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Hay Festival: Farewell for another year
8:50am Sunday 10th June 2012 in Hay-on-Wye
The world famous Hay Festival comes to an end today (Sunday).
The annual literary festival has again attracted people from all over the globe to Hay-on-Wye with crowds arriving in droves comes rain or shine.
The event started last Thursday with a concert from comedian and musician Tim Minchin and comes to a close today with talks from Herefordshire gardener Monty Don, actor Simon Callow, and broadcaster Stuart Maconie as well as a grand finale from comic Bill Bailey.
Here are the Hereford Times' highlights of the Hay Festival 2012:
- BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, who was in conversation with comedian, author and Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams on May 31, had to make an emergency dash from Hay to London for the birth of his new baby son. Evans had been due to present the Radio 2 breakfast show live from the festival site on Friday morning. When he couldn’t make it, the show was hosted by Walliams and One Show presenter Alex Jones.
- On June 1, former Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy discussed the impact of supermarkets on local shops in small communities – a big issue in Hay where traders are currently fighting plans for a town centre supermarket. When asked if Sir Terry looks forward to the day when Hay-on-Wye has a Tesco, he hedged: “It won’t be my decision.”
- Welsh writer Owen Sheers – who won a writing competition at Hay when he was 14 – was joined by the cast of his new play The Two Worlds of Charlie F in a talk with BBC creative director Alan Yentob.
- Children's author Michael Morpurgo gave the inaugural Hay Festival's Library Lecture to a packed audience of children and local library supporters.
- On Monday, poet Simon Armitage led a special if sombre discussion when he played a radio broadcast of his poem Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster. Armitage’s poem tells the real-life story of Sophie, a Lancashire girl who was killed in 2007 trying to protect her boyfriend from a group of teenage boys who attacked the couple because of their gothic appearance.
- As the festival reached its half-way point on Tuesday, novelist Ian Rankin exclusively revealed that his next book, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, would see the return of his detective hero Rebus, whom he is bringing out of retirement to solve one more case.
- On Wednesday, festival-goers attended a talk about grand plans for Hay Castle during which Elizabeth Haycox, owner of Booth’s Bookshop, and a trustee of the newly formed Hay Castle Trust said it was the charity’s intention to bring life back to the 900-year-old castle by opening it the public.
- Running alongside Hay Festival is the Globe’s HowTheLight GetsIn (HTLGI) festival of philosophy and music and on Friday night festival-goers were treated to an impromptu performance from Will Young. “I've had a fantastic time”, said Will. “This is a great festival”.
- To celebrate the important work of translators, David Bellos, an English-born translator who has just written Is that a Fish in Your Ear?, was at the festival to kill off a few myths about his trade and explain why computer technology will never be able to compete with the human mind when it comes to conveying cultural, historical and social meanings of words.
- Popular broadcaster and actor Stephen Fry, author of four novels and two autobiographies, was at Hay on Monday to talk about mental health issues.
- Frente Colombiana, with their mix of instrumental dub and South American Cumbia rhythms played to an audience of two-year-olds right through to grandmothers in Hay’s Sound Castle, the new live music venue part of the festival.
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