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Festival Round Up - 2010

25th May 2010

Fingers crossed the sunshine stays, but rain or shine, the summer festival season must go on and with so many events to choose from it can all look a little overwhelming.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy your ice-cream, while Speakers Corner do the leg work for you and pick out some of the best.

We kick off in May with the Guardian Hay festival and there will be a fantastic mix of topics, starting with Stephen Fry fresh from QI and Alice in Wonderland, who will be judging the Twitter competition for the most beautiful “Tweet” ever tweeted.  Ed Byrne will also be on sparkling form in the comedy corner following his appearances on Mock the Week and his nomination for the best comedy DVD at this year’s Chortle Awards 2010. Ed has even appeared on Newsnight, so Howard Davies may have to watch out! Howard is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science and will be discussing the direction of the UK in the global economy, a hot topic for our time. Jon Snow, the Channel 4 news presenter, will be interviewing Amanda Galsworthy on the subject of the secret life of the interpreter, and Marcus du Sautoy, one of the UK’s leading mathematicians and scientists, will be looking at how maths can solve everyday problems. Boring you might say, but no! Marcus is fascinating and will have you hooked with his invaluable insight into how maths can help to give you a winning streak in everything from game shows to gambling, and why Beckham chose the number 23 shirt. Why is the number 23 so significant?  Marcus will explain all.  Jo Fairley, as co-founder of the delicious Green & Blacks, will be returning from her travels as ambassador for the brand to discuss company ethics and the shortfalls of food labelling.

In June we travel to New York City for the World Science Festival and Michio Kaku will be there, doing what he does best. Michio is one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and futurists and presented the BBC series, Visions of the Future. He has appeared on everything from CNN to Larry King Live in 2010 following the stellar success of his New York Times bestseller, Physics of the Impossible.

At the end of June we will be tasting delights from around the world with the help of Rick Stein at the Taste of London festival 2010.  Rick will be fresh from his Far Eastern Odyssey series on BBC 2 to give us a demonstration of his Malaysian-inspired dishes, along with culinary masters from Anthony Worrall Thompson to Heston Blumenthal.

Summer would not be complete without the comedy collective and Phill Jupitus will be ready and raring to take on Glastonbury this year after his Never Mind the Buzzcocks Doctor Who Special and current run as Edna in the West End hit show Hairspray.  Rufus Hound will be joining Phill and may be taking him on in the West End stakes after winning Let’s Dance on Sport Relief 2010, for his spoof of Cheryl Cole’s Fight For This Love! Rufus is not limited to spoof dance mind, and has been a hit on Dave’s Argumental alongside John Sergeant. His fellow colleague on Argumental, Marcus Brigstocke, will also be appearing at Glastonbury as well as Latitude in July. Marcus is a considerable talent having appeared several times on Have I Got News For You, new show The Bubble, and he will soon be firing on all cylinders as King Arthur in Monty Python’s Spamalot!

The Eden Project is a spectacular sight to behold, and The Eden Sessions has been described by the Evening Standard as “the nearest you can get to watching a gig on the moon”. Tim Smit, the founder of the Eden Project, is a social entrepreneur whose speeches are a tour de force, having recently given the keynote speech on ‘Visions for a Sustainable Global Economy’ for the Economist’s 2010 Sustainability Summit. Greg Davies, star of Mock the Week and 8 Out of 10 Cats, will also be making the most of this incredible backdrop as he performs in the sunshine.  Greg is on a roll this year as he will also be appearing at South Bank’s Udderbelly – the backdrop for this one being slightly different, in a giant upside-down purple cow.

Finally, we come to possibly the hottest ticket of the summer – John Bishop at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in August. John has been on a rocket trajectory this year and has so far appeared on Channel 4’s Comedy Gala and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross to name but a few. John has been practising French in his famous liverpudlian accent at the Cannes film festival this month whilst promoting his brand new film Route Irish directed by Ken Loach.  Oh la la!

So that’s the round-up of some of the hottest speakers at this year’s summer festivals. Bring your shades and sun-tan lotion, and let us do the work.

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