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Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Jordan Peterson and Baroness Hale among those scheduled to appear at the Cambridge Union



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Stephen Fry, John Cleese and Dame Marina Warner, president of the Royal Society of Literature, are just three of the top names lined up to appear at the Cambridge Union this term.

Oscar Wilde and George Orwell debate at the Cambridge Union on January 23, 2020
Oscar Wilde and George Orwell debate at the Cambridge Union on January 23, 2020

The Union – the oldest debating society in the world – will also host two balls and 11 debates, welcoming academic heavyweights such as Terry Eagleton and Simon Blackburn.

The first debate of this Michaelmas term, ‘This house has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government’, was held last Thursday (October 7). Speaking for the motion were Labour’s Wes Streeting MP and Polly Mackenzie, chief executive of cross-party think tank Demos, while speaking against were Conservative politician James Cleverly MP and GB News correspondent Tom Harwood.

The inside of the newly refurbished bar area of the Cambridge Union. Picture: Keith Heppell
The inside of the newly refurbished bar area of the Cambridge Union. Picture: Keith Heppell

Tomorrow’s debate (Thursday, October 14) is titled ‘This house regrets the Obama years’, and speakers include Julie Norman, a lecturer in politics at University College London, and journalist Ewen MacAskill. Those scheduled to speak at upcoming debates include comedian Shazia Mirza and political commentator Trevor Phillips.

Jeremy Corbyn at the Cambridge Union, June 10 2021. Picture: Nordin Ćatić
Jeremy Corbyn at the Cambridge Union, June 10 2021. Picture: Nordin Ćatić

Also set to address the union are, among others, Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission to the UK (Tuesday, October 19), Katalin Karikó, inventor of the mRNA vaccine (Monday, November 1), former England footballer Gary Neville (Wednesday, November 10), Monty Python star John Cleese (Friday, November 12), clinical psychologist and author Jordan Peterson (Wednesday, November 24), actor, writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry (Friday, November 26), and TV chef Nadiya Hussain (December).

Others, such as former Health Secretary Matt Hancock and ex-Grantchester actor James Norton, are due to appear but the exact dates have not been finalised - while Baroness Hale has been confirmed as a speaker for Lent 2022.

The exterior of the Cambridge Union. Picture: Keith Heppell
The exterior of the Cambridge Union. Picture: Keith Heppell

For more on these events, and to find out who else is set to make an appearance, go to cus.org.

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