Leeds International Festival of Ideas announces new headline speaker and hosts

There’s some new names to get excited about.

Joining the lineup at this year’s Leeds International Festival of Ideas, BAFTA nominated Christopher Eccleston will be taking to the stage as the final headline speaker on Saturday 30 September 2023.

The renowned actor will be sharing his story as a working class actor and how voices such as his need to be kept alive across the arts and culture scene in an event entitled ‘Arts and Culture – For the many; or the few?‘.

Christopher Eccleston joins LIFI. / Image: Supplied, C81

Another exciting new addition to the festival will be celebrated broadcaster Naga Munchetty, who will host ‘Other Side of the Coin’ a fireside chat with Sir Jon Cunliffe and Tom Duff Gordon disussing the future of currency.

Meanwhile BBC journalist Lotty Leeming will host Rob Rinder’s ‘Invisible Rule of Law’, hoping to shed light on the topic and challenge convensional notions.

Speaker and podcaster Sarah Powell is also announced today as the host for Ruby Wax OBE’s conversation around wellness, self-help and mindfullness.

Steven Bartlett’s talk about ‘A New Generation of Entrepreneurism‘ has already sold out but those with tickets can looking forward to the new host announcement of Anisa Morridadi.

Meanwhile fellow RuPaul’s Drag Race queen, actor and singer Divina De Campo will be hosting an insightful chat with headline speaker Bimini to talk about ‘A World Beyond The Binary’.

 Divina De Campo portrait.
Image: Divina De Campo is announced as the host for ‘A World Beyond The Binary’ with Bimini. / Image: Chapter 81

And finally with the new headline speaker announcement comes a new host announcement: Leeds’ own writer and producer Lisa Holdsworth will be chatting to newly announced Christopher Eccleston about arts and culture, bringing an insightful dialogue that will ‘allow attendees to explore the interplay between art, society, and personal experiences.’

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Martin Dickson, Leeds International Festival of Ideas has commented on the new additions: “We are over the moon to have someone like Christoper Eccleston headline this year’s festival. We think it will be a very telling event based around class and socio-economic background as barriers to culture. We have also just announced Naga Munchetty to lead the chat on digital currency with two already heavyweight contributors on the subject. Throwing in some real journalistic hosts and people at the top of their game, this year’s festival is going to be really special.

Leeds International Festival of Ideas Full Lineup

The full programme schedule is as followed:

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Davina McCall will be on the panel for ‘when will women’s health be taken seriously’. / Image: Chapter 81

7pm Panel: When will women’s health be taken seriously? with Davina McCall, Dr Christine Ekechi Lauren Mahon, Cherry Healey, Gabby Jahanshahi-Edlin and Kenny Ethan Jones

7.30pm Fireside chat: A New Generation Of Entrepreneurism with Steven Bartlett

Tickets are available here.

Thursday 28 September 2023

Bimini will be talking about ‘a world beyond the binary’. / Image: Chapter 81

7pm Panel: Could living The Good Life save the planet? with Matt Baker, Doug McMaster, Banjo Beale, Flavia Cacace and Clare Lewis

12pm Fireside chat: Invisible rule of law with Rob Rinder

7.30pm Fireside chat: A world beyond the binary with Bimini

Tickets are available here.

Friday 28 September 2023

My Journey to Mindfulness with Ruby Wax OBE is Friday’s fireside chat. / Image: Chapter 81

7pm Panel: What is our obsession with true crime? with Louise Shorter, Richard McCann, Coltan Scrivner, Gemma Whelan and Mark Williams-Thomas

7.30pm Fireside chat: My Journey to Mindfulness with Ruby Wax OBE

Tickets are available here.

Saturday 29 September 2023

Dame Prue Leith will be on the panel for ‘how do we talk about grief’. / Image: Chapter 81

2.30pm Panel: Who does our political system benefit? with Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Tom Brake, Magid Magid, Amber Rudd and Scarlett Westbrook

7pm Panel: How do we talk about grief? with Dame Prue Leith, Jamilla Hussain, Silvan Luley, Lucy Turner and Will Young

3pm Fireside chat: Other Side Of The Coin with Sir Jon Cunliffe and Tom Duff Gordon 

7.30pm Fireside chat: Arts and Culture – for the many; or the few? with Christopher Eccleston

Tickets are available here.

About Leeds International Festival of Ideas

Leeds International Festival of Ideas has announced its full festival lineup, and it’s combining some of the UK’s most influential speakers with some of the most important questions of our time.

Working in partnership with LeedsBID, The Hoot Leeds and Weightmans, the idea of the festival is to bring conversations to the surface, using a combination of panels, fireside chats and speeches to inspire, provoke and encourage discussions.

Questions vary from ‘what’s our obsession with true crime?’ to ‘who does our political system benefit?’ and ‘how do we talk about grief?’ – and this year’s lineup is perfectly certainly won’t be shying away from the hard questions.

The four day festival will take place from Wednesday 27 September – Saturday 30 September 2023

Feature Image – Supplied, C81

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