Kate Adie. Kate grew up in Sunderland and gained her BA from Newcastle University where she read Swedish.
She became a familiar figure through her work as BBC Chief News Correspondent. She is consid-ered to be among the most reliable reporters, as well as one of the first British women, sending des-patches from danger zones around the world. Kate is also the long-serving presenter of Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent and a presenter or contributor to many other radio and television programmes.
As a television news correspondent, Kate’s memorable assignments include both Gulf Wars, four years of war in the Balkans, the final NATO intervention in Kosovo and elections in 2000; the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster at Zeebrugge, the massacre at Dunblane, the Selby rail crash, the SAS lifting of the Iran Embassy Siege in London, the Bologna railway station bombing and the Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing in 1989.
Kate carried out numerous assignments in Northern Ireland throughout "The Troubles" as well as reporting on the referendum to ratify the Good Friday Agreement. Kate covered the Lockerbie bombing and reported from Libya after the London Embassy siege of 1984, reporting from Libya many times thereafter, including the bombing of Tripoli by the US in 1986. She also covered the Rwandan Genocide and the British military intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War. Kate was awarded the OBE in 1993.
William Chislett was born in Oxford in 1951. He reported on Spain’s 1975-78 transition to democ-racy for The Times and between 1978 and 1984 he was based in Mexico City for The Financial Times. After two years in the head office of the FT in London, he returned to Madrid permanently in 1986. In the 1990s he wrote various books on Latin American countries. The Real Instituto Elcano, Spain’s leading think tank whose honorary chairman is King Felipe VI, has published four books of his on Spain since it was founded in 2002. He covers Spain for Elcano, including a monthly review of the main events in the country (Inside Spain). He has spoken on Spain at the universities of Harvard, Princeton, Chicago, Georgetown, London School of Economics, Oxford and The Econo-mist Roundtable on Spain, and has been a visiting scholar at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Centre, New York University, and at Bilkent University, Ankara. Oxford University Press (OUP) published his book on Spain in 2013 in its well-known series “What Everyone Needs to Know.
Tony Hawks is a TV and radio comedian and bestselling author. He is the author of the bestseller Round Ireland with a Fridge - the story of his absurd quest to hitch round the circumference of Ire-land within a month... with a fridge. After being serialised on Radio 4, the book became a top 10 Sunday Times bestseller. It has now sold over 800,000 copies worldwide including the US and Aus-tralia, and has been translated into several languages; Hebrew, Italian, Dutch and German.
Tony has written four other books, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis (also serialised on BBC R4 and shortlisted for both the Samuel Johnson Prize (2000) for non-fiction writing and the Bollinger Eve-ryman Wodehouse Prize (2000), One Hit Wonderland, A Piano in the Pyrenees, and The Fridgehik-er's Guide To Life. He has appeared frequently on TV comedy programmes such as, Have I Got News For You, They Think It’s All Over, and more recently QI. In the past he made numerous TV appear-ances including A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Red Dwarf. Tony is a regular guest on radio 4’s top com-edy programmes Just a Minute, and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and The Unbelievable Truth.
Nicholas Parsons began his working life as an engineering apprentice in the tough and harsh world of the Clydeside shipyards, where he worked for five years. He went for a time to Glasgow Univer-sity but gave up engineering to become an Actor.
His first job was as a Carroll Levis Discovery doing impersonations. He worked for two years in repertory, playing every conceivable role. Later he worked in the West End doing sophisticated cabaret, and then in variety, including six months as resident comedian at the famous Windmill the-atre. He did a lot of revues, was in MUCH BINDING IN THE MARSH, the Eric Barker shows, and then met up with Arthur Haynes and the partnership was formed that ran for 10 years and they became the top rated comedy show on ITV in the 60’s. They also appeared in an amazing season at the London Palladium called SWING ALONG. When the partnership broke up Nicholas worked for 3 years with Benny Hill in his television series.
In 1968 he was voted Radio Personality of the year for his satirical comedy show LISTEN TO THIS SPACE. At the same time JUST A MINUTE began on Radio 4, and he is still hosting this comedy game show after 47 years.
