Click HERE to join our free mailing list and never miss the latest news

Lewes Speakers Festival Summer 2019

12th, 13th and 14th July 

At The All Saints Centre Lewes

Friday 12th July 2019

Helen Pankhurst

Deeds Not Words: The Story of Women's Rights - Then and Now

Friday 12th July 17.00 - 18.15


Why is it taking so long?

Despite huge progress since the suffragette campaigns and wave after wave of feminism, women are still fighting for equality. Why, at the present rate will we have to wait in Britain until 2069 for the gender pay gap to disappear? Why, in 2015, did 11% of women lose their jobs due to pregnancy discrimination? Why, globally, has 1 in 3 women experienced physical or sexual violence? In 2018, on the centenary of one of the greatest steps forward for women - the Fourth Reform Act, which saw propertied women over 30 gain the vote for the first time - suffragette descendant and campaigner Helen Pankhurst charts how the lives of women in the UK have changed over the last 100 years. She celebrates landmark successes, little-known victories, where progress has stalled or reversed, looking at politics, money, identity, violence, culture and social norms.

Dr Helen Pankhurst is a women’s rights activist. She is the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement. She has extensive media experience including national and international radio and print interviews and was involved in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics and the 2015 film Suffragette. The Sunday before International Women's Day each year, she leads an annual march in London, joined by the Olympic Suffragettes, #March4Women.


A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Julian Baggini 

How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy

Friday 12th July 18.45 – 20.00


One of the great, unexplained wonders of human history is that written philosophy flowered entirely separately in China, India and Ancient Greece at more or less the same time. Baggini sets out to expand our horizons, exploring the philosophies of Japan, India, China and the Muslim world, as well as the lesser-known oral traditions of Africa and Australia’s first peoples. Interviewing thinkers from around the globe, the philosopher asks: why is the West more individualistic than the East? What makes secularism a less powerful force in the Islamic world than in Europe? And how has China resisted pressures for greater political freedom?


Julian Baggini is a popular philosopher, broadcaster and author of over ten books, including the bestselling ‘The Pig that Wants to be Eaten’. He has appeared on Newsnight, many BBC Radio 4 programmes, and even as a character in an Alexander McCall Smith novel!


A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Andy Smart

A Hitch in Time

Friday 12th July 20.15 – 21.30


A hilarious journey through the rumbustious early life of a comedy-circuit veteran, from Liverpool to Pamplona on a 72,000-mile road trip. Combining memoir, travel writing, and a wealth of amusing anecdotes, this autobiographical extravaganza chronicles the amazing early life of entertainer Andy Smart. Whether it's running with the bulls in Pamplona, juggling with pig's kidneys, drinking beer on the roof of a fast-moving train or living on the beach in Biarritz, Andy's early life comprised a series of jaw-dropping feats and bizarre situations from which, amazingly, he emerged unscathed to hitchhike to another location and fight another day. Living on his wits, sleeping rough and accepting lifts that get him into bizarre and often dangerous situations, Andy's six years spent on the road stand as a unique record of life as it was in the late 1970s and early 80s. In this talk, they are juxtaposed with a host of earlier memories, resulting in a unique collection of funny stories that have been told and retold in countless bars and comedy clubs as well as on his regular guest spot on TalkSport Radio.


Andy Smart is one of the UK’s best improvisation comedians, 80s comedy legend, Comedy Store veteran, sports commentator and fearless hitchhiker, He counts Bill Bailey, Phil Jupitus, Paul Merton, Sean Lock, and Marcus Brigstocke as some of his closest friends and he will be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe for the 40th consecutive time this year.

A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Saturday 13th July 2019

Bishop Richard Harries

Haunted by Christ: Modern Writers and the Struggle for Faith

Saturday 13th July 11.15 - 12.30


W. H. Auden, T. S. Eliot, William Golding, Elizabeth Jennings, C. S. Lewis, Flannery O'Connor and Stevie Smith are some of the great poets and novelists whose struggles with faith find expression in their works, and who demonstrate the fascinatingly different forms that faith can take in different times and places. Richard Harries considers the work of twenty of these writers, painting vivid pictures of their lives and times. He also provides numerous critically sympathetic insights into the spiritual dimension of their writings.

Richard Harries is both a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. After nineteen years as Bishop of Oxford he was made a Life Peer (Lord Harries of Pentregarth) and he remains active in the House of Lords on human rights issues. His voice is well known to many through his regular contributions to the Today programme.

