Leeds International Festival of Ideas adds extra names to celebrity line up

YORKSHIRE'S inspirational broadcaster Stephanie Hirst, presenter and ex-politician Peg Alexander and renewable energy.expert Emma Young have been added to the line up for this year's Leeds International Festival of Ideas - now just one month away.

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Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 11:37 am
Yorkshire's inspirational broadcaster Stephanie Hirst

They will be joining all-star speakers including Katherine Ryan, Sir Lenny Henry, Evan Davis, Grace Dent, Amol Rajan and many more

BUY TICKETS: For full festival details and tickets visit www.leedsintfest.com

Alongside keynote events the festival - which runs from September 13 to 27 - will showcase thought-provoking panel discussions with titles such as “Can we ever be who we want to be?”, “Are we more lonely?” and “Does the future have enough food?”

LIFI has also announced its Discovery Zone will take place over the two weekends, September 18-19 and 25-26. One weekend will be dedicated to the future of food.Stephanie Hirst, a prominent face of gender transition, has been added to the “Can we ever be who we want to be?” panel event, alongside host Amrou Al-Kadhi, Gina Martin, Hashi Mohammed and Anne-Marie Imafidon.

She has spent a 30 year career in the broadcast industry on both BBC and commercial radio, along with 15-years hosting the biggest breakfast show outside of London on Capital. She is one of the UKs biggest radio names. Expanding into TV, she has presented for ITV’s Lorraine, The Jeremy Vine Show, BBC Breakfast, BBC Inside Out and written for The Guardian and The Independent.Starting her career aged 12 at Radio Aire in Leeds, securing a slot on the overnight show at 16, this took her on an unbelievable journey hosting some of the biggest commercial radio shows in the UK, including the National Sunday top 40 show ‘Hit40Uk’ for three years, along with interviewing some of the world’s biggest stars.

With over 15 awards (including Sony & ARIAs), she is a trustee and fellow of The Radio Academy, former Chair of the Student Radio Awards & recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Leeds Beckett University. She can now be heard nationally on Hits Radio.

Stephanie said: "It’s a true honour to be part of such an exciting festival in our wonderful city. To be included on this particular panel means we really can get stuck-in on discussing and debating why society finds it so difficult to accept equality for all. And, YES…from where I am sitting, you CAN be who you want to be - it’s not always easy, but it can be done - I’m living proof”.

Leeds own Peg Alexander will be joining the “Is the UK media broken?” panel, alongside host Evan Davis, Amol Rajan, Robyn Vinter, Alastair Campbell and Matthew Parris.

Peg said: “I’m so excited to be joining this important discussion at the fabulous Leeds International Festival of Ideas. Ideas, innovation and practical ways to change the world are part of our history in Leeds. It's so apt that we now have an international festival tackling some of the most interesting and challenging ideas of our time. None more so than the question of if we can believe what we see and hear in our news and media. And whose voices are the ones that have been heard? As someone working in news and current affairs but with a very female and Northern slant, and a non-confrontational approach to searching journalism, I can’t wait for the chance to be on home soil looking at ideas for how our London-centric media really could change.”

Emma Young is added to the Green or Growth? Panel, alongside host Michael Strachan, activist Noga Levy-Rapoport, Henri Muriston and Professor Paul Chatterton. Emma is VP Global Communications for Bulb Energy, a company dedicated to renewable energy. Emma is responsible for the company's communications strategy.LeedsBID is working alongside key partners including Leeds Corn Exchange, Leeds Heritage Theatre, Leeds City Council, Weightmans, and Bruntwood - to bring Leeds International Festival of Ideas to the city.

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Leeds presenter and ex-politician Peg Alexander

Twitter: @LeedsIntFest