26th May, 2017

All talk at Leamington's Spa Centre

Ian Hughes 11th May, 2017

IT will be all talk at Leamington’s Spa Centre in the coming weeks.

As part of its spoken word programme the centre will welcome historian David Starkey, writer Germaine Greer and former ski jumper Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards.

Starkey draws on his unique knowledge of Henry VIII’s reign on the one hand, and his insights as a leading commentator on modern politics on the other, to illuminate both the Tudor age and that of our own.

In Henry VIII: The 1st Brexiteer on May 31, Starkey will tell how Henry VIII bestrides our history like a colossus and the decisions he took still reverberate today. He will point toThe Reformation as the first Brexit, that Henry’s ministers devised the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty and his tumultuous personal life pitted religion against politics as brutally as in our own age of Isis.

Australian-born writer Germaine Greer regarded as one of the major voices of the second-wave feminist movement in the latter half of the 20th century will also have some points to make in Women for Life on Earth on June 1.

She said: “Feminists can be found wherever the planet and our fellow earthlings are in trouble. They shepherd stranded cetaceans back into deeper water, stand in front of lorries carrying live animals to slaughter, lash themselves to conveyor belts in protest against the logging of old-growth forests, march and lobby against the threat of fracking. The action they cannot be moved to take on their own behalf, they take on behalf of the planet. If the planet is to survive and human beings continue to inhabit it, this female energy must be unleashed.”

On a lighter note, Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards is a unique British sporting hero with an incredible story to tell.

The world’s ninth-fastest amateur downhill speed skier went on to become Great Britain’s first Olympic ski-jumper, who missed out on medals by some distance, but won the hearts of the nation with his plucky, positive attitude and down-to-earth persona and emerged as a star of the Calgary ’88 Winter Olympics, returning to Britain as an overnight sporting celebrity.

In Try Hard on June 6, Edwards talks through his life-journey, from self-learning ski-jumping and being shunned by the sporting establishment, to the extensive surgery to rebuild his face and body following years of spectacular crashes on the snow as he set out to break world-records in stunt jumping and speed-skiing.

He will also touch on everything from bankruptcy through trustees’ mismanagement, to gaining a Law degree, and even how he became a most unlikely pop star in Finland.

All talks are suitable for ages 16 plus.

Visit www.royalspacentreandtownhall.co.uk for tickets and further details.