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#24 EDITION
 
SUNDAY JUNE 16TH, 2024

NEWS

David Taylor in conversation with Xavier Greenwood - The Sacklers: Getting Away with It

The Sacklers made billions from the opioid painkiller OxyContin, which significantly contributed to the opioid crisis still wreaking havoc in the US and around the world. Despite being blamed for fueling the epidemic, the question remains: have they truly been held accountable, or are they getting away with it?

Join David Taylor, former US deputy editor for the Guardian and US editor for The Times, and Xavier Greenwood, producer, reporter and investigative journalist at Tortoise, for a compelling delve into the story of the Sackler family and their controversial role in America's opioid epidemic.

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BUSINESS

Sophie Williams: The Glass Cliff - Why women in power are undermined

Sophie Williams, an ex-global leader at Netflix and former COO and CFO of leading London advertising agencies, is a speaker and the author of The Glass Cliff.

Sophie will share her experiences as a woman in leadership roles and explore the phenomenon of The Glass Cliff, where women are often appointed to leadership positions only when a business is already underperforming, severely limiting their chances of success from the outset.

Drawing on over 20 years of international research, Sophie will explain how The Glass Cliff reveals the inner workings of a system not designed for successful female leadership. Instead of being set up for success, women in leadership are often set up to fail, expected to clean up messes they didn't create, and serve as scapegoats for failing businesses during crises.

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MUSIC

Iain Robertson: What's the Story: The ascendance of Oasis. 

Coinciding with Liam Gallagher's new tour, former tour manager of Oasis Iain Robertson joins us on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the iconic band's first album, to take us behind the scenes offering a front-row seat to the story of real rockstar superstardom.
 

Oasis was a band like no other. If they liked you, they loved you. If they didn’t, be prepared for confrontation. They were the most viscerally exciting rock band to emerge from Britain in years. Iain Robertson, who had retired from the Parachute Regiment and guarded legends like George Harrison, Gary Moore, and Johnny Rotten, took on the toughest job of all: keeping Oasis on track after their debut album, Definitely Maybe, ignited their meteoric rise to global fame.
 

Iain was with Oasis 24/7 as their road manager and minder, witnessing their journey from obscurity to megastardom. His story is the defining chronicle of life on tour with Oasis, offering an access-all-areas insight into the dream come true and the sharp double-edged swords of fame and fortune.
 

Join us as Iain invites you behind the velvet rope to share his experiences of life on the road with the last great analogue rock & roll band. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear firsthand what it means when the dream comes true.

 

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MONEY

Nels Abbey: The Hip-Hop MBA: What We Can Learn from Jay-Z

Nels joins us to dive into how hip-hop moguls like Jay-Z, Suge Knight, Puff Daddy and 50 Cent turned economic hardship into a multi-billion-dollar industry with street-smart business acumen, creating epic tales of success, failure, betrayal, and revenge.


Using the term dubbed: The Hip-Hop MBA, Nels will show why the business world should take hip-hop moguls and their methods seriously, offering invaluable lessons from the champions of the rap industry. 


Nels Abbey is a British-Nigerian (Itsekiri) writer, broadcaster, media executive and satirist based in London.  Prior to moving into media, he worked in financial services principally for the US investment mammoth BlackRock. He knows a thing or two about money and joins us to give us the lowdown on an alternative rise to great wealth.

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POLITICS

Sian Norris - Bodies Under Siege

 

Sian joins us to discuss how global anti-abortion forces are attacking gender rights in the UK, with the aim to fuel the culture wars that have so far characterised the 2024 election. She'll share how US "religious freedom" giants are helping to fund anti-abortion activity in the UK, and show how, far from being a settled issue, abortion is at risk of being the next front in the hard right culture war. Sian will show how mainstream Conservative MPs are increasingly allying with hard right, anti-abortion individuals and forces from around the world, and how the messages they are repeating have their origins in far-right conspiracist movements. 
 

Sian Norris is a senior investigative reporter at openDemocracy. She has written for a range of national and international publications, including the Times, the Observer, the Guardian, i news, New Statesman, the Ferret, the Dial and many more, reporting from the UK, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Poland, Romania and Kenya. Sian is the author of Bodies Under Siege: how the far right attack on reproductive rights went global, which built on her investigative reporting into far-right and anti-abortion movements. 


