19 October 2019 - 2 November 2019


This Years Speakers at Our Festival Talks

Our local, national and international speakers at the Festival this year


Festival Talks in Canterbury Cathedral Lodge remain as popular and varied as ever. This year’s selection mixes contemporary politics, broadcasting, history, architecture, antiques and local winegrowing and draws on the expertise of local, national and international speakers.

The programme opens with award-winning journalist Luke Harding’s view of the biggest political scandal of the modern era How Russia helped Trump win the White House. Patricia Davies returns for another enthralling interview detailing 95 years as a modern woman discussing her post-war university and television life with Simon Robinson. Journalist Mark Austin lifts the lid on the world of the television newsman on 24 October and veteran broadcaster John Tusa shares a life spent in broadcasting and the public funding of the arts on 1 November.

The Antiques Roadshow’s Hilary Kay reveals her Desert Island antiques in a presentation on 25 October and David Starkey returns on 30 October to argue that the Reformation could be defined as the first Brexit. Architect Ptolemy Dean examines A Canterbury Tale: the story of the city’s post-warplanning on November 1 and the regeneration of a local architectural masterpiece, the Dockyard Church, Sheerness, is celebrated by conservation director William Palin on 2 November.

Food and wine feature strongly in this year’s talks. Angry Chef Anthony Warner is in conversation with Daily Telegraph food columnist Xanthe Clay on 29 October.  The presentation shines light on the pseudoscience that he claims underlie the latest dietary fads. More locally, on 31 October, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger discusses the history of his family’s champagne house and why Kent soil and climate is ideal for producing quality wine.

All the above take place in Canterbury Cathedral Lodge.

Shirley Hall, The King’s School, hosts two high-profile events. Anthropologist and broadcaster Alice Roberts uncovers the deep history of our relationship with dogs and how becoming part of our world changed them in a fascinating talk on 22 October. On 27 October wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, shares his stories and images from the wildest places on earth.

Details of all the above and how to book can be found at canterburyfestival.co.uk. Pick up a brochure from the Festival Office in Orange Street.

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