Showing the gift of the gab

THE Lewes Speakers’ Festival this summer brings together a sparkling array of personalities and sharp minds.

This year’s programme for the three-day event is the biggest and best so far.

The Festival will be staged at the All Saints Centre, Friars Walk, Lewes, from July 13-15.

The line-up includes Climate Change Minister Gregory Barker, who will discuss the environment with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

Theodore Dalrymple, the arch-conservative of The Spectator, locks horns with Polly Toynbee of The Guardian over liberal attitudes to morality and the Welfare State, and Peter Hitchens will debate with Dr Axel Klein the ‘legalisation of drugs’.

Jonathan Fenby, former Editor of The Observer, discusses the future of China; Clive Aslet, Editor of Country Life at Large, discusses ‘The Arts and Crafts Country House’; and Marina Lewycka, author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian, speaks about her latest book Various Pets Dead and Alive.

In addition, BBC presenter Jonathan Meades ponders the future of French politics, AC Grayling his views on humanism and the renowned speaker on Christian apologetics, Professor John Lennox, presents his ideas on whether or not science has buried God.

Finally, historian John Julius Norwich will discuss the history of the popes and Peter Conradi, the writer of The King’s Speech, will present on the future of the monarchy.

For ticket prices, please go to www.lewesspeakersfestival.com or contact the ticket hotline on 0844 8700 887.