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Joe O’Mahoney and guests

The Fair Tax Debate

Hay Festival 2016, 

The tax avoidance practices of multinational companies have recently been at the forefront of political and economic news. To highlight the unfairness of the current situation, a group of small businesses in Crickhowell, Wales, decided to adopt the offshore tax avoidance tactics of large companies. They have branded this movement the ‘Fair Tax Town’ and now intend to export it to other small businesses all over the UK. We explore the rise of algorithm-based companies such as Facebook, Uber and Deliveroo, and show how their offshore status allows them to extract value from countries in a similar manner to the East India Company in the C17th.

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Steve Herington talks to Mathew Engel

Bob Cole The Runner

Hay Festival 2016, 

Bob Cole from Herefordshire was the long-distance Olympian who never got the chance to prove it. Eccentric and solitary, he competed on the professional circuit and was proclaimed world champion, but forever banned from the Olympics. Herington, author of a new biography, discusses the amazing story of a forgotten hero from the Chariots of Fire era.

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Barbara Erskine talks to Peter Florence

Sleeper's Castle

Hay Festival 2016, 

We are thrilled to launch the new novel by the bestselling author, who returns to Hay in the year that marks the 30th anniversary of her sensational debut bestseller, Lady of Hay.

Hay-On-Wye, 1400 – War is brewing in the Welsh borders, Catrin is on the brink of womanhood and falling in love for the first time. Her father is a soothsayer, playing a dangerous game manipulating the mixed loyalties and furious rivalries between Welsh princes and English lords. For two hundred years, the Welsh people have lain under the English yoke, dreaming of independence. And finally it looks as though the charismatic Owain Glyndwr may be the man legend talks of. In the walls of Sleeper’s Castle, Catrin finds herself caught in the middle of a doomed war as she is called upon to foretell Wales’s destiny… And what she sees, is blood and war coming closer…

Hay, 2015. Miranda has moved to Sleeper’s Castle to escape and grieve. Slowly she feels herself coming to life in the solitude of the mountains. But every time she closes her eyes her dreams become more vivid. And she makes a connection with a young girl, who’s screaming, who’s reaching out… who only Miranda can help. Is she losing herself to time?

Barbara Erskine talks to Peter Florence

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Michael Marriott

English Roses

Hay Festival 2016, 

A huge breeding programme is needed to produce the new varieties of English Roses. The Rosarian talks about the work involved and gives a behind-the-scenes look at making the David Austin Roses garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Join us to launch the Roald Dahl Rose, in celebration of the writer’s centenary year.

Michael Marriott

Hay Player

Jon Anderson

Establishing a Digital Literary Atlas of Wales and its Borderlands – Cardiff University Series

Hay Festival 2016, 

Introducing a new literary geography based on the assumption that novels and stories cannot be confined by the covers of a book, but through the reader’s imagination become part of the lived experience of the world around us. Explaining how this new cartography of page and place will be developed is Jon Anderson from the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University.

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The Keep

The Genius of the Marches

Hay Festival 2016, 

An entertainment: a constellation of writers, artists and photographers of the Welsh Marches celebrate the first issue of The Keep, Hay’s new literary and arts magazine, with an evening of readings, stories and pictures, under the editorial baton of Iain Finlayson.

With Owen Sheers, Ben Rawlence, Nina Lyon, Jasper Fforde, Soma Ghosh, Oliver Balch, Tom Bullough, Dix and Marsha Arnold.

The Keep

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Oliver Balch talks to Georgina Godwin

Under the Tump: Sketches of Real Life on the Welsh Borders

Hay Festival 2016, 

After living in London and Buenos Aires, what will the journalist make of moving to Hay, a tiny, quirky town on the Welsh-English border? To help guide him, he turns to Francis Kilvert, the Victorian diarist who captured the bucolic rural life of his day. Does anything of Kilvert’s world still exist? And could a newcomer ever feel they truly belong? With empathy and humour, Balch joins in the daily routines and lives of his fellow residents. What emerges is a captivating, personal picture of country life.

Oliver Balch talks to Georgina Godwin

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Kate Humble talks to Miles Jupp

Friend For Life: The Extraordinary Partnership Between Humans and Dogs

Hay Festival 2016, 

The wildlife broadcaster and smallholder uses her journey with her sheepdog puppy Teg to frame her examination of this very special relationship. Written with warmth and love, and packed full of stories about rescue dogs, guide dogs, service dogs and medical dogs, this event is a joy for anyone with a four-legged friend. In conversation with host of The News Quiz, Miles Jupp.

Kate Humble talks to Miles Jupp

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Michael Tavinor

Shrines of the Saints in England and Wales

Hay Festival 2016, 

The Dean of Hereford Cathedral explores the history and present-day significance of the shrines to the saints that can be found in many cathedrals and abbeys, and in pilgrimage destinations. He traces their importance in the UK’s spiritual life from medieval times and considers how people and church buildings were influenced by shrines in their midst. He recounts their destruction during the Reformation and what was happening during the hidden years before the tide turned in both Anglican and Catholic churches in C19th.

Michael Tavinor

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Steve Edwards

The Man who Drowned the Meadows: Rowland Vaughan, 1558-1627

Hay Festival 2016, 

The story of Rowland Vaughan and his waterworks provides an insight both into an eager and imaginative but rather litigious family man and into his understanding of the benefits of irrigating farmland and managing floodwater. Such thinking was very new at the end of the Elizabethan era. The extensive field work carried out by the Golden Valley Study Group shows in great detail the traces of Vaughan’s meticulous design for his water management system in the Golden Valley in Herefordshire, still clearly discernible in the landscape today – the very gradual gradients, the gentle curves of the spreader channels, the capacity to set water flowing either up or down the main channel (the Trench Royal) as required, and the groundworks in the meadows themselves.

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