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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all events

Pandora Sykes, writer
4:07 am
Sat 11 Jul 2020
4:07 am | Sat 11 Jul 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
What does the right life even look like? And why do so many women feel like they’re getting it wrong?
What does the right life even look like? And why do so many women feel like they’re getting it...
Martha Lane Fox, businesswoman and philanthropist
6:30 pm
Tue 08 Sep 2020
6:30 pm | Tue 08 Sep 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
In its 25th year, the annual book award that honours fiction by women presents its shortlist
In its 25th year, the annual book award that honours fiction by women presents its shortlist
Ravi and Sukanya Shankar
1:00 pm
Sun 20 Sep 2020
1:00 pm | Sun 20 Sep 2020
talks & debates
The late Pandit Ravi Shankar’s wife shares candid insights into life with a legendary musician
The late Pandit Ravi Shankar’s wife shares candid insights into life with a legendary musician
David Mitchell, writer
7:30 pm
Mon 05 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Mon 05 Oct 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The bestselling author of Cloud Atlas launches his first novel in five years in a London exclusive
The bestselling author of Cloud Atlas launches his first novel in five years in a London exclusive
Candice Brathwaite, writer
4:00 pm
Sat 24 Oct 2020
4:00 pm | Sat 24 Oct 2020
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The blogger leads a thought-provoking, urgent and inspirational discussion on life as a black mother
The blogger leads a thought-provoking, urgent and inspirational discussion on life as a black mother
Ira Glass, radio personality
7:30 pm
Sun 27 Jun 2021
7:30 pm | Sun 27 Jun 2021
talks & debates
One of the foremost storytellers of our time pulls back the curtain on his creative process
One of the foremost storytellers of our time pulls back the curtain on his creative process

blog: talks & debates

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Dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures, with Akala and David Olusoga
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