Page last updated at 08:00 GMT, Monday, 5 April 2010 09:00 UK

Line up of Hay Festival announced

Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf stood down as leader of Pakistan in 2008

Current and former presidents join literary heavyweights among the line up for this year's Hay Festival.

The political world is represented by former Pakistan leader Pervez Musharraf while playwright Tom Stoppard appears from the world of literature.

Other writers include Martin Amis, Zadie Smith and 2009 Man Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel.

The event, held in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, from 27 May to 6 June, is expected to draw more than 100,000 people.

Now in its 23rd year, the festival has a reputation for attracting the biggest names in literature, as well as political figures, cultural commentators, musicians and comedians.

Previous guests have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2009, former Beatle Paul McCartney and ex-US presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Clinton, who was the star of the show in 2001, famously described the festival as the "Woodstock of the mind".

This year's biggest political name is the former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, who stood down in 2008, talking about the future of the country.

Hay Festival site
The Hay Festival is expected to attract more than 100,000 people

After the 11 September attacks in New York and Washington, he declared his support for the United States and became a key player in the American-led war on terror.

The president of Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed, will talk to the UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary - and Labour's election co-ordinator - Ed Miliband about climate change and building democracy in a Muslim nation.

Other political interest includes an interpreter for several French presidents, Amanda Galsworthy, talking about the "perils and pitfalls of being at the top table".

In a town of book shops, authors including Philip Pullman, Roddy Doyle and Kazuo Ishiguro are also sure to draw big crowds.

Hay Festival founder and director Peter Florence said: "If you're interested in the world and in people, in love and death, in what is the best thing to do and how to be happy, then Hay is a great place to be.

"We have ideas, stories, jokes and songs, and people who want to talk - and to listen."

Mr Florence will be in discussion with writers including Stoppard and South-African Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer.

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