Johnny Ball who will be talking about Wonders Beyond Numbers – A Brief History of all things Mathematical.
Johnny’s gift for mathematics was not spotted until he got a rare 100% in his O Level, just before leaving school. Over two years in the Aircraft Industry and three in the RAF, he excelled in anything mathematical and maths became a lifelong hobby.
He had a strong comic streak and became a successful stand-up comic in 1964, appearing in Val Doonican and Harry Secombe shows and compered the 1967 ITV Christmas Night Spectacular.
Also in 1967 he began presenting BBC’s Playschool, but was soon writing comedy. Johnny conceived, wrote and presented “Think of a Number” for the BBC in 1978 winning a BAFTA.
“Think Again” followed and won two World TV Awards and an International Emmy Nomination and over the next 10 years Johnny’s shows inspired a whole generation of children towards careers in mathematics and science.
Stephen Dixon is one of the main presenters on Sky News, currently anchoring the channel’s Sunrise programme.
Stephen relishes the challenge of breaking news and has been on air for many significant events. He was the first person in the world to break the news of the dreadful terrorist bomb attacks in London on the 7th of July 2005 and reported live from Russell Square in the following days.
Stephen anchored rolling coverage of the London Riots in 2011, as well as both the start of the NATO air assault in Libya and the fall of the Gaddafi regime in Tripoli.
He also anchored rolling coverage of breaking news in the aftermath of the car bomb attack at Glasgow airport in 2007, and broke the news of the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Stephen is also accomplished at dealing with the lighter stories on the news agenda, regularly covering showbiz and movie news. He loves his newspaper reviews with guests, which are renowned for their light-hearted banter and good humour.
Pat Mills, is famed as ‘the Godfather of British comics’, created 2000AD, featuring Judge Dredd, and wrote many of its key stories such as Judge Dredd, Slaine and Nemesis the Warlock. Pat also co-created the anti-superhero character Marshal Law, with artist Kevin O’Neill, for Marvel Comics, and currently writes the satirical French bestselling graphic novel series Requiem Vampire Knight, illustrated by Olivier Ledroit.
His acclaimed, long-running, anti-war saga Charley’s War, drawn by Joe Colquhoun, has been the subject of major exhibitions in French war museums during the centenary years of the Great War.
Other notable works include Misty, which Pat devised as the girls comic equivalent of 2000AD, Accident Man and the revived Dan Dare in the new Eagle.
Judge Dredd has been made into two movies and Accident Man has been recently made into a film starring Scott Adkins (Lucian in Marvel’s Doctor Strange).
In 2017, Pat wrote his comic memoirs: ‘Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!’ a Secret History of 2000AD and Judge Dredd. This relates how his vision for the fanatical and austere Judge Dredd was inspired by one of his De La Salle teachers; and reveals just how 2000AD became one of Britain’s most well loved comics, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017.
Pat is currently immersed in writing a black comedy thriller series Read Em and Weep. It’s an insider’s view of the bizarre and often hilarious world of comic publishing.
Fernando Peire was born in Gibraltar in 1959. He is on the Board of Caprice Holdings and has been Director of The Ivy restaurant and The Club at The Ivy since 2007. He played a key role in the 2015 major refurbishment of The Ivy restaurant and Private Room which saw The Ivy entirely rebuilt and reinvented from the ground up. The five month closure and reopening of this emblematic London restaurant were the subject of a one hour ITV documentary which has been broadcast around the world and is now available to rent on Amazon.
Fernando studied French and Law at Manchester University before devoting himself to a career in restaurants, joining The Ivy as Senior Maître d’hotel in 1990. After eight years he left, and for several years worked as a restaurant consultant on projects as far afield as Barbados, before opening the Frontline Club in London in 2004.
Fernando was “The Restaurant Inspector” in Channel 5’s critically-acclaimed television series which ran for two seasons.
To celebrate The Ivy’s centenary, Fernando has written The Ivy Now, chronicling the history of The Ivy. Published in June 2017 by Quadrille and Illustrated by artist Brian Grimwood, this elegant, hardback book also contains dozens of stories from The Ivy’s customers and staff, as well as one hundred recipes from Executive Chef Gary Lee.
was educated at the University of Oxford, where she is Professor of Medieval European Literature. She is a Fellow of St John’s College, where she teaches medieval English literature and Old Icelandic. She researches widely in Old Norse-Icelandic literature, Arthurian literature across Europe and also writes on medievalism – the cultural uses of the Middle Ages in the modern period. As well as publishing new scholarly works on sibling relationships and emotions in Arthurian Literature, she translated the Old Norse Poetic Edda into English; this is now the standard English language translation. Her interest in medievalism has resulted in the writing of her newest trade books: The Land of the Green Man (IB Tauris, 2015) on folk-tale and place in the British Isles, with an accompanying BBC Radio 4 series, ‘The Lore of the Land’, and her latest book, the authoritative Norse Myths: A Guide to Viking and Scandinavian Gods and Heroes (Thames and Hudson, 2017). Her bestselling book on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO TV show ‘Game of Thrones’, Winter is Coming: the Medieval World of Game of Thrones was published by IB Tauris in 2015 is the inspiration for her Festival talk. She is currently working on the follow-up book, exploring the TV show as a whole. It will be called All Men Must Die, and will appear from IB Tauris in late 2020.
John Crace, the parliamentary sketch writer who coined the satirical name Maybot, takes a wry look at Theresa May’s time in Downing Street.
Crace dreamt up the term to describe May’s ‘malfunctioning public appearances’. He has been following the Brexit dealings and political machinations of the Prime Minister in his witty daily sketch column in the Guardian.
Crace also writes the Guardian’s Digested Read column, which takes a sideways and shortened look at popular books of the day. His books include Harry’s Games: Inside the Mind of Harry Redknapp and The Digested Twenty-first Century.
Making a welcome return to the Festival is Lord Peter Hennessy, one of Britain’s best-known historians, is Attlee Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of Never Again: Britain 1945-51 (winner of the NCR and Duff Cooper Prizes), the bestselling The Prime Minister and The Secret State: Preparing For The Worst 1945-2010. He was made an independent crossbench life peer in 2010.
Joining Lord Hennessy and a first for the Festival is James Jinks. James completed his PhD under Peter Hennessy at Queen Mary. His first book was 50 Years of the Polaris Sales Agreement, commissioned by Her Majesty’s Government to mark 50 years of Polaris. He is now at work on A Very British Bomb, a history of the British nuclear deterrent.
Lord Hennessy and James Jinks will be talking about The Silent Deep, the first authoritative history of the Submarine Service from the end of the Second World War to the present. It gives the most complete account yet published of the development of Britain’s submarine fleet, its capabilities, its weapons, its infrastructure, its operations and above all – from the testimony of many submariners and the first-hand witness of the authors – what life is like on board for the denizens of the silent deep.
In 1990 the Cold War ended – but not for the Submarine Service. Since June 1969, it has been the last line of national defence, with the awesome responsibility of carrying Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
The story from Polaris to Trident – and now ‘Successor’ – is a central theme of the book. In the year that it is published, Russian submarines have once again been detected off the UK’s shores. As Britain comes to decide whether to renew its submarine-carried nuclear deterrent, The Silent Deep provides an essential historical perspective.
Also among the speakers are Dr David Acheson, one of the UK’s most well-known popularisers of mathematics; Ian Black – Middle East editor of the Guardian; and award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, Bettany Hughes.