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5 speakers 15 minutes each
Mon 17th Mar 2014
Born in 1962, Ben Watt is a musician, songwriter, DJ and author. His first book, Patient: The True Story of a Rare Illness was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, voted a Sunday Times Book of the Year by William Boyd and shortlisted for the Esquire Non-fiction Book of the Year. His latest book is Romany and Tom a vivid story of the post-war years, ambition and stardom, family roots and secrets, life in clubs and in care homes. He is perhaps most well known for his twenty-year career in alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl (1982–2002). He is also an international club and radio DJ, and since 2003 has run his own independent record labels Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling. Having recently returned to songwriting and live performance, his first solo album for thirty years is expected in 2014. He lives in north London with his wife Tracey Thorn and their three children.
Fiona Shaw is an Irish actress and director, and one of the most recognised performers of her generation. A star of both stage and screen, she has numerous film credits, including diverse roles in My Left Foot (1989), Three Men and a Little Lady (1990) and a turn as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter series, to name but a few. She has worked extensively with the National Theatre, and received several awards for her work on stage, including three Laurence Olivier awards for best actress. She has recently won much praise for her work as a director of opera, having overseen productions at the English National Opera and Glyndebourne as well as opening the 2013-2014 season at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. She was awarded an honorary CBE in the 2001 New Years Honours.
Sam Bompas co-founded Bompas & Parr in 2007 with Harry Parr, a studio that uses jelly as a vehicle to research the cross-modal correspondences of the senses and the relationship between food and architecture. The studio has since gone on to create immersive flavour based experiences ranging from an inhabitable cloud of gin and tonic, a chocolate climbing wall and a Taste Experience for the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, officially the best place to taste Guinness in the world. The studio works with some of the world’s biggest companies (Diageo, Cargill, Mercedes-Benz) and the world’s foremost cultural institutions (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew). They have written three cook books, and published a fourth through Bompas & Parr Editions, the studio’s publishing imprint dedicated to printing niche food publications both old and new.
Kirsty Wark is one of Britain's most highly regarded and versatile television presenters. She hosts a variety of BBC programmes, including Newsnight (where she has been an anchor for fourteen years), The Review Show, and a number of arts documentaries. Kirsty also presents an occasional series of interviews for BBC4 with guests as wide-ranging as George Clooney and Madonna. The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle is her first novel.