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.
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’.
Mixing current affairs with philosophical reflections, de Botton offers a brilliant illustrated guide to the precautions we should take before venturing anywhere near the news and the ‘noise’ it generates. Witty and global in reach, The News will ensure you’ll never look at reports of a celebrity story or political scandal in quite the same way again. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
The esteemed fashion commentator has produced a sumptuous and comprehensive study of clothing design that explains from head to toe why and how we wear what we wear. He pays brilliant and fascinating attention to how the great couturiers work with human anatomy. Come and enjoy the clothes – and his conversation with the editor-in-chief of Mr Porter.
Digging on Dorstone Hill over the last couple of summers, the archaeological team have uncovered two 6,000-year-old burial mounds and the remains of two huge halls that appear to have been ritually burned down. Thomas, who leads the excavations, talks about what they’ve found and the Neolithic traditions of houses for the living and houses for the dead.
The novelist Atef Abu Saif introduces his groundbreaking anthology of ten Palestinian writers who have been translated into English for the first time. Each story takes place in a different part of the Strip and provides a ‘literary map’, navigating its readers around the cities. He is joined by one of the contributing short story writers, Abdallah Tayeh. They talk to Georgina Godwin.
An ordinary woman, part-time Local Authority employee and full-time mum describes the start of her journey to set up her own family-focused Community Interest Café.
Join Emer Stamp for a glimpse inside The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig. Crammed with cartoons, evil chickens, a plot to send Pig to Pluto, and Farmer, who is feeding Pig suspiciously well. Thank goodness for Duck, his reliable friend. With live drawing and lots of laughs.
Duration 45 minutes
The legendary author of Forever makes a rare trip to the UK. Her ground-breaking novels for children and young adults were amongst the first to tackle racism, divorce, bullying and teen sex and have provoked controversy for decades.
Duration 45 minutes
13+ years (YA)
Gideon Coe and Chris Hawkins come live from Brecon Beacons as part of '6Music at Hay Festival'. They'll be joined by author and musician Bob Stanley talking about his recent book Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. Plus, performance poet John Hegley will be dropping by, mandolin in hand to give us a number or two from his recent spud themed collections.
12+ years. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18.
FREE BUT TICKETED
An opportunity to try your hand at traditional craft skills with a three-hour workshop in which you will develop hand woodworking skills with an expert craftsperson. During the workshop you will mark out, construct and assemble a rustic oak stool to take home with you at the end of the session; all without the use of modern power tools or measuring devices. The design is marked out using the same principles of daisy wheel geometry used to build the great medieval cathedrals and the Tithe Barn at Cressing Temple.
Suitable for all abilities and ages, 12+ years
Come and discover the secret world that lives in your garden with the RSPB. Grab a net and see what amazing creatures are hiding in the leaves and lurking underwater. Make a Bee and Bug B&B to take home and give nature a home in your garden.
The theatre and film director discusses his film versions of Shakespeare’s History plays, and their role both in Shakespeare’s canon and in our understanding of Britain’s identity.
Other events in the Shakespeare 450 series - 34, 55 and 235.
We are surrounded by an astronomical zoo of familiar and curious objects, from asteroids and zodiacal dust to Alpha Centauri and the centre of the Milky Way. Chris Lintott discusses the many marvels of the cosmos with comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw, and takes us on a tour of the universe.
The bestselling author of My Last Duchess introduces her new novel. In 1875 Sisi, the Empress of Austria, is the woman that every man desires and every woman envies. Beautiful, athletic and intelligent, Sisi has everything – except happiness. Bored with the stultifying etiquette of the Hapsburg Court and her dutiful but unexciting husband, Franz Joseph, Sisi comes to England to hunt. She comes looking for excitement and she finds it in the dashing form of Captain Bay Middleton, the only man in Europe who can outride her…
The curator of the latest V&A exhibition traces the development of the fashionable white wedding dress and its treatment by key fashion designers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Norman Hartnell, Charles James, Vivienne Westwood and Vera Wang in this sumptuously illustrated lecture. Chaired by Corisande Albert.The exhibition Wedding Dresses, 1775–2014 is at the Victoria & Albert Museum until 15 March 2015.
In response to earlier crises in government, there have been three great revolutions, which have brought about the nation-state, the liberal state and the welfare state. In each, Europe and America have set the example. The Economist writers suggest we are now in the midst of a fourth revolution in the history of the nation-state, but this time the Western way is in danger of being left behind. The race is not just one of efficiency, but a race to see which political values will triumph in the C21st: the liberal values of democracy and freedom or the authoritarian values of command and control.
The Bafta-winning comic genius and television star who was awarded an MBE for services to children’s broadcasting gets you singing, Makaton signing and most of all laughing at jokes from his many books including Rhyme Time and Chuckle Time. Book quickly!
Duration 45 minutes
Penelope Treadwell, millionaire orphan heiress, runs bestselling Victorian magazine Penny Dreadful while managing some detective work on the side. Join Christopher Edge as he introduces Penny’s latest adventure The Black Crow Conspiracy, in which she battles the dark forces behind an alternative World War I.
Duration 45 minutes
Imagine being evacuated to Mars, from the war zone of Earth, and having to join an army to fight aliens in a last-ditch attempt to save the galaxy. What would your life be like? Sophia McDougall introduces her new adventure sci-fi series, perfect for fans of Percy Jackson and Artemis Fowl.
Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. Philby’s two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all.
A fascinating comparison of four iconic gardens – Stowe, Biddulph Grange, Nymans and Great Dixter – each a product of its age. The stories of their creation include obsession, escape, social ambition, political intrigue, heartbreak, bankruptcy and disaster.
Housing was at the heart of the financial collapse, and our economy is now precariously reliant on the housing market. Tracing how we got to our current crisis and how housing has come to reflect class and wealth in Britain, All That Is Solid radically shows that the solution to our problems – rising homelessness, a generation priced out of home ownership – is not, as is widely assumed, building more homes. Inequality, Dorling argues, is what we really need to overcome. Chaired by Andy Fryers.
The Chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group from 1991 to 2001 and of Anglo American Plc from 2002 to 2009 discusses the realities, dilemmas and lessons to be learnt from the last 20 years of corporate engagement with sustainability, ethics and responsibility. He tells a tale of corruption and conflict, of extractive industries and intractable governments from Syria and Nigeria to Downing Street and Beijing. In a tough world, how can business do the right thing?