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  • Simon Parker - Riding Out - A Journey of Love, Loss and New Beginnings

    In March 2020, as Britain entered its first lockdown, Simon Parker’s life fell apart; his travel journalism career vanished overnight and shortly afterwards he received the tragic news that a close friend had died. Riding Out details the remarkable and inspirational true story of how one man battled grief and anxiety, one pedal stroke at a time, on a 3500-mile adventure around Britain. En route, he would meet hundreds of resilient Britons, and even in his gloomiest moments he began to see that a chink of light was never too far away..

    An illustrated talk
    When: Sunday 6th November 2022 @ 10.30am
    Where: Electric Palace
  • Sheila Hancock - Old Rage

    Sheila Hancock sat down to write a book about a serene and fulfilled old age - but Old Rage is not that book! Instead, she has written a gloriously irreverent memoir from the  frontline of declining years. Having weathered widowhood, she  has stormed through acting roles with an energy to confound the milestone birthdays. Dame Sheila shares her life as a daughter, a sister, a mother, an actor and a friend. She confronts bereavement, Brexit and lockdown without  faltering and, despite age and despite rage, she always finds reasons for laughter.

    In conversation with Susannah Simons
    When: Sunday 6th November 2022 @ 12noon
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Emma Farquharson
  • Justin Webb - The Gift of a Radio - My Childhood and Other Train Wrecks

    Justin Webb is the longest serving presenter of BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme - Today. For almost four decades, he has been a voice and presence on the airwaves and  television, and has reported from around the world as a war correspondent. In his memoir, he traces an unhappy childhood through an extraordinary adolescence, to survive against a backcloth of Britain in the 70s with strikes, inflation and IRA bombings to  carve a distinguished career in media.

    John Humphreys says of Justin: Justin is a great broadcaster because he sounds like a real human being.  His hugely entertaining book helps explain why’

    Tickets: £12

    In conversation with Susannah Simons
    When: Sunday 6th November 2022 @ 2.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Nick Pearson
  • Chris Patten - The Hong Kong Diaries

    In June 1992 Chris Patten went to Hong Kong as the last British Governor to prepare for handing back the British Colony to the Chinese in 1997. During these five years, he kept a diary chronicling the backstage battles which were to decide Hong Kong’s fate.  The Diaries give an insight into the difficulties of negotiating with the Chinese, how institutions of democracy could be strengthened and the need to ensure that a degree of self government would continue after handover. Patten also gives a powerful assessment of recent events and how best to manage matters.

    In conversation with Howard Davies
    When: Sunday 6th November 2022 @ 4.00 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Liz and Richard Strang
  • Hugh Bonneville - Playing Under The Piano - From Downton to Darkest Peru

    One of Britain’s most distinguished actors, Hugh Bonneville, is familiar to worldwide audiences for his roles in Downton Abbey and the Paddington films. From getting his break as Third Shepherd in the school nativity play, to mistaking a Hollywood star for an estate agent, Hugh chronicles a brilliantly vivid picture of a career on stage and screen. A wickedly funny storyteller, Hugh also writes with poignancy of his Father’s dementia and his Mother who worked for the Secret Service and, with relish,  about working with divas, dames and a bear with a penchant for marmalade.

    In conversation with Julian Fellowes
    When: Sunday 6th November 2022 @ 6.00 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Jean Edwards
  • David Burnett - Lost Dorset - The Towns 1880 - 1920

    Author and publisher, David Burnett, presents a glorious illustrated talk of Dorset Towns between 1880 - 1920, and his book is a companion to a previous volume on the Villages and Countryside of Dorset. However, Dorset’s towns have a very distinct identity of their own, with social life taking place on the street, fostering a sense of community - be they on the coast, inland market towns, or scattered heathland settlements. For some, time stood still, as others grew dramatically. A few of the 375 postcards chosen for the book are extremely rare and combine to make a unique portrait of urban Dorset. An illustrated talk
    When: Friday 11th November 2022 @10.30 am
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Felicity Fairbairn
  • Maggie O'Farrell - The Marriage Portrait

    Award winning author of the bestselling Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel is on a very different theme to that of Shakespeare’s tragic young son. The Marriage Portrait is a vivid evocation of the beauty and brutality of Renaissance Italy and of the short life of a young woman whose proximity to power places her in mortal danger. In 1560, aged 15, Lucrezia di Medici replaces her dead sister as the fiancee to Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara. Lucrezia suddenly realises Alfonso’s sole intention is to kill her. O’Farrell has written a compelling renaissance thriller. In conversation with Sally Laverack
    When: Friday 11th November 2022 @ 12 noon
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Carol Hammick
  • Melvyn Bragg - Back in the Day - A Memoir

