talks & debates

Our year-round programme of talks and debates showcases leading thinkers, activists, politicians and cultural observers. Be stimulated by new thoughts and ideas, or challenged to see the world with fresh eyes by today’s most exciting speakers.

This season documentarian Louis Theroux reflects on two decades of groundbreaking work and Lenny Henry takes us on a trip down memory lane. Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain talks cake and kids and comedian Sara Pascoe assesses what really matters to humans. We also welcome Malcolm Gladwell, Richard Dawkins, Hannah Gadsby and many more.

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Perhaps you don’t recognise that you have power but if you’re doing something to try to make a change you are already exercising power.
Cassa Pancho MBE, Founder of Ballet Black, speaking at Southbank Centre in 2018
The paradox of the last 20 years has been that we have increased our communication, its frequency, participants and methods to do so. But instead of taking this opportunity to produce a clear picture of the world, the content of that information, and what we actually know, is decreasing.
Yannis Varoufakis, speaking at Southbank Centre in 2015

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Richard Ayoade, actor, comedian, writer and director
7:30 pm
Thu 05 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 05 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam Buxton
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam...
Richard Dawkins, ethologist
7:30 pm
Sun 22 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 22 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
Louis Theroux, filmmaker
7:30 pm
Wed 25 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 25 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Journey through the highs and lows of two decades of groundbreaking work with the documentarian
Journey through the highs and lows of two decades of groundbreaking work with the documentarian
Lenny Henry, comedian
7:30 pm
Mon 30 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 30 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Get ready to guffaw as the cherished comedian takes the stage to share his long-awaited autobiography
Get ready to guffaw as the cherished comedian takes the stage to share his long-awaited...
Man Booker at Southbank Centre
7:30 pm
Sun 13 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 13 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Meet the 2019 Booker Prize shortlist in an evening of readings and conversation
Meet the 2019 Booker Prize shortlist in an evening of readings and conversation
 Srishti Krishnamoorthy-Cavell, PhD candidate
3:30 pm
Sun 20 Oct 2019
3:30 pm | Sun 20 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Discuss the Forward Prize-shortlisted collections at this event organised with the Poetry School
Discuss the Forward Prize-shortlisted collections at this event organised with the Poetry School
Kishani Widyaratna, editor
7:00 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
writers
Get advice on how to evaluate your manuscript and tackle rewriting from the Picador Books editor
Get advice on how to evaluate your manuscript and tackle rewriting from the Picador Books editor
Nikki Giovanni , poet

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Mon 21 Oct 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 21 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Reflect on the breadth of the poet and activist’s work in this evening of poetry and conversation
Reflect on the breadth of the poet and activist’s work in this evening of poetry and conversation
Emma Paterson headshot
7:00 pm
Tue 22 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Tue 22 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
What do literary agents do and how can you find the right one for you?
What do literary agents do and how can you find the right one for you?
7:00 pm
Thu 24 Oct 2019
7:00 pm | Thu 24 Oct 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Whether you’ve been writing for a while or are just starting, get some tips on the routes to publication
Whether you’ve been writing for a while or are just starting, get some tips on the routes to...

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highlights

30 Sep
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Get ready to guffaw as the cherished comedian takes the stage to share his long-awaited autobiography

Randall Munore

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Adrianne Mathiowetz
Randall Munroe, cartoonist
7 Oct
talks & debates
accessible events
Open up new dimensions on the everyday in this talk by the webcomic creator and author
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blog: talks & debates

podcast
Dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures with Akala and David Olusoga
story
The best-selling writer and essayist discusses finding her place in feminism, intersectionality and grappling with pop culture