Sunday Papers Live


Alex Cox at a previous Sunday Papers Live event. Photo by Sebastian Barros

I don’t know about you but I love the Sunday papers. There’s something about switching off and immersing yourself in a labyrinthine world of information and entertainment that is just magical. Especially when it’s live. Celebrating late summer and the winding down of the festival season with their second and final London event of the year, Sunday Papers Live will be heading to Camden’s Cecil Sharp Folk House on September 10th 2017 for their #11 edition.

World news will come by way of Guardian star journo Matthew D’Acona in conversation with Times columnist and author David Aaronovitch. Comedians Shappi Khorsandi and Geoff Norcott tackle UK News. Sofar Sounds take on the Culture section with a selection of some of the finest unplugged acts. The science and technology section sees philosopher-scientist extraordinaire and co-writer of Ex Machina and World War Z Adam Rutherford. A panel of remarkable female adventurers including Anna McNuff, Lois Pryce, and Pip Stewart take on the travel section. And popular science writer Marcus Chown hosts a walk, taking you to the edge of the solar system via the top of Primrose Hill. And as no Sunday is complete without a roast dinner and lashings of red wine, big cosy arm chairs, a roaring fire, and conversations with like minded people, there will be plenty of that on offer too.

Sunday Papers Live came out of a conversation in 2012 between two festival producers, Ben DeVere and Joshua Greene. The guys organise festivals, which take a long time to build, but “you only see the fruits in the summer.” The idea was to create something a bit cosier for the downtime. Ben also loved how “our festival discussion tents have such a particular atmosphere of possibility and informality, and I was curious if we could replicate that in a city. I reckon we pulled it off.”

People get less and less of their news from newspapers these days. There’s something in the gathering together of Sunday Papers Live that replicates the old familiar feeling that a newspaper offers and news feeds don’t. They encourage people to slow down and focus on one thing at a time, and we delve into issues in depth. “I see the event as a part of the growing Slow Movement” says Ben, “We’re an anti-browse gig.”

I asked Ben who his favourite participant has been. “That’s impossible after nearly four years of amazing people… Jon Snow was brilliant. Eddie The Eagle had some incredible stories. For our very first event we had the world’s most prolific streaker reminisce about streaking the Superbowl and the Olympics. He was brilliant.”

Read more from Francesca Baker at

Filed under: Written & Spoken Word