Five Edinburgh Book Festival guests you'll know from TV
Lucy Worsley, Bettany Hughes, Alexei Sayle, Kirsty Wark and Peter Taylor
This article is from 2011.
Lucy Worsley (Credits | Historic Royal Palaces, Richard Lea-Hair)
Think you know their faces? Chances are you’ve seen them on the telly. Brian Donaldson screens a familiar quintet
Delving into the intimate history of old homes and buildings is Worsley’s prime passion and her BBC Four series and book If Walls Could Talk pretty much sums it up. During her years of research, she has uncovered the fact that bedrooms used to be semi-public places before the Victorians decreed them to be a place of sleeping and canoodling, while bathrooms only became separate rooms late into the Victorian era.
13 Aug, 5pm, £10 (£8).
While Lucy Worsley is into old buildings, Hughes has made many docs about her chosen area, ancient history. The Moors, the Spartans and Helen of Troy have been the people she has fascinated us with on TV.
13 Aug, 3.30pm, £10 (£8).
It seems a very long time since ‘Hello John Got a New Motor?’ and his way-over-the-top ravings as the unhinged landlord Bolowski in The Young Ones. And that’s because it is. Nowadays he is a highly respected short-story writer and novelist who has written an engrossing autobiography entitled Stalin Ate My Homework. The title alone is near-genius.
13 Aug, 8pm, £10 (£8).
The esteemed broadcaster asks the questions in two major events. First up is an interview with short story writer and memoirist Tobias Wolff while near the end of the month, she shares a stage with Ingrid Betancourt, the presidential candidate who was held captive by Colombian guerrilla forces for six long years.
14 Aug, 3pm; 29 Aug, 4.30pm, £10 (£8).
Former teacher Taylor has developed a reputation for hard-hitting and compelling journalism ever since joining ITV’s This Week back in 1967. While his work on Northern Ireland made him a familiar face on the small screen, he has been busy investigating Islamist extremism for the last decade.
16 Aug, 10.30am, £10 (£8).
Born in Liverpool on the day egg rationing came to an end, Sayle has had a thoroughly eventful life. The only child of passionately Communist parents, he moved away to attend art school in London, eventually forging a career as an integral part of the anti-Thatcher alternative comedy boom. With acclaimed novels and short…
Using a combination of archaeological, geological and historical evidence, Hughes exuberantly recreates the world of iconic Greek philosopher Socrates in The Hemlock Cup. Back in the early BC years, people were asking questions which seem hauntingly familiar to us today: how should we best live and what makes us happy?
Ingrid Betancourt with Kirsty Wark
When Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt went on the campaign trail in 2002, she could not have imagined that it would end in a kidnapping and six year incarceration at the hands of guerrilla forces. Even Silence Has an End is the tale of her jungle ordeal which included beatings by her captors, mutual…
With her new book If Walls Could Talk, historian Lucy Worsley has created a passport not only into the ranks of popular history bestsellers, but also into television, with a four-part BBC documentary that made for riveting viewing earlier this year. Worsley’s beguiling mix of deep knowledge and fly-on-the-wall…
For almost 40 years, Peter Taylor has been reporting for the BBC from the frontline of terrorist activity, and in Talking to Terrorists he reveals just what it was like to come face to face with Irish Republicans and Islamic jihadis. Avoiding quick-fix solutions and knee-jerk reactions, Taylor considers the number of…
Tobias Wolff with Kirsty Wark
Tobias Wolff grew up in a town called Concrete and followed his mother to Utah to prospect for uranium. Terrorised by a violent stepfather, he made up stories to survive. Wolff's memoir of his childhood, This Boy's Life, remains a milestone in American letters more than 20 years since it was published, while his short…