BBC Radio 4’s Saturday morning show with Nikki Bedi and Huw Stephens brings you extraordinary stories and remarkable people, live from Hay.
In his latest book, “The God Desire”, David Baddiel suggests that we do - we have a need to believe in a higher being. And that is why, he says, he’s been led to a kind of “reluctant atheism”.
Aleem Maqbool spoke to David Baddiel about his faith and the journey that led to this point.
Beyond Belief is the Radio 4 show that takes a personal story and explores what this tells us about the way faith shapes our world. In this special episode, recorded at The Hay Festival, BBC Religion Editor, Aleem Maqbool, brings together a panel of writers, poets and thinkers to discuss one of the biggest questions of our existence. Why do humans believe in God? Is it something that is hard-wired into human nature? Is the fear of oblivion a driving force in religious belief? Or is it all just a product of our imagination?
One of the biggest challenges in tackling the climate emergency is not technical, we know what we need to do - it is in how the necessary change is communicated. How do we communicate the seriousness of the situation and avoid the pitfalls of despair and despondency. What are the key issues and how does the messaging need to change depending on the audiences?
Johan Rockström is an internationally recognised scientist for his work on global sustainability. He helped lead a team of scientists that presented the planetary boundaries framework, first published in 2009 and updated in 2015.
Mike Rann is chair of the Climate Group and former Premier of South Australia from 2002 to 2011. He was also Climate Change Minister, the first in Australia.Helen Clarkson is the CEO of the Climate Group and previously, was at Forum for the Future, playing a key role, supporting the UK Presidency of the 2021 COP26.
The BBC’s International Editor has covered the Middle East since 1989 and is uniquely placed to explain its complex past and troubled present. In his new book, he meets ordinary men and women on the front line, their leaders, whether brutal or benign, and explores the power games that have so often wreaked devastation on civilian populations as those leaders, whatever their motives, jostle for political, religious and economic control. With his deep understanding of the political, cultural and religious differences between countries as diverse as Erdoğan’s Turkey, Assad's Syria and Netanyahu's Israel, he offers readers an authoritative guide to the modern Middle East.
Bowen talks to BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner.
Democracy rests on a vision of social change and human development, and visions need aspiration and hope to materialise. While we live in a time of social discontent with how democracy and governance work, we are witnessing the explosion of a multiplicity of civil society movements worldwide. Discussing the future of democracy and the relationship between hope and democratic politics are: Lyse Doucet, BBC's Chief International Correspondent, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga, and Sarah Churchwell, Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of London. Bronwen Maddox is CEO of think tank Chatham House.
The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction is the UK’s premier non-fiction book prize. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, a Winner of Winners Award was announced to recognise the outstanding work of the previous 24 prize-winners. This one-off award, crowning the best work of non-fiction from the past 25 years, goes to James Shapiro, winner in 2006. His book 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare follows the playwright as he invests in the new Globe theatre and writes four of his most famous plays – Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and Hamlet. Joining us digitally, Shapiro talks to historian and writer Sarah Churchwell (in person).
The Magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck on 6 February 2023 in southern Turkey close to the Syrian border and was followed by powerful aftershocks. More than 50,000 people lost their lives in the region as buildings collapsed. Research is now being carried out by Turkish teams and other structural engineers with the aim of learning lessons from the earthquake and finding ways to improve the design of buildings and the construction process to make them more resilient. The successes of the buildings that are still intact and perform perfectly well are as important as the neighbouring buildings that have collapsed. Hear from one of those leading the research – Emily So, Professor of Architectural Engineering at Cambridge University, a chartered civil engineer and Director of the Cambridge University Centre for Risk in the Built Environment (CURBE).
Oleksandra Matviichuk is a human rights lawyer, activist and director of the Centre for Civil Liberties in Ukraine, winner of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize together with the Russian human rights organisation, Memorial, and Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski. Matviichuk and the Centre have fought for democracy in Ukraine since 2007 and are now part of a ground-breaking international effort to ensure accountability for war crimes. In her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, she reminded the world that, “We don’t have to be Ukrainians to support Ukraine. It is enough just to be humans.” She talks to the Guardian’s chief culture writer.
Gary Raymond and guest critics review their pick of Hay Festival content.