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CULTURE

Liam O'Dowd: Humanity's relationship with drugs is changing

Join Liam O'Dowd, Editor of Leafie, for an exploration of humanity's complex and changing relationship with drugs. Liam will talk through the evocative nature and stigma of the word "drugs," followed by a dive into the ancient history of human drug use, highlighting fascinating connections such as Bronze Age rituals and religious practices.

He will also delve into modern history, focusing on the era of prohibition and its lasting impacts, and a look at our current landscape. Our relationship with drugs has always been dynamic and ever-evolving. Liam will discuss practices throughout history such as drug-use during the bronze age and the rise of LSD during the Vietnam war, and compare it with our modern-day relationship and where we might be heading in the near future. 

 

Exploring humanity’s ever-changing relationship with drugs and asking: Has our innate desire to alter consciousness formed society today? Is prohibition more harmful than helpful? Will psychedelics be the next revolution in healthcare? 

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UK POLITICS

Nick Bano - Against Landlords

 

Due to the election announcement, the Renters Reform Bill has been delayed, breaking the government’s promise to end Section 21 no-fault evictions by the end of this parliament. 
 

Why can’t we live in a world without landlords? The private rented sector nearly collapsed in the mid-1970s and was on the brink of being replaced with a system of secure, affordable housing for all. That should have been the legacy of the 20th century. However, The Conservatives and New Labour revived landlordism. Now, house prices are out of control as landlords outcompete owner-occupiers and make outrageous profits. The housing crisis is rooted in runaway rents and squalid conditions. 
 

How has this happened, and how can we reverse it? Nick joins us on stage to tell us all about it.


Nick Bano is a barrister, author, and housing campaigner. In his day-to-day work, he represents renters and homeless people in legal aid cases, while also providing legal and strategic advice to national organisations. As a writer, he challenges the conventional wisdom of a housing supply shortage and questions why the UK’s housing crisis is so severe despite having ordinary levels of housing stock.

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WORLD NEWS

Claudia Williams in conversation with Chloe Hadjimatheou

 

The Gasman: a catch-me-if-you-can hunt for a fugitive involved in a poison gas conspiracy. 
 

In the 1980s, Special Agent Dennis Bass received a tip-off that changed his career. Thirty years later, reporter Chloe Hadjimatheou sets out to solve the mystery of how an international fugitive escaped justice – and why he's still on the run.

Claudia Williams is a reporter and producer at Tortoise Media, hosting the weekly investigative podcast The Slow Newscast and the daily news podcast The Sensemaker. She has previously worked at The New York Times and The Week.

Chloe Hadjimatheou is an award-winning investigative journalist known for the BBC podcast series *Mayday*, which uncovered disinformation around the life and death of James Le Mesurier. She has reported from Greece, the Middle East, and the USA, spending time in BBC’s overseas bureaux in Washington DC, Jerusalem, and Cairo. In 2021, Chloe was shortlisted for the prestigious Orwell Prize.

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BRITISH POLITICS

Peter Geoghegan in conversation with Mary Fitzgerald - How an Election Campaign is really funded. 

Peter knows a thing or two about democracy and how the current election campaigns are really being funded.

 

He has written extensively on how money, vested interests and digital skulduggery are eroding trust in democracy. Peter had literally followed the money that its donors would much prefer to remain in the shadows. 

 

His interviews and research regularly highlights the fabulously well-funded partisan think tanks, propagandists who know how to game a rigged system, and the campaigners and regulators valiantly trying to stop them.

 

Whilst in his previous role as editor-in-chief and CEO at openDemocracy, Peter and his team won Campaign of the Year at the British Journalism Awards for its ground-breaking work on transparency in British public life.

 

Peter joins us to discuss what is really going on in this current election campaign and for the sake of democracy highlights what must be done about it.

 

Mary Fitzgerald is director of expression at the Open Society Foundations, and former editor-in-chief of openDemocracy.

