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Guardian Hay Festival Boasts Speakers Corner's Best

26th May 2011

Britain’s most exciting writers, filmmakers, comedians, politicians and musicians are headed to the Welsh town of Hay-On-Wye for the annual Guardian Literary Festival, and amongst them are some of Speakers Corner's best talent.

As the Welsh border town of Hay-On-Wye gears up for the Guardian Hay Festival on May 26th, Britain’s litterati are packing their bags and planning their trips to the staggering beauty of the Brecon Beacons for ten days of stories, ideas, laughter and music.

Founded around a kitchen table in 1987, the festival continues to inspire, delight and entertain. This year’s speakers include news and current affairs commentators and TV presenters Sandi Toksvig, Jeremy Bowen, Jon Snow, Peter Snow, Anne Robinson , Joan Bakewell, Chris Evans, Mariella Frostrup, Germaine Greer, Nigella Lawson, Kevin McCloud, Helen Skelton , George Lamb and Jason Bradbury. Radio presenters Janni Murray and Jim Naughtie will represent BBC Radio 4.

In addition top UK journalists will be in attendance at the festival, including David Aaronovitch, Rosie Boycott, Melvyn Bragg, Matthew D’Ancona, Nik Gowing and AA Gill.

Game for a laugh? Top notch comedians will be on offer by the dozen, including David Baddiel, Mitch Benn, Jo Brand, Marcus Brigstocke, Jason Byrne, Shappi Khorsandi, Maureen Lipman, Paul Merton, Dara O’Briain, Paul O’Grady and Sue Perkins.

The worlds of sport and adventure will also be well represented at Hay with personalities such as James Cracknell, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Fogle, and on the subject of sustainability or green issues, guests will be treated to words of wisdom from Bjorn Lomborg, Jonathon Porritt, Lucy Siegle and Tim Smit.

Business and politics will be touched upon by Digby Jones, Niall Ferguson, Emma Bridgewater, Martha Lane Fox and David Miliband.

Other literary figures making up the star-studded guest list at this year’s highly anticipated Hay Festival include Sir Bob Geldof, Simon Weston, Marcus Du Sautoy, Simon Schama and Paul Theroux.

Britain’s biggest and best loved book festival begins on May 26th and aims to attract the greatest practitioners and the most exciting new voices. The 10 day festival is known to entice world leaders, Nobel Prize winners and bestselling authors, as well as some up and coming bands and high class comedy to engage and appeal to sell out audiences.

This year’s festival celebrates the work of great translators and poets and sets their work in the context of what we know about the universe, about nature, and about the human mind and heart.

Hay-On-Wye is often described as the ‘town of books’, and boasts over thirty bookshops scattered around its small picturesque streets. In 2001 the festival was described by Bill Clinton in as ‘The Woodstock of the mind’. The Festival was one of 11 Welsh winners of The Queen's Awards for Enterprise in 2009.

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