- US senator Bernie Sanders makes a special appearance for BBC World News’ HARDtalk
- Talking Books with George Alagiah features Ahdaf Soueif and Elizabeth Strout, and Rebecca Jones in conversation with Tim Winton and Sebastian Barry
- Stephen Fry hosts a debate about the web for BBC Arts Digital
- BBC Drama sessions showcase Jimmy McGovern, Mike Bartlett and Steven Moffat
- Simon Amstell presents his BBC iPlayer documentary Carnage
- Katie Derham talks about her new Radio 3 series Sound of Dance
- Rising stars of UK spoken word, Young Identity, present a live set
- Radio 4 to broadcast flagship programmes including Front Row, Start the Week and Broadcasting House
- Filmmaker Nick Willing discusses making a film about his mother, the artist Paula Rego
- Award-winning filmmaker Jill Nicholls talks about the art of the literary documentary
- Owen Sheers presents a special screening of BAFTA-nominated The Green Hollow
- Surgeon David Nott delivers the sixth BBC Radio Wales Patrick Hannan Lecture
- CBBC's Katie Thistleton will be filming around the festival for CBBC Book Club
The BBC and Hay Festival (25 May–4 June, 2017) today revealed plans for this year’s event across television, radio and online with a plethora of star names in attendance including US senator Bernie Sanders, actor and writer Stephen Fry, show producer and writer Steven Moffat, screenwriter Jimmy McGovern, playwright Mike Bartlett, comedian Simon Amstell and Radio 3 presenter Katie Derham.
BBC World News’ HARDtalk will see special guest US senator Bernie Sanders interviewed by Stephen Sackur on stage; four sessions of its literary series Talking Books will be recorded with George Alagiah meeting Ahdaf Soueif and Elizabeth Strout, and Rebecca Jones in conversation with Tim Winton and Sebastian Barry; presenter Spencer Kelly showcases cutting-edge science in the flagship science and technology show Click; BBC World Service will record a special edition of The Arts Show; while Owen Sheers presents a special screening of BAFTA-nominated The Green Hollow, his film poem marking the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.
Meanwhile, BBC Arts Digital launches coverage of the opening weekend with two days of live streaming, which Stephen Fry kicks off with his digital reformation, sparking a debate about the internet that everyone can join, while selective events will be available throughout the week on BBC iPlayer.
Additional events in the BBC Tent – open for booking from today – will offer an inside look at the latest BBC dramas and documentaries, including tips from some of our leading screenwriters, documentary makers and show runners.
Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts, BBC, commented: “In the BBC Tent at Hay Festival, audiences get unfettered access to important artists and broadcasters, emerging and established, as well as a chance to go behind the curtain to see how their favourite programmes are made - and all the tickets are free! Giving books, storytelling and ideas a platform to reach audiences everywhere is something the BBC has always been committed to, so we’re delighted to partner with Hay Festival on such a rich and comprehensive range of programming – both on-site and on-air.”
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 BBC programme 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 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-clusive, 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 fromAdam 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 One writer and show producer Steven Moffat will be talking about Doctor Who, Sherlock, and the craft of writing, as he prepares to step down from his role as Doctor Who’s lead writer and executive producer later this year.
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.
Owen says: “I’m thrilled to be screening The Green Hollow at the Hay Festival. The film was both one of the hardest and most important projects I’ve ever worked on. The aspiration was to create a choral poem in the voice of Aberfan and I hope we’ve gone some way towards achieving that. The generosity and understanding with which the community shared their stories of the disaster and the aftermath was humbling, and the rendering of those voices by the cast and crew deserves to be seen again. Television can be the most ephemeral of mediums, so I’m hugely grateful to the BBC for making it possible for this film to be experienced again and especially pleased that the screening is happening at Hay. Growing up in the area, the Festival was a vital source of inspiration and knowledge for me so it has, I’ve no doubt, played a significant role in my being able to write this piece in the manner I did.”
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.
There’s poetry too, as Manchester-based collective Young Identity present 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.