Steven Moffat will be discussing his approach to writing as his time as showrunner for Doctor Who comes to a close at this year’s Hay Festival (25 May to 4 Jun 2017). The BBC One writer and show producer joins a stellar line-up of speakers also includes US Senator Bernie Sanders, Peter Singer, Neil Gaiman, Elif Shafak, Nemat Shafik, Tracey Emin, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Brian May, Graham Norton, Eddie Izzard, Jeanette Winterson, Howard Jacobson, Yanis Varoufakis, Paul Beatty, Carlo Rovelli, Jacqueline Wilson, Judith Kerr and Chris Riddell.
Held at Hay-on-Wye, Wales, the 30th Hay Festival is the biggest event ever featuring over 800 venues that provide a chance for young readers to meet their heroes. The festival also includes comedy, music, and The Sound of the Baskervilles, a new late-night club venue.
The Festival is free to enter, with ticketed events in 10 tented venues, plus a range of exciting sites to explore, including the Festival Bookshop, the HAYDAYS courtyard, arts and crafts in the MAKE and TAKE TENT and the SCRIBBLERS HUT; there are drop-in workshops in the MESS TENT, and market stalls, cafés, and restaurants.
The BBC will be recording more 25 TV and Radio shows on site at the festival including BBC World News’ HARDtalk, Talking Books and Click to BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, Start the Week, and Broadcasting House, to BBC Radio 3, BBC Wales, and BBC Hereford and Worcester. In addition, BBC Arts Digital will stream the opening weekend live and some of the week’s events will be available BBC iPlayer.
Peter Florence, Director of Hay Festival, said: “For 30 years Hay Festival has brought readers and writers together to share stories and ideas, to imagine the world. Today, our partnership with the BBC enables these conversations to be heard globally – whether from our fields in Wales, or the beaches of Cartagena de Indias – giving everyone, everywhere, front-row seats.”
Other highlights at Hay Festival 2017 include:
- BBC Radio 4 will broadcast four of its flagship programmes from the festival: John Wilson presents Front Row live with Pulitzer prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout on Friday 26 May; Samira Ahmed records a Front Row special with show Doctor Who and Sherlock producer and writer Steven Moffat on Sunday 4 June; Broadcasting House is live on Sunday 28 May; Tom Sutcliffe presents Start the Week live on Monday 29 May with award-winning authors Colm Tóibín, Sebastian Barry, Meg Rosoff and psychologist Jan Kizilhan. Meanwhile, Hari Kunzru talks to James Naughtie and an audience of keen readers for Book Club and Four Thought will be recorded in front of a live audience for later broadcast.
- Radio 3 will be broadcasting “a week at Hay” from Monday 29 May to Sunday 3 June, with programmes every day across its schedule coming from the Festival. In a Hay-inclusive, Radio 3 will bring a distinctive blend of ‘slow radio’ to Hay audiences with a four-hour-long immersive broadcast of a walk from the Black Mountains to Hay with music, poetry and moments of reflection from writer Horatio Clare. The Sound Walk will be broadcast on Monday 29 May from 2-6pm and audiences will be able to listen to the broadcast by collecting headphones from the BBC Tent.
- Five other Radio 3 shows – The Essay, The Verb, Free Thinking, The Listening Service, and In Tune –will record editions in front of live Festival audiences Clemency Burton-Hill presents a series of Lunchtime Recitals from St Mary’s Church, featuring performances from Adam Walker, James Baillieu, Federico Colli, The Amatis Trio, and Quator Voce. Katie Derham talks about her twin passions: dance and music, and how she’s combining these in a new six-part series for BBC Radio 3 called Sound of Dance. Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3’s Arts and Ideas programme, brings together Costa Book of the Year winner Sebastian Barry and writers Jake Arnott and Madeleine Thien to discuss the art of the historical novel, and in a second programme discusses women’s voices in the classical world with Professor Paul Cartledge, Bettany Hughes and Colm Tóibín. The programmes are presented by Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers Sarah Dillon and Catherine Fletcher.