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WALK

Mark Vernon

Ask not who you are, but where you are - A Philosophy Walk. 

Join us for a Sunday Saunter led by Mark Vernon, a psychotherapist with a keen interest in ancient philosophy. Mark’s writings span topics from friendships and beliefs to wellbeing and modern living. This walk and talk is designed to ground and uplift in equal measure, providing a guided spiritual amble to help us understand how to survive and thrive in our modern times.
 

On Mark's walk, he will lead you to a quiet place within Regent's Park to explore the outside world while identifying spiritual intelligence within. Asking: not who you are, but where you are? What is it to arrive in a fresh location? How can movement aid thought? What is the spirit of a place?

 

In this short walk into Regent’s Park, followed by a talk, Mark Vernon will take a step back in time to reconnect philosophy with being outdoors and walking. From the ancient Greek peripatetics to William Blake’s “learning’s bower”. 

Mark has contributed to and presented numerous radio programs and written for various publications, including the BBC, Aeon, Church Times, and The Idler, where he writes a regular column. He also leads workshops, gives talks, and hosts podcasts, including a longstanding series of conversations with Rupert Sheldrake.

Gain valuable insights and reconnect with nature.

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CROSSWORDS

Sons & Sons

Barely more coherent than toddlers themselves, our crossword gurus have been running the sillier side of Sunday for 5 years. Brush up on your charade skills for the live crossword challenges, but also pop down to their pub quiz and crafternoon crafts table full of crafty crafts. Weather permitting this will all take place in the venue's hidden garden.

 
#23 EDITION
 
SUNDAY MARCH 17TH, 2024

12:55 - CROSSWORD #1
13:10 - BRITISH CULTURE Danny Dorling
13:45 - TRAVEL Seyi Rhodes
in conversation with Katie Goldfinch
14:05 - LIFESTYLE Ben Ware
in conversation with Maria Balaska
14:40 BRITISH POLITICS Tom Baldwin on Keir Starmer

15:25 - WALK Matthew Beaumont

15:30 - ENVIRONMENT Captain Cornelissen
16:15 - CROSSWORD #2
16:25 BUSINESS: Joshua Oli
ver
17:05 - WORLD NEWS Joh
n Rees on Julian Assange
17:35 - POLITICS Phoenix Andrews
18:00 - CROSSWORD FINALE

18:20 - THE ULTIMATE PUB QUIZ

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Hosted by Robin Clyfan

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BRITISH CULTURE 

Danny Dorling

 

Is the UK f**ked? Is there any hope? What do we do? Join Danny Dorling, professor in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, as he explores the options, and how Geography shows you a way out for London, England and the UK.

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TRAVEL

Seyi Rhodes in conversation with Katie Goldfinch

In recent years stories of older British women hooking up with younger Gambian men have made the headlines, from one-night stands to whirlwind weddings. But what's the truth behind the stories? Documentary filmmaker and presenter Seyi Rhodes explores sex tourism in Gambia. Fascinated by cultural change and social upheaval, documentary filmmaker and reporter Seyi Rhodes has travelled pretty much the length and breadth of the world, creating an impressive body of work that explores unique stories and fascinating individuals.

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LIFESTYLE

Ben Ware in conversation with Maria Balaska

Ben Ware is a philosopher and social theorist, who is Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Art at King’s College London. 

In this conversation with philosopher Maria Balaska he joins us to discuss extinction and how as we approach the end of all things, we must face our apocalyptic future without flinching. Arguing that in fact, extinction is the very lens through which we should examine our current reality and lifestyle.


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BRITISH POLITICS

Tom Baldwin on Keir Starmer

 

Keir Starmer stands on the cusp of becoming prime minister despite being a puzzle to many in Westminster and beyond who really don’t understand how he has got there, let alone who he is or what he wants to do if he makes it through the front door of 10 Downing Street.  

 

Tom Baldwin has spent most of life working in politics from Westminster to Washington and has just written a biography on Keir Starmer. Drawing deeply on many hours of interviews with the Labour leader himself, as well as unprecedented access to members of his family, his oldest friends and closest colleagues, Tom joins us to provide some answers. 


