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Lewes Speakers Festival 20-22 January 2023

The Lewes Speakers Festival has brought together a number of authors to talk about their latest literature. This is a great chance to hear from authors with notable political, media and journalist backgrounds. All events will be held at the All Saints Centre in Lewes.

University student and staff special offer!

The Lewes Speakers Festival is offering half-price tickets to most of the talks on offer to all students and staff at the University. The organisers are also offering free passes to full days/half days in return for volunteering (the jobs are very easy and take place between talks so you can listen to anything you like).

There two ways to purchasing these discounted tickets:

  • Please email Marc Rattray at to let him know which talk/talks you would like to come to. (Tickets are limited so please contact asap)
  • Buy your tickets at the door on the day with proof of your being a member of either staff or a student at Brighton University.

For those friends and family members of the University, tickets can be purchased either from the Box Office on: 0333 666 3366 or booked online.

Friday 20 January events

17.30 The Countess of Carnarvon opens the gates to Highclere Castle, the ‘real Downton Abbey’, and explains how the iconic British landmark celebrates and changes each season.

19.00 Vince Cable, former Liberal Democrat leader and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation, and Skills weaves together and comments on the wittiest, wisest and most acerbic political quotations from the last 2,000 years.

Saturday 21 January events

9.50am Angela Gallop, national expert forensic scientist, shows how crimes are solved by explaining her best stories from the cutting edge of forensics.

12.50pm Joe Zammit-Lucia, entrepreneur, investor and leadership advisor, explains the links between socio-political trends and business purpose and strategy.

2.20pm Professor Kerry Brown, Professor of Chinese Studies at Kings College London examines the complexities behind the Chinese President – Xi Jinping, explaining the impact that his rule is having and who he really is.

3.50pm Olesya Khromeychuk, Ukrainian historian, academic and writer, tells the story of her brother – the wiser older sibling, the artist and the soldier – and of his death in military action in Ukraine.

5.20pm Robert Hardman, one of Britain’s authorities on the Royal family, gives a definitive biographical talk about Queen Elizabeth II.

6.50pm Mark Thomas, the English comedian, Channel 4 presenter, political satirist, and journalist, gives a fast and furiously funny journey through our national memory.

8.20pm Andrea Leadsom, former Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, explains the highs and lows of working in politics.

Sunday 23 January events

9.50am Anil Seth, Professor of Neuroscience, explains, based on his bestselling book, how our brains create our everyday conscious experience through billions of neurons.

11.20am Diana Darke, Middle East specialist, celebrates the culture of the Ottoman Empire, from its aesthetics and architecture to its scientific and medical innovations.

12.50pm Peter Stothard, former editor of The Times, tells the story of Crassus, Rome’s richest man, who died a humiliating desert death in search of military glory.

2.20pm Ian Williams, former foreign correspondent for Channel 4 News and reporter from China over the last 25 years, explains why we must open our eyes to the reality of China’s rise and its ruthless bid for global dominance.

3.50pm Mark Galeotti, one of the foremost expert Russia-watchers and advisers to governments today, provides a new history of how Putin and his conflicts have inexorably reshaped Russia, including his devastating invasion of Ukraine.

5.20pm Ben Robinson, The BBC’s ‘Flying Archaeologist’ shows how England’s villages have survived, developed, and thrived over hundreds of years.

6.50pm Christina Lamb, US Editor for the Sunday Times, tells the story of how a UK luxury hotel spent the months during lock down having opened its doors to the homeless to live there – many of whom were traumatised, addicts or suffering from mental illness.

The second festival of the year in Lewes will take place in 12-14 May.


Robin Coleman • 10 January 2023

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