Hosts of daily podcast The News Agents to headline University of Hertfordshire’s Festival of Ideas

 15 April 2024 15 April 2024
15 April 2024

Two co-hosts of hit podcast The News Agents have been announced as headline speakers at the University of Hertfordshire’s Festival of Ideas.

Ex-BBC heavyweights Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall, whose careers have seen them interview prime ministers, public figures and even US presidents, will be sitting down exclusively for a Herts audience on Saturday 18 May.

Festivalgoers can expect them to discuss and unravel the latest news in politics and how it affects you, in a manner suitable for a family audience. Just like their hugely successful podcast, expect astute analysis and insightful explanations of current affairs – with a healthy dose of scepticism and humour.

Previously a correspondent for BBC World News, BBC North America Editor and presenter for BBC1’s The Politics Show, Jon Sopel is one of the most successful broadcast journalists in the UK.

Lewis Goodall was the Policy Editor for the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Newsnight, playing a significant role in the Corporation’s election coverage, and was also a political correspondent for Sky News.

Together, they launched The News Agents podcast with Global Media & Entertainment in August 2022, alongside fellow ex-BBC journalist Emily Maitlis. The daily podcast examines the big headlines from the last 24 hours and has featured interviews with the likes of Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, as well as celebrities like Olivia Coleman and Joe Lycett.

Jon Sopel said: “We’re very excited to be joining the University of Hertfordshire's Festival of Ideas this May. In what is shaping up to be a frenetic election year, it’s more important than ever to lift the lid on the issues facing families and communities across Britain."

Lewis Goodall said: "The news is first and foremost about the lives of ordinary people. At the Festival of Ideas, we’ll be discussing the impact of the headlines on us all and asking what role every generation has in shaping tomorrow.”

The University’s largest ever event, thousands of people have already registered their interest for the Festival of Ideas; a free, two-day, family-friendly festival on the university’s College Lane campus on 17 and 18 May. It will feature over 50 sessions showcasing the very best of the University’s research, enterprise and partnerships through workshops, talks, performances, exhibitions, immersive experiences and more.

Free web booking for the Festival of Ideas is currently open, with those interested in attending able to secure their festival ticket, plus book onto exclusive sessions available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire, said:

The News Agents is one of the most exciting current affairs shows to have launched in recent years and has really broken the mould in the world of journalism and politics. We are delighted to welcome Lewis and Jon to our Festival of Ideas and I hope everyone comes away having learned from their unparalleled insight into the corridors of power.”

Podcast hosts, The News Agents; Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall, live, will take place in the Amphitheatre Stage at 11.30 am on Saturday 18 May 2024.


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