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5 speakers 15 minutes each

Mon 15th Oct 2012

The Tabernacle

7pm

Gavin Esler

Gavin Esler

Gavin Esler is an author, newspaper columnist and award-winning BBC broadcaster. As well as being a presenter on Newsnight since 2003, Gavin hosts Dateline London and numerous other programmes on BBC World, the BBC News Channel and BBC radio. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 4 with programme credits including Four Corners and Six Places that Changed the World and Esler On Eichmann. He is a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines including The Independent and The Mail on Sunday. His books include novels and works of non-fiction. His latest book Lessons from the Top, a portrait of leadership in the modern world, is due out in 2012. Gavin won a Royal Television Society Award for two documentaries on Alaska, and a Sony Gold for a Radio 4 documentary "Letters from Guantanamo" about the detainee Sami al Hajj who was released after the documentary was broadcast.

Katie Hickman

Katie Hickman

Katie Hickman was born into a diplomatic family and spent the first 25 years of her life living in Europe, the Far East and South America. Her first book, Dreams of the Peaceful Dragon (1987), an account of a journey on horseback across the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, was followed by The Quetzal Summer (1992), a novel about love and death in the Andes. In 1993 she published a second travel book, A Trip to the Light Fantastic, an account of a year spent living and working with a Mexican circus, which was short-listed for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. She then turned to writing history books: Daughters of Britannia: the Lives and Times of Diplomatic Wives (1999) which rose to number two in the Sunday Times Bestseller list, and 2003’s bestselling Courtesans. Her later novels include The Aviary Gate (2009) and The Pindar Diamond (2010). She lives in London with her two children and her husband, the philosopher A.C. Grayling.

Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father. She was adopted at birth and was brought up in Glasgow, studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Stirling University where she read English. The experience of being adopted by and growing up withing a white family inspired her first collection of poetry, The Adoption Papers. Her first novel, Trumpet was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize. Inspired by the life of musician Billy Tipton, the novel tells the story of Scottish jazz trumpeter Joss Moody whose death revealed that he was, in fact, a woman. Her dramatised poem, The Lamplighter was shortlisted for the 2009 Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award. Her Maw Broon Monologues, performed at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, and combining rhythmic verse and music, were shortlisted for the 2010 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Red Dust Road (2010), a memoir about meeting her Nigerian birth father, was shortlisted for the 2011 PEN/Ackerley Prize. In 2006, she was awarded an MBE for services to literature.

Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr was born on 31 July 1959, in Glasgow, Scotland. Andrew joined The Scotsman as a trainee in 1981 and became parliamentary correspondent in 1984 and political correspondent in 1986. He worked for two years at The Independent and then returned to The Scotsman as political editor in 1986. Andrew moved to become political editor at The Economist from 1988-92. He returned to the Independent as chief political commentator in 1992 and was promoted to editor in 1996. He became a columnist for The Express and The Observer in 1998 before being appointed as BBC political editor in May 2000. Andrew has had a number of books published including A History of Modern Britain and presented a five-part series of the same name, chronicling the history of Britain from 1945 to 2007. He was named Columnist of the Year in the What The Papers Say awards and Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards, named Journalist of the Year in the Creative Freedom Awards and received the Journalist Award in the Channel 4 Political Awards. Additionally, Andrew was named as the best individual contributor on television at the Voice Of The Listener And Viewer's Annual awards.

Stanley Johnson

Stanley Johnson

Stanley is above all a West Countryman. Since 1951 his family has farmed on Exmoor, on the Devon-Somerset border, and Stanley still manages the farm there today. He is a former Conservative member of the European Parliament (MEP) where he served (1979-1984) as Vice Chairman of the Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection. He has also worked in the European Commission (1973-1979) as Head of the Prevention of Pollution division and (1984-1994) as Senior Adviser to DG Environment and as Director of Energy Policy. He is currently a trustee of the Gorilla Organisation (www.gorillas.org) and an Ambassador for the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) (www.cms.int). He has had ten books published dealing with environmental issues, including the Politics of the Environment, the Earth Summit and the Environmental Policy of the European Communities. He has also had nine novels published, including The Commissioner which was made into a film starring John Hurt. In 1984 he was awarded the Greenpeace Prize for Outstanding Services to the Environment and in the same year the RSPCA Richard Martin award for services to animal welfare.