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Happy Birthday - Hay Festival celebrates its 25th birthday
7:40am Thursday 31st May 2012 in County
Hay Festival has reached its silver anniversary, celebrating its 25th birthday in a year that sees the country with plenty of reasons to celebrate.
To mark its special birthday, the Hay team has picked out 25 highlights from this year’s packed 10- day programme of more than 500 discussions, debates, comedy and concerts, farm visits and more.
1. Bryn Terfel sang at the first festival and he’s back for the 25th birthday concert on June 8.
2. Chris Evans will be broadcasting his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show live from Hay tomorrow (Friday) with the winners of this year’s 500 Words schools’ writing competition and a very starry line-up of guest readers.
3. Michael Morpurgo, who wrote Stephen Spielberg’s smash hit War Horse, will be giving the Hay Library Lecture tomorrow – free to anyone with a library card.
4. There are 25 comedy shows throughout the festival with stars such as Tim Minchin, Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran and Shappi Khorsandi.
5. "Queen of Shops” Mary Portas will discuss knickers, shopping and the High Street on June 9.
6. Former Tesco boss Terry Leahy will spill some business beans Tomorrow, Friday.
7.Children’s TV superstar Mr Tumble will be at Hay on the second weekend to entertain tots, toddlers and families.
8. BBC presenters Kate Humble and Adam Henson will be fronting the farming sessions at Hay.
9. Three of the greatest living Nobel Laureates speak over the bank holiday weekend – namely DNA chemist James Watson, economics genius Daniel Kahneman and Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa.
10. Jazz fans can groove to the explorations of saxophonist Courtney Pine while sultry vocalist Sarah Jane Morris will premiere her new work for singer and six cellos.
11. BBC anchorman George Alagiah tells the love stories of Mixed Britannia.
12. Stephen Fry hosts an all-star cast including Monty Don and Ruby Wax in a series discussing mental health issues.
13. Hereford’s Concern Universal is one of eight charity partners and is hosting the youth debate on bank holiday Monday.
14. Sublime, high octane party band Oi Va Voi will be swirling bank holiday Monday away.
15. Rob Brydon. Love him.
16. Rugby fans from both sides of the border can meet living legends Brian Moore, Clive Woodward and the incomparable Gerald Davies.
17. Herefordshire entrepreneurs Heather Gorringe of Wiggly Wiggers and Sally Bailey of Baileys Home Store will be launching Hay’s first Women in Business Forum.
18. Andrew Marr and David Starkey celebrate the Queen.
19. Historian Bettany Hughes celebrates Divine Women.
20. Shepherds has made a 25th birthday Blackcurrant Champagne ice cream just for Hay Festival.
21. For anyone with English exams coming up, next Thursday, June 7, is an amazing day on Shakespeare with scholars Jonathan Bate, Michael Dobson and Germaine Greer.
22. There’s a full programme of sessions on the Second World War with historians and novelists Max Hastings, Antony Beevor, Patrick Bishop, Ben McIntyre, Laurent Binet, Simon Mawer, Niklas Frank and Ian Kershaw.
23. World class classical music stars Simon Rattle and Ian Bostridge will discuss their art.
24. Meet radio superstars Andy Kershaw, Stuart Maconie, Cerys Matthews and Jim Naughtie, and join the 25th birthday party on June 9, DJd by Radio 1’s Rob da Bank.
25. Come with friends, come with family, come on your own. Just come and join the party.
For full programme details and to book, visit hayfestival.org, or call the box office on 01497 822629.