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Monday, 9 April, 2001, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Clinton to speak at book festival
Clinton
Bill Clinton: Coming to the UK next month
Former US President Bill Clinton is to speak at this year's prestigious Hay Festival on what will be his first public engagement in the UK since ending his presidential term.

Festival organisers confirmed Mr Clinton's UN-sponsored lecture on racism and conflict would take place on 26 May. Members of the audience will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

Festival Secretary Peter Florence told The Sunday Times: "I'm thrilled. The British public have not had a chance to question him in this way before."

Hay-on-Wye has a population of 1,300 and 39 bookshops, but the 10-day book festival attracts some 50,000 visitors from around the world.

Foot-and-mouth

Van Morrison
Van Morrison is making a return visit to Hay
However, the area on the Welsh-English border has been badly hit by foot-and-mouth and festival organisers are keeping a close eye on the crisis.

The final programme is set to be announced later this month.

The Hay Festival is due to start on 25 May and authors already booked to appear this year include Louis de Bernieres, Margaret Atwood, Nick Hornby and Frank McCourt.

Van Morrison is due to give a special concert on 1 June.

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