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ENVIRONMENT

Captain Cornelissen

Captain Alex Cornelissen is the CEO of Sea Shepherd, an international, non-profit marine conservation organisation that engages in direct action campaigns to defend wildlife, and conserve and protect the world’s ocean from illegal exploitation and environmental destruction. 

 

Captain Alex has participated in more than 25 Sea Shepherd campaigns, including five trips down to the Antarctic to stop the Japanese whale poachers and in this conversation will regale us with some tales from these dangerous trips and why he believes that not just direct action but also working with local governments helps to enforce the laws protecting our oceans.

 

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WALK

Matthew Beaumont

WE HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO WALK! In cities like London, we stumble from place to place like zombies, staring at our phones and reflexively flinching if we come too close to foreign objects, especially if these are other pedestrians. Join Matthew Beaumont, UCL professor in a meaningful, undistracted Sunday saunter.

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BUSINESS

Joshua Oliver 

 

The rise and fall of Sam Bankman-Fried and his FTX crypto empire is one of the most absurd tales in modern finance. The case has been called “one of the largest financial frauds in American history,” and the mastermind Bankman-Fried faces up to 110 years in jail after being convicted last year.

 

But how did anyone ever trust this upstart crypto company and its odd-ball founder in the first place? And have investors and the public learned their lesson about the perils of crypto? Join Financial Times journalist Joshua Oliver as he explores this riveting tale, as Sam Bankman-Fried awaits sentencing. 

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WORLD NEWS

John Rees on Julian Assange

 

Julian Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks which revealed critical public interest material about the conduct of the Afghan and Iraq wars. He is now in Belmarsh prison for a fifth year awaiting the outcome of extradition proceedings which are just about to conclude. If Assange is taken to the US he will be the first journalist ever tried under the 1917 Extradition Act. 

 

Join John Rees, writer, broadcaster, and campaigner who is the national coordinator of the Free Assange campaign in the UK, as he explores the potential outcomes, which could result journalists being cast as spies, a major blow to press freedom, and could be sentenced to a 175 year jail term.

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POLITICS

Phoenix Andrews

If a week is a long time in politics, the past decade has felt like a lifetime. But what’s behind the unrelenting upheaval? Join Phoenix Andrews in this discussion around Fandom and how it’s shaping our political discourse around the world.

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CROSSWORDS

Sons & Sons

Barely more coherent than toddlers themselves, our crossword gurus have been running the sillier side of Sunday for 5 years. Brush up on your charade skills for the live crossword challenges, but also pop down to their pub quiz and crafternoon crafts table full of crafty crafts. 

 
#22 EDITION
 
SUNDAY - NOV 19TH, 2023

Full day tickets are now SOLD OUT! If you still want to join us for a taste of SPL, there's a few evening tickets left, with entry from 5pm

12:50 - CROSSWORD #1
13:05 - WORLD NEWS Tomiwa Owolade
13:35 - FOOD Alissa Timoshkina
13:55 - UK NEWS Chris Atkins
14:30 MONEY Rachel O'Dwyer

15:05 - BRITISH CULTURE Polly Toynbee
15:55 - POLITICS Rafael Behr
16:40 - CROSSWORD #2
16:55 TRAVEL Tim Fitzhigham
17:25 - HEALTH Nick Dearden
17:55 - MUSIC Eammon Forde
18:15 - LIFESTYLE Harriet Gibsone
18:35 - CROSSWORD FINALE
18:50 - FLASHMOB SURPRISE

19:20 - THE ULTIMATE PUB QUIZ

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WORLD NEWS 
Tomiwa Owolade

This is not America. Why we need a better conversation on race

Tomiwa Owolade writes about social, cultural and literary issues for the New Statesman, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Observer, UnHerd and the Evening Standard.

For too long, discussions around race and diversity have been too simplistic. If we care about the inequalities in our society, we need to stop focusing only on race, because race is not the only thing that shapes inequality. And many of the discussions on race do not reflect the fact that black and brown people are more than the racial categories they happen to belong to: that other things, such as class, geography, religion, nationality, gender and many more, shape their identity too; and that even all these categories can't get at someone's irreducible sense of self.
 

