BBC to broadcast Hay Festival on radio, TV, and online

Child and woman at Hay Festival The festival is held every May in the Powys border town of Hay-on-Wye

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The Hay Literature Festival will be broadcast on the BBC's television, radio and online networks, it has been announced.

Several radio and television shows will be live from the festival, from 22 May and 1 June, with a global audience on BBC World News.

Some of the headline events will also be streamed live on the BBC website.

The BBC said the "unprecedented" coverage would make the festival more accessible than ever before.

This year's link up is the start of a three-year partnership between the festival and the broadcaster, bringing Sky Arts's coverage to an end.

A full programme of events will be broadcast over BBC Radios 2, 3, 4, 6 Music as well as BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru.

Start Quote

The BBC will give everyone, everywhere, the best seat at the table”

End Quote Peter Florence Hay Festival director

There will also be a BBC Tent, which will host appearances and performances from well-known presenters and guests such as singer Cerys Matthews.

The One Show will be live from Hay for the first time and the BBC's Talking Books programme will have five special episodes dedicated to the event.

'Extraordinary opportunity'

BBC Wales will also host live coverage and a documentary about the festival and the town of Hay-on-Wye will be made by BBC Four.

Daily stories and videos will be available on the BBC website along with live feeds of some of the most popular events.

BBC Director General Tony Hall said: "Our coverage this year will demonstrate our ambition to join up arts on the BBC like never before - across television, radio and digital.

"By doing so we can give the public access to the greatest writers, performers and thinkers in a way that no one else can."

Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, added: "The BBC will give everyone, everywhere, the best seat at the table."

Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Wales said: "The Hay Festival has established itself as a true festival of ideas - bringing together some of the world's leading thinkers and writers.

"And I'm absolutely delighted that this new partnership will enable BBC audiences right across Wales - and right across the UK - to savour the real magic of Hay."

The festival is now in its 27th year and one-time festival speaker, the former US President Bill Clinton, famously described the 10-day event as 'the Woodstock of the mind'.

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