite film, book and music to the person behind it? Can we consume the works of people such as Harvey Weinstein and R Kelly with a clear conscience? Or can great art simply stand alone?

Adult themes not suitable for under 16s

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Event 108

Tonight at Hay

BBC Radio Wales

Venue: BBC Tent
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A round-up of highlights from Hay Festival on the national radio station for Wales.

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Event 114

Political Thinking

BBC Radio 4

Venue: BBC Tent
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Nick Robinson talks about what’s really going on in British politics.

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