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FOOD

Alissa Timoshkina

 

Alissa Timoshkina is a London-based food writer and historian specialising in Eastern European food culture. Originally from Siberia, Alissa comes from a Ukrainian-Jewish lineage, with her family history forming an important part of her culinary writing. Alissa holds a PhD in Soviet film and Holocaust history, however, her love of cooking pulled her away from an academic career. Since 2015 she’s been curating and hosting immersive dining experiences, offering cooking classes and authored a cookbook ‘Salt and Time’. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Alissa initiated a global fundraising campaign, #CookForUkraine which raised over £2 million. She is now writing her second cookbook, out in early 2025.

 

In conversation with Sunday Papers Live host, Robin Clyfan, Alissa discusses the trajectory of her campaign in an update from her previous talk in April 2022.

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UK NEWS
Chris Atkins

 

Chris Atkins is a three time BAFTA-nominated film-maker. His documentaries Taking Liberties and Starsuckers were critically acclaimed and made front-page news, and he recently made the hit film Who Killed the KLF? He has also worked extensively with Dispatches for Channel 4 and BBC Panorama. He has just finished a film about James Blunt, and published a new book on reoffending called Time After Time.

Documentary maker, journalist and ex con Chris Atkins will talk about his crazy time in HMP Wandsworth - one of the most dangerous and dysfunctional prisons in the UK and the scene of the daring prison break in September this year. When Chris was incarcerated for tax fraud in 2016 his only knowledge of prison was from Shawshank Redemption and Porridge, and he was thrust into a dangerous and surreal world of mentally ill drug addicts, flatulent cellmates and grossly inexperienced officers. Over nine months he got a front row seat of the worst prison crisis in history, and kept a diary of his surreal and often hilarious experiences which has since become a bestselling book A Bit of a Stretch.
 


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TRAVEL

Tim Fitzhigham

 

Tim FitzHigham is a Perrier nominated, multi award-winning comedian, explorer, presenter, and author. Among TV credits as a comedian, he has presented several documentaries for BBC1 and Super Human Challenge for CBBC. His diverse interests have led him into film appearances include being the baddie in Paddington 2 and Wonka, writing and performing in his highly successful Edinburgh Fringe show and also setting many unusual records, including rowing the English Channel in a bathtub.

Tim's travels include: running across deserts in a suit of armour, racing against race horses, rowing the channel in a bathtub, unfeasible distances in a paper boat, arrow catching, accidentally getting caught up in a revolution. This is a travel section - as you'd hope at Sunday Papers Live - with a difference.
 


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BRITISH CULTURE

Polly Toynbee

Polly Toynbee is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. A Guardian columnist and broadcaster, she was formerly the BBC's social affairs editor. She has written for the Observer, the Independent and Radio Times and been an editor at The Washington Monthly. She has won numerous awards including a National Press Award and the Orwell Prize for Journalism. While for generations Polly Toynbee's ancestors have been committed left-wing rabble-rousers railing against injustice, they could never claim to be working class, settling instead for the prosperous life of academia or journalism enjoyed by their own forebears. So where does that leave their ideals of class equality? 

 

In conversation with Mark Damazer CBE (ex Controller of BBC Radio 4, Radio 7 and Editor of the Nine O'Clock News at the BBC), Toynbee explores the myth of mobility, the guilt of privilege, and asks for a truly honest conversation about class in Britain.

 

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POLITICS

Rafael Behr

Rafael Behr is an award-winning political columnist for the Guardian and regular commentator on the BBC and Times Radio. He is a former political editor of the New Statesman, a BBC online business reporter and a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times in the Baltic states and Russia. He hosts the Politics on the Couch podcast. Rafael's first book, Politics, A Survivor's Guide, was published in April 2023.

Do you feel like turning away from the news in despair? Or struggle to quit the screen although you know doomscrolling gets you down? It doesn't have to be like this. In an era of political meltdown when each new crisis erupts before the last one has finished it can be hard to stay engaged without being consumed by rage. Rafael Behr has reported from the political front line for nearly 30 years - and it nearly killed him. He talks about the way politics drives us apart and the way to keep hope for a healthier, better way of doing things.
 

