Benedict Cumberbatch Reads ‘Should-Be’s’ 500 Words (Video)

Benedict Cumberbatch reads from ‘Should-Be’s’ by Juliette Lea the Bronze-winning 9 and Under story in the BBC 500 Words competition.  The Sherlock star reads the story on the BBC tent live at the Hay Festival.  You can read the full story for yourself here.

Bestselling Books at the Festival Bookshop

Today Author's

The top selling adult books in the Hay Festival bookshop yesterday were…

1. Henry Marsh – Do No Harm
2. David and Hilary Crystal – Wordsmiths and Warriors
3. Roman Krznaric – Empathy
4. Francesca Martinez – What the **** is Normal?
5. Andrew Hussey – The French Intifada

(Courtesy of the official Hay Festival Facebook page)

Hay Festival Tweets of the Day – Thursday 29.05.14

 Most people I’ve seen papping a star since Tony Curtis was in Hay
 No idea how I’ve never read any Toni Morrison as I love Angelou, but saw her yesterday at , and have bought her entire backlist!
 Marvellous evening at . First we saw Chris Evans outside the chippy then podium danced for us.
 Jonathan Mullard fascinating on . Will be looking out for Silurian moths, dormice & hollin trees on way home from
 I should not get excited that one of the places for wet weather parking at the Hay Festival, is Baskerville Hall…
 So I’ve packed for every weather I can conceive of, except snow. I should pack for snow, shouldn’t I?

Hay Festival Tweets of the Day – Wednesday 28.05.14

 Going to my third event with in 24 hours . It’s starting to get a bit awkward.
  best question so far What are butterfly wings made of?
 Carol Ann Duffy & Gillian Clarke were fab, now coffee and eton mess before Toni Morrison (again)! has my little lit geek heart!
 In 30 years, government officials will still be making sweeping predictions on subjects about which they know nothing
 Percentage of people wearing boots at the Hay Festival: approximately 95. Percentage of sunlight: 10.
 Writing is absolutely free. Private. This is me… The fact it becomes public & people like it is gravy – Toni Morrison

Hay Festival Tweets of the Day – Tuesday 27.05.14

 Thought I’d be stylish at and wear nail polish this year. Have left blue claw marks across London. This might require practice.
 Great question from the audience – “If Germany’s solar revolution is so successful, why can’t the UK do it?!”
 Science as a social construct, the moon landing hoax, and identifying scientific experts. Fun times
 ·  It’s a bit like a rock festival but for book fans x
 So after Toni Morrison, Alfred Brendel. Not bad for a damp mid-week evening in Wales.
 Anyone else just hear Chris Packham declare: ‘Everyone loves to see Tits in HD’ with a straight face?
 I find astonishing as ever, even though books & authors have tough competition from glorious green hills & the divine Wye…
 I met the man behind the “churchill” ad tonight. Can’t beat and the pink lame coat was to die for!

Wet Weather Parking – Wednesday 28 May

Wet weather parking will is  in full operation tomorrow at both Clyro and Gwernyfed School.


The hardstanding car park at Baskerville Hall Hotel in Clyro, is signposted on the approach from the Hereford direction. There will be extra shuttle buses running from Clyro to the festival site via Glasbury, avoiding the congestion in the town. Journey time is approximately 15 minutes. Baskerville Hall Hotel is on the A438 at Clyro, HR3 5LE, 150 yards west of the Texaco garage. The shuttle bus stop is by the main gate by the road.


The hardstanding car park at Gwernyfed High School is signposted on the approach from the Brecon direction. There will also be shuttle buses in operation to bring you to the festival site. Journey time is approximately 15 minutes. Gwernyfed High School is in Three Cocks off the A438, LD3 0SG.


In case of traffic congestion, please allow an extra hour to reach the festival site in good time for your event(s).

All events on Wednesday 28 May will start 15 minutes later than advertised.

Hay Festival Live on BBC Arts

BBC Arts Online is broadcasting live streams of some of the headline events at the festival as part of the BBC’s new partnership with the Hay Festival.

Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC, says: “This is the strongest commitment to Hay Festival we’ve made. Our coverage this year will demonstrate our ambition to join up arts on the BBC like never before – across television, radio and digital. By doing so we can give the public access to the greatest writers, performers and thinkers in a way that no one else can.”

