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Insights into the world of Britain’s real-life spooks


A new series of Insights public lectures and Live lunchtime concerts begins with a look at the history of Britain's real life spooks.

Professor Christopher Andrew of Cambridge University, will begin the Insights programme on Tuesday February 5, with a talk on MI5 from the Kaiser to Al-Qaeda. Illustrated with declassified photos of intelligence operations, it will look at how the role of the intelligence service has changed in the last century. Other highlights of the programme include the inaugural Newcastle Jubilee Development Lecture by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on April 23 and the Sophia Lecture, which will this year be given by Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder and Chief Executive of Kids Company. Around 1.5 million children are maltreated every year, and this lecture on Tuesday March 5, will look at new ways they can be cared for.

Charity campaigner Sarah Brown will give the Fickling lecture on Developments in Children’s Literature, on April 25. She will speak about the Education for All campaign she and her husband former Prime Minister Gordon Brown are involved in, an explain how children’s literature can be the starting point of good learning.

Professor Frances Spalding, Chair of the Insights lecture programme, said: "Once again we have a fantastic and diverse line-up of speakers. There really is something for everyone, with lectures looking at topics ranging from Alexander the Great, the future of the Eurozone, to the discovery of expanding, contracting, bouncing and spinning Universes."??

February will also see the return of the popular Live in the King’s Hall lunchtime music concerts, which take place every Thursday at 1.10pm.

Among the highlights will be a performance by the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band, which will include new works composed by Newcastle University students, as well as Philip Sparke's Diamond Concerto for Euphonium. The programme begins on Thursday February 7 with d'Annunzio and the Pre-Raphaelites, an exploration of the links between Italian bad-boy poet Gabriele d'Annunzio and the Pre-Raphaelites he admired.??

Visit the Insights and Live websites for full listings of the programmes which get underway this week.

Pictured: Professor Christopher Andrews, who will give an Insights lecture on MI5 form the Kaiser to Al-Qaeda

published on: 4 February 2013