A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Linda Yueh

The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today 

Saturday 13th July 13.00 – 14.15


What can the ideas of history’s greatest economists tell us about the most important issues of our time? Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems – but often their ideas are hard to digest, before we even try to apply them. In the light of current economic problems, Linda Yueh explores the thoughts of economists from Adam Smith and David Ricardo through Joan Robinson and Milton Friedman to Douglass North and Robert Solow. She explains how their lives and times affected their ideas, how our lives have been influenced by their work, and how they could help with the policy challenges that we face today. What do the ideas of Karl Marx tell us about the likely future for the Chinese economy? How does the work of John Maynard Keynes, who argued for government spending to create full employment, help us think about state investment? And with globalisation in trouble, what can we learn about handling Brexit and Trumpism?

Dr Linda Yueh is a fellow in economics at the University of Oxford. She has been an advisor to the World Economic Forum in Davos, the World Bank, the European Commission, and the Asian Development Bank. She is also a broadcaster and was BBC Chief Business Correspondent as well as the former Economics Editor at Bloomberg TV.


A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Guy Leschziner

The Nocturnal Brain: Tales of Nightmares and Neuroscience 

Saturday 13th July 15.00 – 16.15

What happens to our brain at night? Are we really fully asleep and if so how is it that some individuals end up doing what they do? Or can it be the case that perhaps the brain never fully goes to sleep and that in some individuals there is a disconnect between the sleeping part of their brain and the active part of their brain so that the two become confused? Does this happen to all of us in varying degrees and can the reverse be the case too – so that some individuals are actually asleep during the day while appearing to be awake?!

In this ground-breaking talk, Guy Leschziner takes us on a fascinating journey through the nocturnal brain to illustrate the neuroscience behind nightmares, night terrors and sleep walking - 'The Nocturnal Brain: Tales of Nightmares and Neuroscience'. His book currently features in the Sunday Times 100 Best Summer Reads 2019.


Dr Leschziner is a consultant neurologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, where he leads the Sleep Disorders Centre. He also works at London Bridge and Cromwell Hospitals. He is the presenter of the Mysteries of Sleep series on BBC Radio 4.  


A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Jonathan Fenby

Crucible: Twelve Months that Changed the World Forever

Saturday 13th July 16.45 – 18.00


One year shaped the world we know today. This is the story of the pivotal changes which were forged in the space of thirteen months between 1947-48  

Two years after the end of the second conflict to engulf the world in twenty years, and the defeat of the Axis powers under Germany, this momentous time saw the unrolling of the Cold War between Stalin's Soviet Russia and the West. America also came to play a truly global role for the first time.

The British Empire began its demise with the birth of the Indian and Pakistan republics with the flight of millions and wholesale slaughter. 1948 marked the creation of the state of Israel and the refugee flight of Palestinians and the first Arab-Israeli war. It also saw the victories of Communist armies and their final triumph in China as well as the coming of apartheid to South Africa and the division of Korea.
Jonathan Fenby is a former editor of the Observer and of the South China Morning Post. In 2013 he was awarded the Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur by the French government for his contribution towards understanding between Britain and France.

Crucible was named among Books of the Year by The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and BBC History Magazine.


A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

David Wilson

My Life with Murderers: Behind Bars with the World’s Most Violent Men

Saturday 13th July 18.30 - 19.45


Professor David Wilson has spent his professional life working with violent men - especially men who have committed murder. Aged twenty-nine he became, at that time, the UK's youngest ever prison Governor in charge of a jail and his career since then has seen him sat across a table with all sorts of killers: sometimes in a tense interview; sometimes sharing a cup of tea (or something a little stronger); sometimes looking them in the eye to tell them that they are a psychopath.

Some of these men became David's friends; others would still love to kill him.

This talk tells the story of his journey from idealistic prison governor to expert criminologist and professor. With experience unlike any other, David's story is a fascinating and compelling study of human nature.


David Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University. Prior to taking up an academic appointment in 1997, David was a Prison Governor and at 29 became the youngest governing governor in England.  He worked at Wormwood Scrubs and at Woodhill in Milton Keynes - where he helped to design and run the two units for the 12 most violent prisoners in the country, which brought him into contact with many recent serial killers. David regularly appears in the print and broadcast media as a commentator and presenter.

