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Gary Lineker, Geri Horner and Theresa May among Hay Festival speakers

12 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Gary Lineker, image by Ian Walton, PA Images

Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker, singer Geri Horner and former prime minister Theresa May are among the speakers at the 2024 Hay Festival.

Lineker, who last year released 50 Times Football Changed The World with Ivor Baddiel, will speak on a special sports day, as part of the literary and arts festival, about his podcast success.

His company Goalhanger Podcasts has released The Rest Is Football with him and former footballers Alan Shearer and Micah Richards as well as The Rest Is Politics with former Labour Party communication chief Alastair Campbell and ex-Conservative MP Rory Stewart.


Politicians including Ms May, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, former Australian PM Julia Gillard, ex cabinet minister Mr Stewart and Green MP Caroline Lucas also join the line-up.

Hay Festival global chief executive Julie Finch said: “In a year when more voters than ever in history will head to the polls, as at least 64 countries hold their elections, we present a programme to bring people together, respectfully exploring different perspectives and the power of storytelling to unite us.

“With new venues on our free-to-enter festival site and diverse new projects throughout the programme, this is a festival for everyone.

“Join us in a world of different ideas.”

Charlotte Church

The festival also sees musicians Charlotte Church, Spice Girls star Horner, James Blunt and Jools Holland and actors Johnny Flynn, Dame Judi Dench, Miriam Margolyes, Hay Festival president Stephen Fry, Sir Lenny Henry and Toby Jones talk to audiences on various subjects including personal stories and new books.

Past Booker Prize-winners present their latest books including Anne Enright, Richard Flanagan, Howard Jacobson and Paul Lynch – an Irish author who last year won the literary award for authoritarian tale Prophet Song.

Writers Colm Toibin, David Mitchell, Jacqueline Wilson, Sunjeev Sahota, Marian Keyes, Michael Rosen and Joseph Coelho will also be speaking at the festival.

Coelho, Mererid Hopwood and Roy McFarlane will lead a celebration of the life and work of poet and Peaky Blinders star Benjamin Zephaniah, who died at the age of 65 in December eight weeks after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

There will also be comedy from Sara Pascoe, Jon Ronson, Ruby Wax, Nish Kumar, Angela Barnes, Adam Kay, Josh Berry, Garth Marenghi, Sofie Hagen, Ahir Shah, Natalie Haynes, Julian Clary and Marcus Brigstocke.

The festival is on from May 23 to June 2 in Hay-on-Wye, Powys.

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