Major names at Chichester Speakers Festival this weekend

Simon Heffer, Denis McShane and Nina Caplan are among the speakers confirmed for the latest Chichester Speakers Festival.

Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 6:18 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:13 am
Andrew Monaghan
Andrew Monaghan

Festival manager Marc Rattray said: “This year’s Chichester Speakers’ Festival, which takes place on March 23 and 24 at the Assembly Room, Chichester City Council, North Street, Chichester (, brings together some of the UK’s most interesting speakers for you to meet and question.

“Simon Heffer, who writes for The Telegraph and The Spectator, gives a full account of the decadent culture of Britain in the period leading up to World War One; Denis McShane, former Minister for Europe, explains why Brexit will not mean full rupture with Europe; Nina Caplan, the celebrated arts, wine and travel writer, throws light on the history and production of wine and the extraordinary stories of the people behind it; and Lydia Greeves presents on the major houses of the National Trust such as Petworth and Chartwell and the accounts of the often eccentric people who lived in them.

“Donald MacIntyre, The Independent’s former Jerusalem bureau chief, explains the situation in Gaza; Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner gives an inside story of the partition of India which would dictate the history of south Asia for the next 70 years; Helena Kelly, the Jane Austen expert, throws new light on her radical religious, political and social ideas and illuminates the courage of Austen’s convictions; and John McHugo, the international lawyer and Arabist, gives a concise history of the Sunnis and Shi’is, the two main groups within Islam.

“Damien Lewis, the best-selling author, explains the SAS’s most daring WW2 mission when they donned Nazi uniforms and went behind enemy lines in the longest mission ever taken by Allied Special Forces; and Andrew Monaghan, director of research on Russia and Northern European Defence and Security at Pembroke, Oxford, returns to explain the Russian strategic agenda.”

Also speaking:

Doaa Abdel-Motaal, the former deputy chief of staff of the World Trade Organisation, explains how the thawing Antarctic may lead to conflict very soon.

John Andrews, foreign correspondent with The Economist, explains why there is a real possibility of global conflict.

Shrabani Basu, who wrote the book behind the 2017 film Victoria and Abdul starring Judi Dench, gives an account of what really happened.

Lloyd Figgins, a former police officer, soldier and expedition leader, explains how to survive in some of the world’s more hostile regions.

Tickets available on 0333 666 3366.