A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Andrew Monaghan

Dealing with the Russians

Saturday 13th July 20.00 - 21.15


How to handle Russia? This question has become ever more prominent as the Euro-Atlantic community's relations with Russia languish in crisis, with dialogue suspended, reciprocal sanctions in place and proxy wars raging. The wars in Ukraine and Syria, accusations of Russian interference in domestic politics and the attempted murder of the Skripals on UK soil have all contributed to soaring tension in the relationship. Yet faced with this array of serious challenges, Euro-Atlantic thinking about Russia remains stuck in twentieth-century rhetoric, trapped by misleading abstract labels and unsure whether to engage Moscow in dialogue or enhance deterrence and collective defence. Instead of thinking in these terms, Monaghan argues that we must devise a new grand strategy for dealing with the Russians.


Dr. Andrew Monaghan is a researcher and analyst in the field of international politics. He is a Russianist in the area studies style, with a preference for old-fashioned Kremlinology. His particular interests are Russian domestic politics, strategy and biography. His primary role is as, Director of Research on Russia and Northern European Defence and Security at the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre, Pembroke College, Oxford.

A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Sunday 14th July 2019

Robin Aitken

The Noble Liar: How and Why the BBC Distorts the News to Promote a Liberal Agenda

Sunday 14th July  0945 -11.00


To some, it is the voice of the nation, yet to others it has never been clearer that the BBC is in the grip of an ideology that prevents it reporting fairly on the world. Many have been scandalised by its pessimism on Brexit and its one-sided presentation of the Trump presidency, whilst simultaneously amused by its outrage over 'fake news'.  Robin Aitken, who himself spent twenty-five years working for the BBC as a reporter and executive, argues that the Corporation needs to be reminded that what is 'fake' rather depends on where one is standing. From where his feet are planted, the BBC's own coverage of events often looks decidedly peculiar, peppered with distortions, omissions and amplifications tailored to its own liberal agenda.

Robin Aitken is a former BBC reporter and journalist. He spent twenty-five years working across all levels within the Corporation, from local radio to the Today programme. He is the author of ‘Can We Trust the BBC?’ and is co-founder of the Oxford Foodbank and was awarded the MBE for this work in 2014. 

A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Rosa Prince

Understanding: Theresa May: The Enigmatic Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition:

Jeremy ‘Comrade’ Corbyn

Sunday 14th July  11.15- 12.30

Twenty days after Britain's dramatic vote to leave the European Union, a new Prime Minister captured Downing Street. Few were more surprised by this unexpected turn of events than May herself. So how did the daughter of an Oxfordshire vicar rise to the top job with such ease? In this talk, Rosa Prince explores the self-styled unflashy politician whose commitment to public service was instilled in her from childhood. More than a decade after she warned stunned Conservatives of their 'nasty' image, May has became the champion of Middle England and a leader of the nation in some of the most fraught negotiations since World War Two.

By way of contrast Prince also discusses her book on Jeremy Corbyn. He is a most unlikely revolutionary: a middle-aged, middle-class former grammar schoolboy who honed his radicalism on the mean streets of rural Shropshire. This little-known outsider rode a wave of popular enthusiasm to win the Labour Party leadership by a landslide, with a greater mandate than any British political leader before him. He has brought new life to the left edge of the Labour party.

Rosa Prince began her career in journalism with the Daily Mirror, before joining the Lobby and the Daily Telegraph. She was part of the team that broke the 2010 expenses scandal and spent three years in New York as the Daily Telegraph’s US correspondent. She is author of ‘Comrade Corbyn’ and ‘Theresa May: The Enigmatic Prime Minister’.

A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Martin Kemp

Leonardo Da Vinci: The 100 Milestones

Sunday 14th July 13.00 – 14.15


We talk of Leonardo’s diversity. But this is to characterise him in terms of modern disciplines. He saw all branches of human activity as building models of the operations of nature. He defined painting as a “science”. Taking as a starting point selected images in Leonardo da Vinci's work, this talk will explore his unity in diversity across the whole range of his activities.


Martin Kemp is Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art at Oxford University. He is a leading world authority on Leonardo da Vinci and his writings on the artist includes Leonardo; Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment, Design; and La Bella Principessa: The Story of the New Masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci.

A Q&A Session will follow.

Click here to purchase tickets

Paul Dolan

Happy Ever After: Escaping The Myth of The Perfect Life

Sunday 14th July 14.45 – 16.00


Be ambitious; find everlasting love; look after your health... There are countless stories about how we ought to live our lives. These narratives can make our lives easier, and they might sometimes make us happier too. But they can also trap us and those around us.

In Happy Ever After, bestselling happiness expert Professor Paul Dolan draws on a variety of studies ranging over wellbeing, inequality and discrimination to bust the common myths about our sources of happiness. He shows that there can be many unexpected paths to lasting fulfilment. Some of these might involve not going into higher education, choosing not to marry, rewarding acts rooted in self-interest and caring a little less about living forever.