    Melvyn Bragg revisits his childhood and youth growing up above a pub in the bustling Cumbrian market town of Wigton surrounded by the inspirational beauty of the lakeland landscape. From the early years alone with his mother, while his father fought in the war, to the moment he left for Oxford University and pastures new, this is the captivating memoir of a working class boy with a passion for books. His is an insight into what shaped his life as writer, broadcaster and champion of The Arts. Melvyn is the supremo of the award winning South Bank Show since 1977 and has hosted BBC Radio Four’s addictive In Our Time since 1998. In conversation with Bryan Appleyard
    When: Friday 11th November 2022 @ 2.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Robert and Diana Clarke
  • Bryan Appleyard - The Car - The Rise and Fall of the Machine that made the Modern World

    Award winning feature writer and journalist, Bryan Appleyard, celebrates the immense drama and beauty of the car, the embodiment of genius and the limitless power of its complex systems. More than any other technology, cars have transformed our culture. Cars have created vast wealth as well as novel dreams of freedom and mobility. They have transformed our sense of distance and made the world infinitely more available - inspiring cinema, music and literature; they have need for roads, bridges, filling stations, huge factories and global supply chains and have re-engineered the world. He tells the story of the rise and fall of the incredible machine that has made the modern world what it is today. In conversation with Boris Starling
    When: Friday 11th November 2022 @ 4.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
  • Kit de Waal - Without Warning and Only Sometimes - Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood

    From award-winning author of My Name is Leon, comes a childhood memoir which is stinging, warm-hearted, and true. In a household of opposites and extremes, and caught between three worlds, Irish, Caribbean and British in 1960s Birmingham, Kit de Waal and her siblings knew all the words to the best songs, caught sticklebacks in jam jars and braved hunger and hellfire until they could all escape. Without Warning and Only Sometimes is a story of an extraordinary childhood and how a girl who grew up in house where the Bible was the only book on offer, went on to discover a love of reading that inspires her to this day. In conversation with Lisa Blower
    When: Friday 11th November 2022 @ 6.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
  • Simon Sebag Montefiore - The World

    Internationally bestselling author, Simon Sebag Montefiore, gives a dazzling celebration of the human story, from caves to drones. Unlike any previous world history, he uses ‘family’ to tell the story. From places as diverse as Haiti, Cambodia and Congo as well as Europe, China and the Americas, Montefiore steers us through themes of war, migration, plague, religion and technology to the people at the heart of the human drama. In conversation with Prue Keely
    When: Saturday 12th November 2022 @ 12noon
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Rosi and Clive de Ruig | Annabelle and David Nabarro
  • Colin Thubron - The Amur River - Between Russia and China

    In his 80th year, Colin Thubron, acclaimed travel writer and novelist, made a dramatic and ambitious journey along the 3000 mile river that divides China and Russia. The Amur River is almost unknown and Thubron’s journey from the river’s secret source in Mongolia flowing through Siberia to its giant mouth in the Pacific, charts a hair-raising adventure which offers a unique perspective of two of the world’s superpowers.

    In conversation with Christian Tyler
    When: Saturday 12th November 2022 @ 2.30pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Francesca Radcliffe
  • David Owen - Riddle, Mystery and Enigma - Two Hundred Years of British-Russian Relations

    Britain’s relationship with Russia is surprisingly under-explored. When the two countries formed a pragmatic alliance at Navarino in 1827, relations then fell apart with the Crimean War. Not until the 1917 Revolution did Winston Churchill - opposed to Bolshevism - advocate diplomacy with Russia which necessitated allying with the Soviets against Nazi Germany in WWII. Bringing us into the 21st century, Lord Owen, a former Foreign Secretary, chronicles how both countries have responded to their geopolitical decline.

    In conversation with John Dean
    When: Saturday 12th November 2022 @ 4.00pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Tim Clarke
  • Jeremy Bowen - The Making of the Modern Middle East - A Personal History

    Jeremy Bowen is the BBC’s Middle East Editor and, since 1989, has reported from around the world covering thirteen wars including Afghanistan, Lebanon, Chechnya, Assad’s Syria and Netanyahu’s Israel. Based on his acclaimed podcast, his new book takes us a journey through the Middle East and explores the power games that have wreaked devastation on civilians as their leaders jostle for political, religious and economic control. Bowen explains the complex past and troubled present of a region that at times seems ungovernable.

    In conversation with Barney White-Spunner
    When: Saturday 12th November 2022 @ 7.00pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Martin and Lindsay Bowdery

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