The Independent partners with Hay Festival on new panel series

The Independent today announces its partnership with Hay Festival Global on a new series of events at Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye between 25 May and 28 May.

The Independent’s Editor-in-Chief, Geordie Greig, and Chief Book Critic, Martin Chilton, will host The News Review, where journalists and commentators discuss the latest news live on stage, giving the opportunity for audiences to react and ask questions to the panellists.

The News Review programme includes four sessions featuring major names across science, politics, law, academia, arts and comedy:


  • 25 May 2024. Areeba Hamid, Joint Executive Director, Greenpeace; Patrick Vallance, former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK government; and hosted by The Independent’s Editor-in-Chief Geordie Greig.
  • 26 May 2024. Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism project; Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs;  Wes Streeting, Shadow Secretary of State for Health; and hosted by Geordie Greig.
  • 27 May 2024. Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, former President of the Supreme Court of the UK; British comedian, Doon Mackichan; and hosted by The Independent’s Chief Book Critic Martin Chilton.
  • 28 May 2024. Sarah Churchwell,  professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London; Professor of Politics Cambridge University, David Runciman; American journalist and author, Lionel Shriver; and hosted by Martin Chilton.


The Independent and Independent TV will feature in-depth coverage of Hay Festival, with news, interviews and exclusives from a team that includes Patrick Smith, Head of Culture and Lifestyle, and Jessie Thompson, Arts Editor.

Hay Festival Global is renowned for launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues. Its programme features writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators from around the world providing big thinking and bold ideas.

Geordie Greig, Editor-In-Chief of The Independent, says: “Hay Festival is the world’s greatest forum for books, ideas, people, politics and provocative debate and I’m delighted that The Independent can present its own events this year.  We are the largest digital news brand in the UK with 26 million unique users per month, many of whom are passionate about books, literature and politics. I’m looking forward to chairing these discussions with some key decision makers on the issues of our time and bringing the best of Hay Festival to a global audience.”

Julie Finch, CEO of Hay Festival Global, adds: “As a charity, an important part of our mission is to provide open platforms for the essential exchange of ideas and writing that prompts positive change in the world. We are delighted to share a new series of events at Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye 2024 in partnership with The Independent for this election year. Each morning of the festival, The News Review will see journalists, commentators, and world leaders take stock of the latest news live on stage, opening a space in our programme for our audience to react and respond to current affairs, drawing insights from some of the greatest thinkers of our times. Join us!”

Discover the full Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye programme at The festival site is free to enter with individual events ticketed separately. 

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