Conversation Pieces

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Tue 10 & Thu 19 Oct


Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s popular lunchtime talks series returned at the start of October with Joan Bakewell discussing her inspirational broadcasting career and life as a woman in her seventies. This fortnight, strapping lads James Cracknell (twice Olympic gold medallist in rowing) and Ben Fogle (TV presenter, travel writer and lover of the outdoors) explain how they were first to cross the line in the 2005-06 Atlantic Rowing Race after battling extreme weather, dehydration, blisters and severe exhaustion. The chaps set a new British record, traversing the pond in a time of 49 days, 19 hours and 8 minutes, although after penalties they were placed second in the pairs competition. A book chronicling the expedition, The Crossing: Conquering the Atlantic in the World’s Toughest Rowing Race is out on Oct 12, and both promise they won’t be doing it again.

Jeremy Paxman appears the following week, talking about his new tome On Royalty, which examines the blue-bloods of the British Establishment. Inspecting the history of the monarchy, the role of the head of state and the controversial question of abolition, he asks, what does it mean to be royal? Paxo, much respected as an investigative journalist and close to being a political institution himself, is sure to leave no question unanswered.

November and December bring discussions from curry colossus Charan Gill, reformed gangster Paul Ferris, arts luminary Richard Demarco and Scottish actor David Hayman. If that’s not enough to satisfy, there’s a lunch club before each talk, with soup, sandwiches, a piece of cake, and unlimited tea and coffee for the princely sum of £5.50.

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