The remaining live on-line broadcasts can be watched on the BBC Arts site. Here’s the schedule:

27 May 2014 28 May 2014 29 May 2014
14.30 Sebastian Faulks

17.35 Toni Morrison

17.30 Lynda La Plante 21.00 Cerys Matthews
30 May 2014 31 May 2014 1 Jun 2014
13.00 Michael Morpurgo 19.00 Arianna Huffington

20.30 The Poetry of Dylan Thomas

14.30 Richard Eyre

Hay Festival Tweets of the Day – Monday 26.05.14

 It was fun interviewing PJ O’Rourke just now at . The final question was about Ukip. PJ was clear that he didn’t care for ‘em.
 If that was you in the Tata tent tonight you have got the groove!
 Packing my bag for the Hay festival. Books, hay fever tablets, tickets. In that order.
 Greg Proops absolutely smashed it tonight! One of the most ridiculously intelligent yet hilarious humans on this planet.
 I think I’ve seen enough children under the age of 5 in Hunter wellies and Barbour jackets to last me a while…
 Thing I learned from Ray Davies event at – there’s a Gregorian chant influence in “You Really Got Me.”
 Great weekend at the Hay Festival, my brain feels enormous and enriched and I will definitely be back next year!
 Lynn Barber brilliant at . The interviewer she most admires? “Me”


PJ O’Rourke – The Baby Boom


PJ O’Rourke was in Hay to give the Annual Hamlin lecture on the subject of, his own generation, the Baby Boomers. The American satirist rips into the generation that took down both the Berlin Wall and their own knickers. It’s the generation that tuned in, turned on and dropped out of the capitalist system and only to drop in again in time to cause a global financial crisis.

Fellow boomer David Aaronovitch was there to pose the post interview questions and moderate the audience interventions.  The final questioner wanted to know what PJ thought of the rise of UKIP in the UK.  Suffice to say he’s not a fan.

Here’s an extract from PJ O’Rourke’s book and the inspiration for his lecture; ”The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way (And It Wasn’t My Fault) (And I’ll Never Do It Again)’

Board games and card games were for rainy days, and if it looked like the rain was never going to stop, we’d get out Monopoly. Despairing of its page upon page of rules, we’d make our own. This is how both Wall Street investment strategy and Washington economic policy were invented by our generation. We also invented selling ”Get Out of Jail Free” cards to the highest bidder.

The 1960s was an era of big thoughts. And yet, amazingly, each of those thoughts could fit on a T-shirt.

Chloe lived in exotic Massapequa, Long Island. I came east by motorcycle with the idea of Chloe riding pillion to a ”Woodstock Music and Arts Fair,” which, according to a poster in a record shop back in Yellow Springs, Ohio, was ”An Aquarian Exposition” featuring ”Three Days of Peace and Music.” I pictured something on the order of a wind-chime sale with evening hootnannies and maybe a surprise guest appearance by Mimi Farina.

There are some things the Baby Boom has done that we’re not proud of. We used up all the weird. It has always been the special prerogative of youth to look and act strange, to alarm and surprise their elders with peculiar dress and manners. Cicero mentioned it. ”O tempora! O mores!” So did my mom, although in English. But the Baby Boom exhausted the available supply of peculiar. Weird clothes, we wore them. Weird beards, we grew them. Weird words and phrases, we said them. Weird attitudes, we had them. Thus when it came time for the next generation to alarm and surprise us with their peculiarities they were compelled to pierce their extremities and permanently ink their exposed flesh. That must have hurt. We apologize.

We got jobs. We made money. We spent it on cocaine. Then we made money with junk bonds for leveraged buyouts. Until the LBO market collapsed and the Savings and Loan crisis happened and some of us such aichael Milken had to go to jail. Then we made money in the bubble. Hope you’re not still waiting for the Webvan grocery delivery or the chew toy you ordered from Then we made money with sub-prime mortgage lending securitization and collateralized debt obligations. Sorry about the foreclosure. One thing about moving the family back to Mom’s house, she may be getting a little dotty but she still makes a great meatloaf. Now we’ll make money with category-killer smartphone apps.