Big names at Lewes Speakers Festival

Lewes Speakers Festival from May 10-12 will once again be boasting big names.
Marc Rattray (contributed pic)Marc Rattray (contributed pic)
Marc Rattray (contributed pic)

​Lewes Speakers Festival from May 10-12 will once again be boasting big names.

Marc Rattray, Lewes Speakers Festival manager, said: “We have a really exciting new programme for you. Amongst others, Sir Chris Bryant who was unable to make January despite selling out, will be coming; Will Hutton of the Observer and Gavin Esler will discuss what they see as the turbulence of British politics and economics. From a more conservative perspective Matt Goodwin will speak on British culture and Nigel Biggar on the empire. Tom Baldwin and Denis MacShane will discuss who Keir Starmer is and what the Labour party is likely to do if they win power and the celebrated writer Theodore Dalrymple returns to tell the stories of the writers buried at the cemetery of Per Lachaise in Paris.

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“Best-selling writers Katja Hoyer and John Kampfner speak on East Germany before the wall came down and the history and culture of Berlin.

"Suzanne Heywood discusses her ten-year sailing voyage with her family as a child and Linda Yueh presents on the economics of crashes. Luke Harding gives first-hand insights into the invasion of Ukraine and Robert Hardman discusses Charles as King.

"Helen Russell explains what makes Danish children the happiest in the world and Sarah Sands talks about the end of life through the lens of the lives of hedgehogs! Catherine Ashton, gives the inside story on her life in diplomacy; Danny Dorling speaks on poverty; and Peter Foster on what went wrong with Brexit. We are also introducing an outside slot with a guided walk around Lewes led by Head of Paths at the Ramblers Association. There is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Call the box office on 0333 666 3366 or visit

Friday, May 10

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15.30 Sarah Sands, Editor of the BBC Today Programme, tells a beautiful story about the end of life..

17.00 Suzanne Heywood, best-selling author, COO at Exor & former international child-sailing nomad.

18.30 Will Hutton, former Editor of the Observer and columnist, explains his ideas on how to solve the problems of a turbulent economy.

20.00 Tom Baldwin, Labour’s former communications director & Denis MacShane, former Europe Minister, discuss what to expect from Keir Starmer and Labour.

Saturday, May 11

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9.50 Linda Yueh, BBC TV presenter, tells the stories behind the 10 greatest economic meltdowns of the 20th Century and how to prevent them reoccurring.

11.20 John Kampfner gives the story of Berlin based on his Waterstones Best History book of 2023.

12.50 Baroness Catherine Ashton gives the inside story on her life in diplomacy.

13.45-15.30 Jack Cornish, head of paths at the Ramblers walking association, presents a walking tour around Lewes starting at the All Saints Centre.

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14.20 Gavin Esler, radio and TV broadcaster and presenter of BBC2’s Newsnight

15.50 Danny Dorling, of the Geography Dept. Oxford

17.20 Luke Harding, foreign correspondent for The Guardian

18.50 Sir Chris Bryant asks for a better brand of politics. and suggests how it might - at last - get its house in order.

Sunday, May 12

9.50 Robert Hardman, Broadcaster and expert on Royalty, gives the inside story of Charles III.

11.20 Helen Russell explains the secrets she has learned from bringing up children in Denmark

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