He works actively for a number of children’s charities and is ex-President of The Lord’s Taverners. He is an Ambassador for Childline and Silverline and a Barker of the Variety Club. He is a member of the Grand Order of Water Rats. He has been honoured by St Andrews University with a Doctor of Laws in recognition of his work as Rector there for three years. In 2003 he was given an OBE for services to the theatre and broadcasting and in 2013 he was honoured with a CBE for his work for charity.
Nicholas Rankin had a colonial childhood during the Mau Mau Emergency in Kenya, and spent much of his twenties in South America and Spain. He started writing aged 30. His first play adapted fictions by Jorge Luis Borges; his first short story was about the day that Franco died, and his first book, Dead Man’s Chest, followed Robert Louis Stevenson from Scotland to Western Samoa.
Nick worked for BBC World Service radio at Bush House for twenty years, ending up as Chief Pro-ducer. His series A Green History of the Planet won two UN awards. Another of his radio documen-taries led to his second book, Telegram from Guernica, the biography of the war-correspondent George L. Steer. He followed this with the best-selling Churchill’s Wizards, a study of camouflage and deception in both world wars, and then with Ian Fleming’s Commandos, the story of 30 Assault Unit, the Naval Intelligence battalion founded by the future creator of James Bond.
Nick has been visiting Gibraltar regularly since 2013, researching and writing his latest work (forth-coming from Faber in 2017), Defending the Rock: Gibraltar at war 1935-1945. The book explores the courage and resilience of the peninsula and its strategic importance during a crucial period of mod-ern history.
Maggie Gee is a novelist and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She has pub-lished twelve novels, including The Ice People, My Cleaner, My Driver and The White Family, shortlisted for the Orange Prize and International Impac Prize, collected short stories, The Blue, and a writer’s memoir, My Animal Life (2010). Her most recent novel is Virginia Woolf in Manhattan (2014), which brings Virginia Woolf back to life in New York and Istanbul.
Her next novel, provisionally called Luke’s Tale, continues the ‘climate change’ theme of her earlier books The Ice People, Where Are the Snows and The Flood. It will, by some magic she hasn’t yet achieved, bring together Neanderthals driven by a cooling Europe down to Gibraltar’s Gorham’s Cave, the ‘black’ Goyas, and climate refugees of the late 21st century. If that sounds impossible, she has always enjoyed a challenge. Born on the coast, she loves shore-lines and is fascinated by the culture, history and ecology of Gibraltar.
Maggie’s books have been translated into 14 languages; in 2012 an international conference about her writing was held at St Andrew's University, and in the same year she was awarded the OBE for services to literature. She is married to Nicholas Rankin.
Christopher Lloyd is the founder of What on Earth Publishing Ltd, the company behind the What on Earth? wall book. His books include What on Earth Happened? and What on Earth Evolved? Lloyd’s presentations, featuring his wall books and his coat of many pockets, are extremely popular in schools and at literary festivals across the UK.
Felix Francis is a New-York-Times and London-Times bestselling author of mystery thrillers. He is the younger son of legendary thriller-writer, Dick Francis, and, since 2006, has taken over the writ-ing of the ‘Dick Francis’ franchise. As Felix says, “It was as much a surprise to me as to everyone else,” when, after a suggestion by his father’s literary agent, Felix tried his hand at writing and found himself regularly on the bestseller lists around the world. Felix’s previous occupations included teaching Advanced Level physics in England as well as being deputy chairman of a worldwide expe-dition and leadership training company in London. For a while in the 1990s he also ran a real estate business in Houston, Texas.
Gulliem Balague is well known as a commentator on Spanish football on Sky TV, appearing on both live match coverage and the weekly round-up show Revista de la Liga. He is UK correspondent for the Madrid sports newspaper AS and writes for The Times. His previous books include Ronaldo, Messi, Barça and Pep Guardiola.
Minister for Tourism Gilbert Licudi said. “It’s great to see that we have some participants that are eager to come back to the Rock as a testament the success and prestige of our festival. The fact that so many of our previous participants express a wish to come back and that our audiences give them a cherished welcome every time, is another reflection of the Festival’s consistency and prestige.”