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MONEY

Rachel O'Dwyer

 

Dr Rachel O’Dwyer is the author of Tokens, Longlisted for the FT Schroders Book of the Year Award 2023. Her research focuses on the intersection of cultural and digital economies.

Rachel will discuss the rise of new-money like tokens that are circulated and exchanged on digital platforms, a new economy where platforms are the new bank and how they are utilised to make payment for online marginalised and extra-legal sex related work.

 

In one way tokens are part of a new economy where the likes of sex camming platforms are the new banks, exploiting online streamers and cam girls. But in another, tokens are part of an age-old economy where women and housewives have always made do with invisible dollars, treats and gifts.
 

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HEALTH

Nick Dearden

 

Nick Dearden has been trying to change the world for nearly three decades. He’s been a particular pain in the neck for big businesses – taking on some of the giants who run our food, energy, financial, fashion and medicine systems. He believes our politicians have allowed these giants far too much wealth and power, fundamentally undermining our right to make democratic decisions about the way we live. Challenging this power isn’t easy, but it is possible. It can even be fun.

 

America’s opioid crisis has woken the world up to just how dangerous the pharmaceutical industry can be. But the problem goes deeper than one family’s ruthless profiteering from a highly addictive drug. In fact, the Big Pharma corporations as a whole are failing nearly all of us. Addicted to sky high profits, Big Pharma is not providing the medicines we need at a price we, or the NHS, can afford. Rather, the industry has become a cash machine for already wealthy investors. It doesn’t have to be this way – learn about the ideas of a new way of producing medicines.

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MUSIC

Eammon Forde

Eamonn Forde is an award-winning music business writer and author. He has been writing about all areas of the music business since 2000 and currently writes for Music Ally, Music Business Worldwide and The Guardian, among others. He is the author of three music business books – The Final Days Of EMI: Selling The Pig (2019), Leaving The Building: The Lucrative Afterlife Of Music Estates (2021) and 1999: The Year The Record Industry Lost Control (to be published in March 2024).

AI is going to kill all new music and make every songwriter and musician in the world instantly redundant! That's what some say is the best-case scenario as artificial intelligence software grows and improves at a rapid rate. Worse than that, AI can, and will, put words and tunes in the mouths of dead pop stars in a desperate attempt to keep them earning money. 

A moral, ethical, musical and financial storm is brewing and dead artists could be the ones most exploited here. Or maybe, just maybe, such Black Mirror-style dystopian thinking is overblown and AI will become a creative aid rather than a creative replacement. 

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LIFESTYLE
Harriet Gibsone

 

Music journalist and self-professed creep, Harriet Gibsone, lives in fear of her internet searches being leaked. Her latest book, Is This Ok? is an outrageously funny and painfully honest account of trying to find connection in the age of the internet – from bad MSN boyfriends, to the tyranny of Instagram mumfluencers. Harriet’s talk delves into the question of how far is too far when ‘stalking’ someone on the internet.

 


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LIVE MUSIC
Palace Avenue

 

Stalwarts of the London jazz scene and National Treasures in the making; Palace Avenue play the best in hot New Orleans jazz, good time swing and down low blues, guaranteed to get feet tapping. We are blessed to have their outfit as our Sunday Papers Live ‘house band’. 

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CROSSWORDS

Sons & Sons

Barely more coherent than toddlers themselves, our crossword gurus have been running the sillier side of Sunday for 5 years. Brush up on your charade skills for the live crossword challenges, but also pop down to their pub quiz and crafternoon crafts table full of crafty crafts. 

THE WALK

Antony Robbins

Antony is a former director of the Museum of London and loves the city of his birth. His tours delight in the discovery of the hidden, the secret and the lost. As Mr Londoner, Antony combines his fascination with the traditional and the quirky - alongside the ancient and the modern.

 

Mr Londoner explores Soho’s origins as monastic lands-cum-royal hunting ground. He then delves into the area’s rise and fall, and rise and fall – and rise again. Today Soho is one of our most diverse, creative and surprising London neighbourhoods. And we celebrate it, warts and all.

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