Paul Dolan is currently a Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As an internationally renowned expert on happiness, behaviour and public policy, with over 100 peer-reviewed papers, he conducts original research into the measurement of happiness, its causes and consequences.

A Q&A Session will follow.

Click here to purchase tickets

Peter Owen Jones

Everest England

Sunday 14th July 16.30 – 17.45


This talk on a hill-walking guide with a cumulative cent of the height of Everest, is given by our local man: Peter Owen Jones. Scaling the peaks of Everest, the world's highest mountain, is the ultimate physical and mental challenge that the human race can aspire to. But as it takes years of preparation and a minimum of £25,000 to achieve, it remains out of reach to most of us. This book allows ordinary people to embark on their own personal `Everest' without leaving England's green and pleasant land. Owen Jones guides you on a road trip covering hand-picked hill-climbs in different parts of England. The climbs can be done mindfully over a limited period - 12 days is the suggested timescale - or as fast as possible, thus creating a physical challenge rather like the Three Peaks. The journey takes in sacred places found on coastal cliff walks, ancient holy sites, tors, peaks, mountains and the highest church in England.


Peter Owen Jones is a celebrity vicar, ardent environmentalist, BBC documentary maker and author. He started out in advertising but decided to become a vicar in his late thirties. Passionate about this life change, Peter began making documentaries on nature/walking and spirituality for the BBC and most recently fronted the 2019 BBC Four series ‘New Forest: A Year in the Wild’.

A Q&A Session will follow.

Click here to purchase tickets

Ayesha  Hazarika and Tom Hamilton

Punch and Judy Politics: An Insiders' Guide to Prime Minister's Questions

Sunday 14th July 18.00 - 19.15


Prime Minister's Questions is the bear pit of British politics. Watched and admired around the world, it is often hated at home for bringing out the worst in our politicians. Yet despite successive leaders trying to get away from 'Punch and Judy politics', it's here to stay.

Ayesha Hazarika and Tom Hamilton spent five years preparing Ed Miliband for the weekly joust, living through the highs and lows, tension and black humour of the political front line. In this insightful and often hilarious talk, including an updated afterword discussing the key events of 2018, they lift the lid on PMQs and what it's really like to ready the leader for combat.

Drawing on personal recollections from key players including Tony Blair, David Cameron, Harriet Harman, William Hague and Vince Cable alongside their unique knowledge, Hazarika and Hamilton take you behind the scenes of some of the biggest PMQs moments.


Ayesha Hazarika was a special adviser to Gordon Brown, Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband from 2007 to 2015. She is now a political commentator, broadcaster and stand-up comedian. She has a weekly column in the London Evening Standard and The Scotsman and appears regularly across television and radio including the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Newsnight, Sky News, Good Morning Britain, LBC and CNN.

Tom Hamilton was head of research for the Labour Party and helped to prepare Ed Miliband, Harriet Harman and Jeremy Corbyn for PMQs between 2010 and 2016, spending more of his life pretending to be David Cameron than he ever expected.

A Q&A Session will follow.

Click here to purchase tickets

Tina Deubert

Nutrition in a Nutshell – make every mouthful count

Saturday 13th July 09.45 - 11.00


Tina will be giving us a taste of her nutritional ideas, focussing on how to make every mouthful count. We’re so bombarded with health messages these days that it’s exhausting and confusing to try and understand what we need. On top of that, we are living in a world which demands a lot of us – pollution, electronics, poor sleep, blurred work/life boundaries and stress all make our bodies work harder. The trouble is, much of what is sold as food doesn’t help us deal with these challenges because it is nutrient light, resulting in fewer resources available to meet those demands. Tina talks about a simple approach which can help us see the wood for the trees and shows how to make a quick one pot wonder which ticks all the boxes.

Tina is a registered nutritional therapist, teacher and cook. She has run a nutrition cafe, Tina’s Kitchen, in Lewes for nearly five years, providing locals with nutritious and delicious lunches. The Why? What? and How? of nutrition and healthy eating are tackled in her Nutrition in a Nutshell courses, workshops and weight loss groups. Her approach is designed to be simple, practical, pragmatic and achievable. Her cookbook of Tina’s Kitchen recipes also summarises her nutritional thinking.

A Q&A Session will follow.


Click Here to purchase tickets

Find Us OnLinkedIn 2019.png

Website Design & Hosting