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Speakers confirmed for Gibraltar Literary Festival

Lord Patten. Pic: Caroline Forbes

Over 20 speakers have been announced for this year’s Literary Festival. The Festival will be held from November 14 to 17 across different venues. Lord Patten will deliver the Governor’s Lecture at this year’s Festival. The following speakers have been confirmed to date covering a wide choice of subjects.

Governor’s Lecture
Lord Patten became MP for Bath in 1979 and held several Ministerial posts, becoming Secretary of State for the Environment in 1989 and Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1990.
Lord Patten was Governor of Hong Kong from 1992 to 1997, overseeing the return of The Territory to China. He was appointed European Commissioner for External Relations in 1999 and held this post until November 2004. He became a member of the House of Lords in 2005. Lord Patten is Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003.
Lord Patten has written a number of books – The Tory Case (1982), East and West (1998), Not Quite The Diplomat (2005) and What Next?: Surviving the 21st Century (2008). First Confession (2017).

The Gibraltar Lecture
Paola Diana is a native of Italy. Paola achieved a BA in Political Science and an MA in Institutional Relations from the University of Bologna before probing into the world of Italian politics. Paola has never been one to adhere to gender stereotypes, challenging the ideologies of male supremacists at every opportunity. Paola has established herself as one of the leading lights in the literary world as a result of her bestselling book; ‘Saving the world. Women: the XXI’s Century Factor for Change’, which will be the subject of her talk. Paola is a passionate supporter of philanthropic causes, especially those connected with women and children. She strongly believes that is fundamental to help to transform the lives of women, their children and their communities in order to create a better world for everyone.

Gavin Esler is an award winning television and radio broadcaster, writer and journalist. His latest book 'Brexit without the bullshit' examines in rigorous, insightful and revealing detail the facts about how Brexit will affect our daily lives and this will be the subject of his talk.

Health and Wellbeing
Diana Moran is famous for being the BBC’s Green Goddess fitness expert in the 1980s, 35 years later Diana Moran still works as a health and fitness guru, broadcaster and writer. A sufferer from osteopenia (an early pre-osteoporosis) she an Ambassador for, and works closely with, The Royal Osteoporosis Society. Beating Osteoporosis is Diana’s 14th book, which will be the subject of her participation. Diana still practises what she preaches, remaining fit and healthy by staying active from year to year, she turned 80 in June 2019. Diana was scheduled to speak at last year’s Festival but was unable to attend.

Tim Bentinick, best known as the voice of David Archer in the BBC Radio series, The Archers, Tim is also an accomplished stage, film, radio and television actor. His new film Us and Them premiered in 2018. He recently played the Prime Minister in Brexit which transferred to the King’s Head,
Islington from a month sell-out run at The Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh.
His autobiography Being David Archer – And Other Unusual Ways of Earning a Living was published in 2017. This will be the subject of his event as he is interviewed by Nick Higham.

Psychology / Human Mind
Robin Ince. In his touching and witty book, I’m a Joke and so are You: A Comedian’s Take on What Makes us Human, award-winning presenter and comic Robin Ince uses the life of the stand-up as a way of exploring some ofthe biggest questions we all face. This will be the subject of Robin’s event.
Robin Ince is co-presenter of the award-winning BBC Radio 4 show, The Infinite Monkey Cage.
Claire Dale and Patricia Peyton are directors of Companies in Motion, offering Physical Intelligence coaching and training to global industry leaders, including one of the world’s most recognized consumer brands, a global investment bank and a multi-national pharmaceutical organization.
Physical Intelligence: Achieve More, Stress Less, Live more Happily will be the subject of their presentation.

Biography / Memoir
Ursula Buchan is a prize-winning journalist and book author, having for many years written principally on gardening for British newspapers and magazines, notably The Spectator, The Observer and The Daily Telegraph. She has published eighteen books.
These days she concentrates more on historical subjects and her latest book, Beyond the Thirty- Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan, was published by Bloomsbury in April 2019. This will be the theme of Ursula’s talk. She is a daughter of John Buchan’s second son, William.
Professor Bart Van Es. In 2014 Van Es began to look into his family’s wartime history, knowing that his grandparents had been part of the Dutch resistance. He also knew of a Jewish girl, Lien, who had lived in hiding with the Van Es family during the occupation. In December of that year he first met Lien, now aged 82, who was by then living in Amsterdam. He began the first of a series of interviews that formed the basis for a reconstruction of her life. The Cut Out Girl is the outcome of Bart’s quest to recover Lien’s story and this will be the subject of the event as he is interviewed by Suzi Feay.
Brian Wood is a former Colour Sergeant, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. At the age of 23, he was thrust into the frontline in Iraq, in the infamous Battle of Danny Boy.
Ambushed, he led a charge across open ground with insurgents firing at just five soldiers. On his return, he was awarded the Military Cross. But Brian's story had only just begun. Struggling to re-integrate into family life, he suffered from PTSD.
In this compelling story, Brian speaks powerfully and movingly about the three battles in his life, from being ambushed with no cover, to the mental battle to adjust at home, to being falsely accused of hideous war crimes. It’s a remarkable and dark curve which ends with his honour restored but, as he says, it was too little, too late.

