Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Philip Ardagh, Anthony Horowitz, Kate Adie and The Italian Job: One Day in Hay

Hay Festival is historically rather unlucky with the weather. It is generally a mass of mud, and wellies are essential packing. This year was miles better though, and my 2 days were scorchers.

Which was great, because it's basically a network of large tents and wooden walkways, surrounding a number of big, lawned squares. The grass was covered in people between events, laid out or in deckchairs, all of them feverishly reading books. Wonderful sight!

Because of my delays, I had no time to check in at the hotel. A car took me straight to the site where I dumped my suitcase and dashed to see Philip Ardagh, the larger than life (and dramatically bearded) author of The Grubtown Tales. Very funny. It's so interesting to watch other people's events for children, to compare approach.

My next event of the afternoon was Micheal Deeley (producer of The Italian Job, The Deer Hunter & Bladerunner, amongst others) who was really interesting and told some great anecdotes. I now know Micheal Caine's 'idea' at the end of The Italian Job - there had to be one, so there was potential for a sequel! Any suggestions?

Another fascinating talk was Anthony Horowitz, who I knew for his Alex Rider stories, but who is also the screen writer of most British TV crime, including Midsummer Murders, Poirot and Foyles War. We got to see a sneak preview of the new series of Foyles War, which looks rather dramatic, and his new 5-day drama, Collision.

I met up with Peter Bently, to chat about our Lark in the Ark event next morning, and suss out the space. Then we did a spot of people-watching in the greenroom (basically another big tent, but with free wine and comfy chairs), where we were within feet of both Kate Adie and The Archbishop of Canterbury (what a combo).

Quite a full day, all in all. I went out like a light when I finally got to my hotel that night.


Buskitten said...

Wow Lynne! It sounds fab! I can't believe I have never been to hay festival when I grew up in Herefordshire - just down the road!

Lynne Chapman said...

So often the case that when things are on your doorstep you don't consider them!