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Hay Festival 500 Words with Alex Jones and David Walliams

2 hours, 59 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 01 June 2012

David Walliams and Alex Jones present the finale of Chris Evans' 500 Words competition, live from the Hay Festival, while Chris performs his fatherly duties at the birth of baby Eli!

Launched in January 2012, Chris' story-writing competition attracted 74,075 entries in only its second year. Our wonderful team of volunteer teachers and librarians whittled these entries down to 2,000 stories, before The National Literacy Trust selected the talented young finalists, who join Chris for this broadcast from beautiful Hay-on-Wye.

500 Words' best-selling panel of judges - children's authors Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Lauren Child, Andy Stanton, Charlie Higson, and David Walliams - picked three winners in each category (which are children aged nine and under and those aged between 10-13).

These six winners are announced live on-air, with each young author hearing their words brought to life by Doctor Who alumni John Barrowman and Catherine Tate; pop idol Will Young; Blue Peter's Helen Skelton; Merlin's Richard Wilson and Outnumbered's Daniel Roche.

The Gold Medal winner in each category wins Chris Evans' height in books (6ft 2") plus 500 books for their school library; the runner up Silver Medal winner receives Alex Jones' height in books (5ft 6"); while the Bronze Medal winner leaves Hay with their own height in books!

Music Played

18 items
  • Image for Kelly Clarkson

    Kelly Clarkson Dark Side

    (CD Single), RCA, 1

  • Image for Louis Prima, Phil Harris & Bruce Reitherman

    Louis Prima, Phil Harris & Bruce Reitherman I Wanna Be Like You

    The Very Best of Disney

  • Image for The Jackson 5

    The Jackson 5 ABC

    The Best Michael Jackson & Jackson Fi, Polygram Tv, 1

  • Image for The Lightning Seeds

    The Lightning Seeds The Life Of Riley

    Sense - The Lightning Seeds, Virgin

  • Image for The Rolling Stones

    The Rolling Stones Start Me Up

    The Rolling Stones - Forty Licks, Abkco, 7

  • Image for Nell Bryden

    Nell Bryden Buildings And Treetops

    (CD Single), 157 Records

  • Image for Madness

    Madness Our House

    Now 1983 - The Millennium Series, EMI

  • Image for Simon & Garfunkel

    Simon & Garfunkel Cecilia

    The Definitive Simon & Garfunkel, Columbia

  • Image for Bruce Springsteen

    Bruce Springsteen Hungry Heart

    Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits, Columbia

  • Image for Nancy Sinatra

    Nancy Sinatra These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

    The Greatest Hits Of Nancy Sinatra, Boulevard

  • Image for Georgie Fame

    Georgie Fame and Blue Flames Yeh Yeh

    20 Beat Classics, Polydor

  • Image for Sammy Davis Jr.

    Sammy Davis Jr. The Candy Man

    Hits Of 1971 & 1972 (Various Artists), Polydor

  • Image for Paloma Faith

    Paloma Faith Picking Up The Pieces

    (CD Single), Universal, 1

  • Image for Elton John

    Elton John Crocodile Rock

    Elton John Greatest Hits 1970-2002, Mercury

  • Image for Sweet

    Sweet Ballroom Blitz

    The Sweet - Originals, RCA

  • Image for Will Young

    Will Young Your Game

    (CD Single), BMG/19

  • Image for Michael Kiwanuka

    Michael Kiwanuka I'll Get Along

    (CD Single), Polydor, 3

  • Image for The Beatles

    The Beatles Paperback Writer

    The Beatles - 1, Apple, 3

  • Pause For Thought

    With Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales.

    I hadn’t realised until recently that Wales had quite so many festivals – at least 150 a year, celebrating various aspects of life. There is the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival, the Llandovery Sheep Festival, the Wrexham Beer Festival, the Green Man music Festival, the Brecon Jazz Festival, and the Porthcawl Elvis Festival to name but a few. Then there are our well known national ones – the Llangollen International Music Festival, the Eisteddfod celebrating Welsh culture and life and the Royal Welsh celebrating all aspects of rural life. And of course, there is this Hay Literary Festival, in its 25th year, which attracts authors and thinkers from all over the world.

    This year’s theme is “Imagine the World” – a challenge to all of us to think about our lives and our world, not as it is but as it might be. And that, of course, is what writers and poets do. They touch our imaginations, our hearts and minds if you like, and enable us to look at things in ways we might not have thought before.

    When I think about it, that’s what Jesus did in His ministry. He was a great story teller who spoke about ordinary things, such as a man who had two sons, one of whom went off the rails but whom his father welcomed home, even though he had wasted all his money. Jesus leaves His hearers to work out for themselves that it was a story about a God who loves all His children, whatever they do.

    Or in the story of the man left half dead by the roadside, he is helped, not by a priest, or by a fellow Jew, but by a stranger and foreigner so that His hearers will hopefully realise that their definition of who their neighbour might be, is enlarged.

    That’s what good story tellers and writers do. They re-shape the landscape of our minds and by so doing can transform the way we live our lives as well.

  • This Year's 500 WORDS WINNERS!

    This Year's 500 WORDS WINNERS!

    Enjoy the tantalising tales that were declared this year's 500 WORDS winners live at Hay Festival by Chris and our very special guests.

    Visit the 500 WORDS 2012 site


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