Jonathan Cranston is a veterinary surgeon based in the Cotswolds, England. He was the veterinary film consultant for both Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom and The Guernsey Literature and Potato Peel Pie Society. His first book entitled “The Travelling Vet” was published in November 2018. It documents some of his most memorable experiences working with twenty of these different species. The Travelling Vet: From Pets to Pandas, My Life in Animals is the subject of his talk.

David Barrie has a degree in experimental psychology and philosophy from Oxford, loves insects (especially moths) and is an expert small boat sailor and navigator. By the age of twenty he had sailed across the Atlantic and competed in the Observer Two-Handed Round Britain race. He has since sailed all over the world.
He was chair of the campaigning organisation Make Justice Work (which sought to reduce the number of low-level offenders who are sent to prison) and was involved in efforts to reform drug policy in the UK.
His last book, Sextant, celebrated the role of celestial navigation in the exploration and mapping of the world’s oceans. Incredible Journeys: How Animals Great and Small Find their Way will be the subject of David’s presentation.

Lord Mark Price joined the John Lewis Partnership and in a career with the company spanning more than three decades he was Group Development Director, Managing Director of Waitrose and Deputy Chairman.
He left the business in March 2016 to become Minister of State for Trade and Investment in David Cameron’s government. Following the referendum to leave the EU he was reappointed by Theresa May as Trade Minister to negotiate the UKs future trade deals. He was reappointed again following the 2017 election and stood down from the Government in September 2017. Mark now sits in the House of Lords.
Workplace Fables will be the subject of Mark’s event.

Contemporary Society
Ben Arogundade is a writer, publisher and entrepreneur from London. In 2016 Ben launched his own fledgling media company specialising in books and apps. Its publishing imprint, White Labels Books, creates print-on-demand, direct-to-consumer fiction and non-fiction. ‘Fake Views? The Donald Trump Book Of Covers’ is its latest release and this will be the subject of Ben’s talk.
Professor Angela Gallop has been a practicing forensic scientist for over 40 years. Originally a senior scientist with the Home Office Forensic Science Service, in 1986 she established the independent consultancy, Forensic Access, primarily to advise lawyers representing people accused of crime involving forensic evidence for a better balance at court. When the Dogs Don’t Bark, A Forensic Scientist’s Search for the Truth, will be the subject of Professor Gallop’s talk.
Paul Conroy was born in Liverpool and joined the army at sixteen. During his seven years in the army he developed a passion for music and photography. He became involved in journalism when a group of road protestors invited him to film and shoot stills on a mission to the Balkans. Conroy ended up staying in the Balkans to shoot his own documentary. A veteran of some of the world’s most dangerous warzones, his career has seen him making documentaries for the BBC and Sky, as well as becoming head of photography and film for the singer Joss Stone. Paul’s book, Under the Wire, will be his subject.
Ed Gorman attended Cambridge University where he read economics and modern history and then set out to make his name in journalism in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. His time and experiences there form the core of his first book with Arcadia, Death of a Translator, which was first published in 2017. This will be the subject of the event as Ed is interviewed by Nick Higham. A 25-year career at The Times followed when Gorman worked as a foreign news correspondent covering wars in Afghanistan, the Balkans and Sri Lanka. Gorman was Ireland correspondent for four years during the Troubles, then sailing and Formula One writer and latterly deputy foreign editor and deputy head of news.

Children’s Author
Geraldine McCaughean has written over 180 books and plays and been published in 50 countries, she writes for every age of reader – picture books, retellings, short stories, early readers, YA and adult.
Her retellings include many myths, legends and adaptations of inaccessible classics such as Moby Dick, Gilgamesh, A Pilgrim's Progress and The Fairy Queen. She has also written plays for schools, theatre and radio.
Geraldine’s event will be geared towards children aged 8 and over and will be entitled Where the World Ends.

