Mid Wales

Hay Festival: Bernie Sanders and Graham Norton among line-up

Bernie Sanders Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bernie Sanders lost out to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination

Former US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is one of the big names lined up for the 30th Hay Festival.

New Great British Bake Off host Sandi Toksvig will also appear, along with Graham Norton and Eddie Izzard.

The renowned arts and literature festival will host 800 events, including music from Will Young and Amy MacDonald.

It runs from 25 May to 4 June in the Powys town of Hay-on-Wye.

The full programme to mark the 30th anniversary of the 10-day festival was announced on Tuesday, two days before tickets go on sale on Thursday.

Sanders, the Vermont Senator who was beaten to the Democratic presidential nomination by Hillary Clinton, will be at Hay along with other names from the political world, including former Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

Broadcaster Stephen Fry will be one of those attending to share his philosophy on how to bring about a better world as part of the festival's central 30 Reformations programme.

Actors Sir Tony Robinson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Sheen and Sheila Hancock will appear, along with director Ken Loach.

Image copyright PA and BBC
Image caption Graham Norton and Sandi Toksvig will be among the line-up

Comedy will be provided by Izzard, as well as Mark Watson, Marcus Brigstocke and Shappi Khorsandi.

Meanwhile, artist Tracey Emin and writer Germaine Greer will join discussions investigating the latest topics in art, technology, history and health, and authors will include Helen Fielding and Ian Rankin.

There will also be a range of activities aimed at families and younger visitors, including appearances from acclaimed children's authors Jacqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson.

Festival director Peter Florence said it would celebrate 30 years of bringing readers and writers together "to share stories and ideas, to imagine the world - to tell our truths and renew our lives".

The border town of Hay-on-Wye, well known for its second hand book shops, has hosted the annual literary event since the spring of 1987.

Its birthday in May is being marked by "crowd sourcing" a list of the world's most essential books.

Thirty schools will also plant trees over 30 acres (12 hectares) in a partnership with conservation charity, The Woodland Trust.

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