This Sunday I’ll be speaking at York Festival of Ideas about universities and detective fiction, and you’re welcome to attend. Even if you can’t get to York. Because, of course, this is an unusual year and I won’t actually be in York. Instead, the three speakers who would have been on this panel – Dr. Sarah Olive (scholar of literature and education), David Lascelles (producer of several series of Inspector Morse, and myself – have each recorded short talks, and then recorded an online chat with each other. This will be broadcast online at 11am (GMT) on Sunday 20th, with at least one of us around in the broadcast space, and then it will be available to view generally after that. It’s absolutely free, but you just need to sign up for a ticket to get access during the broadcast:
It was really good fun chatting with David and Sarah, and hearing their perspectives about the meaning of detective fiction and how it reflects and recasts the world around us. Sarah’s talk has some intriguing insights into how Morse’s Oxford works as a critique of contemporary culture, and I haven’t seen David’s talk, but we are promised behind-the-scenes stories about what it was like making Morse!
It was a slightly odd experience making the panel like this, though lots of us have had rather too much practice over the last twelve months and more in giving talks and presentations (and even sermons and seminars) remotely. It’s rather swings-and-roundabouts in my case: I’d much rather have been in York, sitting next to David and Sarah, and nattering in front of an audience who could ask us questions in the same moment. But, given time and space and other constraints, I might well not have been able to make it up to York, and lots of people can now watch the panel who couldn’t (including, I suspect a lot of you reading this!)
Anyway, you’d be very welcome to “join” us at the festival, and I hope you enjoy it if you do. I am still rather cheered by David’s reply to my suggestion about the shooting and editing of the opening of the first ever Inspector Morse episode…