Free Thinking - Jacqueline Wilson

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Jacqueline Wilson launches this year's BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking festival of ideas with a lecture entitled Beyond the Fairytale: Happiness in the Real World.

Free Thinking, Radio 3's annual festival of ideas, is taking "the pursuit of happiness" as its central theme this year. Happiness is rapidly becoming a high-profile pre-occupation of governments as they explore ways of assessing the state-of-the-nation beyond economic output - both David Cameron and Ed Miliband have expressed their intention to measure Britain's "wellbeing".

The opening lecture of the festival, delivered in front of an audience at the Free Thinking's main venue the Sage Gateshead, is given by Jacqueline Wilson, one of Britain's most successful children's writers who has sold over 30 million books in the UK and is a former Children's Laureate.

Famous for challenging the traditional subjects of children's fiction, Jacqueline's Free Thinking Lecture explores her own background and the way enormous literary success has changed her view of happiness. She draws on years of correspondence with her young readers and their families to understand the changing nature of happiness, and how we can find it today. And from her perspective creating fiction but corresponding with reality, she sounds a warning: perhaps the idea of a "happy ending" has given us misguided ideas about how achievable happiness really is.

In the weekend following Jacqueline's lecture, Free Thinking includes events with Kevin McCloud, former Metropolitan Chief Commissioner Lord Blair, actor Fiona Shaw, philosopher Mary Midgley and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce - all will be broadcast on Radio 3's Night Waves in the subsequent weeks. Go to for more details.

Producer: James Cook.

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1 hour

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Fri 5 Nov 2010 21:00

Free Thinking

Free Thinking

Radio 3’s new home for arts and ideas.