- New BBC programming is showcased, with playwright and television screenwriter Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster, Doctor Who) talking about his television adaptation of his Olivier Award-winning play King Charles III and the challenges of writing for different mediums; there will be a session with Jimmy McGovern about his new BBC One drama, Broken, starring Sean Bean, and the art of compelling characters in hard-hitting dramas; creators of Waking the Dead, Ian Burney and Barbara Machin, offer insights into what they’ve learnt about murder inquiries while making the show; comedian Simon Amstell presents his feature-length documentary for BBC iPlayer, Carnage; BBC Radio executive producer Sue Roberts and writer Dan Rebellato reveal the highs and lows of bringing Émile Zola’s award-winning Blood, Sex and Money to life as a radio drama; and award-winning film-maker Jill Nicholls discusses her films for the BBC’s flagship arts documentary series Imagine and the art of the literary documentary
- BBC Two film-makers Adam Low and Martin Rosenbaum talk about their documentary on Alan Bennett to Mark Bell, Head of Commissioning TV Arts BBC, revealing what it was like filming the nation’s best-loved writer, with clips from the film, followed by its screening.
- BBC Four film-makers offer insights into new series and films: professor of Digital Humanities at Newcastle University, Richard Clay, previews his major new arts series, Utopias; George Carey talks about his fascination with the interlocking worlds of spying and the British establishment and previews unseen footage of his upcoming documentary on Guy Burgess for BBC Four’s Storyville strand; medievalist historian Janina Ramirez offers insights from her new documentary, Julian of Norwich; Nick Willing talks about the challenges of making the documentary on his mother’s life, Paula Rego: Secrets & Stories; and Owen Sheers presents a special screening of BAFTA-nominated The Green Hollow, his film poem commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, followed by a Q&A.
- Renowned surgeon David Nott delivers the sixth annual Patrick Hannan Lecture dedicated to the late BBC Wales broadcaster; BBC Radio Wales will record four shows live on site – Jamie Owen, Eleri Sion, The Arts Show, and The Leak; while BBC Hereford & Worcester presents a series of BBC Introducing sessions offering a taste of the best new music from the region.
- Audiences will be offered insights into the creative process as Alison Hindell, Head of Audio Drama for the BBC, discusses the art of the box set; presenter Paddy O’Connell talks about life inside Broadcasting House; and there’s a masterclass on how to get started in the media, featuring a discussion with researchers and producers from radio, television and online.
- Manchester-based collective Young Identity presents a live set from some of the rising stars of the UK spoken-word scene, with performances by Isaiah Hull, Shirley May, Inna Voice and Chris Jam, plus a reading from novelist Desiree Reynolds.
- CBBC’s Katie Thistleton will explore the amazing world of children’s books and record some special links to be broadcast on the channel as part of CBBC Book Club, which airs on CBBC every Sunday morning and afternoon.
The full Hay Festival programme is available to view online at hayfestival.org. Tickets are bookable online or through the box office on 01497 822 629.
About Hay Festival 2017
The 30th Hay Festival (25 May–4 June), presents an inspiring programme of conversations and performances in Hay-on-Wye over the summer half-term. The Festival also runs a wide programme of education work supporting the next generation of writers and culturally hungry audiences of all ages – Hay Festival Wales opens with two days of free programming for schools; the Beacons Project gives students aged 16–18 the chance to learn from internationally acclaimed writers; students in tertiary education get free tickets; and COMPASS is a special space on site to learn and discover, with free access to inspiring speakers.
Founded in 1987 around a kitchen table in Hay Wales, the non-profit organisation brings readers and writers together to share stories and ideas in sustainable events around the world. Thirty years later, the unique marriage of exacting conversations and entertainment for all ages has travelled to editions in 30 locations, from the historic town of Cartagena in Colombia to the heart of cities in Peru, Mexico, Spain and Denmark. The organisation now reaches a global audience of hundreds of thousands every year and continues to grow and innovate, building partnerships and initiatives alongside some of the leading bodies in arts and the media, including the BBC, Welsh Government Department of Education, Visit Wales, ACW, the British Council, Oxfam, TATA, Friends of Hay Festival, Baillie Gifford, Good Energy, the Woodland Trust and the National Trust.
Acclaimed author, actor and writer Stephen Fry is President of the organisation; Peter Florence is Director; and Caroline Michel, CEO of leading literary and talent agency Peters Fraser and Dunlop, is Chair of the Festival board.
Information on 2017 Hay Festival Worldwide
- Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (26–29 Jan)
- Hay Festival Wales, UK (25 May–4 Jun)
- Hay Festival Queretaro, Mexico (7– 10 Sep)
- Hay Festival Segovia, Spain (16–24 Sep)
- European Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus, Denmark (26–29 Oct)
- Hay Festival Arequipa, Peru (9–12 Nov)
- Hay Festival Wales Winter Weekend, UK (24 – 26 Nov)