Home / Books / FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival to team up with BBC World Service


The Festival, which runs from Saturday 2nd April – Sunday 10th April, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in historic University and College venues across Oxford

53012906_mThe FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival is working with the BBC World Service at this year’s Festival. There will be a series of specially commissioned events which will be broadcast to listeners across the world.

The centrepiece will be a two hour live event broadcast from the Festival on Sunday 3rd April. Airing as part of the BBC’s Identity season, this programme will be looking at ideas of how our identity is changing as the world around us changes. Presenters Anu Anand, Jamie Coomarasamy and Jo Fidgen will be hosting interviews and debates featuring international authors and thinkers, performers and festival-goers.

During the broadcast a panel including legendary Russian chess player turned pro-democracy campaigner Garry Kasparov and Ethiopian historian Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate will explore the theme of changing identity in a globalising world, through the prism of power and the people. World renowned actor and gay rights activist Sir Ian McKellen will speak to Anu Anand about his life and work. And Jo Fidgen will explore food, spirituality and female African American identity with acclaimed US writers Jessica Harris and Jewell Parker Rhodes.

In addition, BBC World Service will record a special edition of BBC Newshour Extra from the Festival. Owen Bennett Jones and guests will discuss what Britain should make of its colonial past (for broadcast Friday 8th April), while The Forum are also recording from the Festival as they trace the evolution of 21st century identity (to air on Tuesday 12 April).

Many of the guests featuring in the broadcast will also be appearing as part of the main FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival programme, which involves over 500 speakers and 300 events.

Sally Dunsmore, Director of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, said: “We are delighted that BBC World Service will be broadcasting from Oxford this year. It is fantastic to think that the exceptional experience of the Oxford Literary Festival will now be shared with engaged listeners all across the world.”

Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service said: “We are excited to share with the world what it is like to be at the Oxford Literary Festival in a city where the discussion of ideas and philosophies is happening on every corner, and to add an international element to the debate about who we are as individuals in this increasingly globalised world.”

The BBC World Service events supplement a programme already full of fascinating speakersincluding Mary Beard, Mary McAleese, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, James Naughtie, Professor Richard Dawkins, and many more.

To book tickets and to keep up to date with all the latest details and speaker announcements please visit the website:http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/.



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Oxford based journalist and consultant, who writes about business, especially the global energy business including exploration. Also editor Oxfordprospect.co.uk. Writes about a variety of topics including production, power generation including renewables, innovation, investment, markets, technology, regulation, leadership, policy making and management.


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