Richard Hamilton has worked for the BBC as a journalist since 1995, and has been a correspondent in Morocco, South Africa and Madagascar. He was also the Africa Editor for BBC World Serviceradio. He is now the general international news reporter for The Newsroom programme.
His first book, “The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco” was published by IB Tauris in 2011 and has sold more than six thousand copies. Richard presented it at the Gibunco Gibraltar Literary Festival in 2013.
“Tangier: From the Romans to the Rolling Stones” is Richard’s second book and this will form the basis of his presentation. It is a cultural history of the city, as seen through the eyes of writers, artists and musicians who lived in the city over the centuries.

Prof Jonathan Phillips is Professor of Crusading History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of numerous books, most recently The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin, the subject of his talk, described as ‘superbly researched and enormously entertaining... one of the outstanding books of the year’ by The Times in April 2019. Phillips has presented many radio and television programmes including The Cross and the Crescent (History Channel) and The Road From Christ to Constantine (PBS). He is also the co-editor, with Professor Benjamin Kedar, of the academic journal Crusades.
Violet Moller is a historian and writer who lives near Oxford She has written The Map of Knowledge, a book that follows the fortunes of the big scientific ideas of antiquity as they travel across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe on their long journey through the Middle Ages.
Starting in ancient Alexandria, she traces the major books on astronomy, mathematics and medicine as they are transmitted across cultures and countries, and transformed by the scholars who translated and studied them along the way, ending in Venice at the end of the fifteenth century.
This will be the subject of Violet’s event as she is interviewed by Nick Higham.
Jim Ring’s first book was Advertising on Trial, the Financial Times’ standard text-book on the industry. A spell in Ireland then led to Erskine Childers. Winner of the Marsh Prize, this was a biography of the author of the classic spy novel The Riddle of the Sands. How the Navy Won the War, telling the neglected story of the Royal Navy’s contribution to victory in the Great War, was published last year and will be the chosen subject.
Adrian Tinniswood OBE FSA is the author of fifteen books on social and architectural history, including Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the Royal Household, the subject of the presentation; The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller; His Invention So Fertile: A Life of Christopher Wren and The Verneys: a True Story of Love, War and Madness in Seventeenth-Century England, which was shortlisted for the BBC/Samuel Johnson Prize.
Adam Zamoyski is an independent historian and author of a dozen books on various aspects of European History. They include two Sunday Times best-sellers, The Polish Way and 1812.
Napoleon's Fatal March on Moscow, and have been widely translated. He speaks several languages and his books adopt a many-sided approach to complex questions such as the birth of nationalism in Europe, the early history of terrorism and, in his ground-breaking study of the Congress of Vienna, Rites of Peace, diplomatic power-politics. His latest book, Napoleon. The Man behind the Myth, provides an entirely original insight into the phenomenon of the man's rise and fall and will form the basis of his event.

Alba Arikha was born and raised in Paris and has written five books, translated into several languages. Her new novel, ‘Where to find me,’ was published in 2018, and was selected among the best books of the year in the Evening Standard.
Where to Find Me will be the subject of the presentation as Alba is interviewed by Suzi Feay and will also include a piano and song performance. She is currently working on a new novel. Salley Vickers has written Grandmothers, which is the story of three very different women and their relationship with the younger generation.
Grandmothers is a beautifully observed, sometimes subversive, often tender and elegiac novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Librarian. Salley will speak about both books.
Dr Julian Baggini is the author, co-author or editor of over 20 books including How The World Thinks, which will be the subject of his talk. He was the founding editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine. He is Academic Director of the Royal institute of Philosophy and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent.
Dr Guy Leschziner is a physician, broadcaster and author. He works as a consultant neurologist and within the Department of Neurology and the Sleep Disorders Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals. He is clinical lead for the Sleep Disorders Centre, Guy's Hospital, one of Europe's largest sleep units. He is also Reader in Neurology at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London.
In addition to his clinical and research work, he has a keen interest in public education. He has recently presented a three part series on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service on the brain and sleep - "Mysteries of Sleep". He has also recently filmed "The Secrets of Sleep" for Channel 4 Television. His recent book "The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience and the Secret World of Sleep", published by Simon and Schuster, is out now and will be the subject of his event.
Suzi Feay and Nick Higham will return as interviewers for the Festival.

Further information on the speakers is available at

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