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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 07:30 GMT
Oddie spotted at science festival
Bill Oddie
Bill Oddie is set to cause a flutter at the festival
A week-long science festival opens in Wrexham on Monday with the aim of bring bringing the world of science and nature to life.

Guests at the event, the largest its kind in England and Wales, include psychic Uri Geller and botanist David Bellamy.

Ken Dodd, comedian
Ken Dodd: A guide to laughter

More than 15,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival which has 200 events covering topics ranging from the creation of virtual limbs to a cure for cancer.

Festival spokesman Gareth Wheatley said a number of the workshops, being held at more than a dozen venues, had already sold out.

"I am sure we will attract more visitors this year but we have a lot of returners - people are coming from much further afield," he said.

Celebrity weatherman Fred Talbot will open the event and go on to host a talk on weather systems on other planets.

Birdwatcher and television presenter Bill Oddie will be giving a talk on his lifelong passion for birds - and his desire to find the Birds of Paradise in New Guinea.

Festival diary highlights:
Bill Oddie - Monday, 7.30pm, Newi William Aston Hall
The Body Electric - Tuesday, 12.30om, Wynnstay Arms Hotel
The Polymer Link - Wednesday, 12.10pm, Newi A02
The Business Forum - Thursday, 9.15am, Redwither Tower
David Bellamy - Friday, 7.30pm, Yale Studio Theatre
Uri Geller - Saturday, 6pm, Newi William Aston Hall

Highlights of the first day of the festival include an in-depth study of the mighty forces involved inside volcanoes and an inside view into the world of herbal medicine.

One of the high points of the festival is expected to be an audience with psychic Uri Geller, who will be at the North East Wales Institute on Saturday, 23 March.

Geller became well known to television audiences in the 1970s for his claims to read minds, mend viewers' broken watches through mind-power alone and for bending spoons using the same technique.

Click here to join the Uri Geller challenge!

Comedian Ken Dodd will present a humorous study into what makes people laugh, revealing his UK Giggle Map.

Some of the week's other special talks include a hard-hitting look on Thursday at the health risks from mobile phones and, on Saturday, a revealing look at the world of marine archaeology.
David Bellamy
David Bellamy will discuss the world's ecology

Demolition expert Fred Dibnah is expected to bring the house down with explosive tales from his life's work and a personal look at Wrexham's industrial heritage.

The inventor of the clockwork radio, Trevor Bayliss, is one of the key speakers at a special evening being staged by Wrexham Business Forum on Thursday, 21 March.

Bayliss shot to fame after producing the world's first wind-up radio, which is now being sold round the world.

The festival was set up in 1998 and has been organised by Wrexham County Borough Council, Yale college, North East Wales Institute (Newi), the Welsh Development Agency and Education and Learning Wales.

More news from north east Wales
See also:

13 Mar 02 | Wales
Geller tests web bending powers
07 Sep 98 | Sci/Tech
Science under the microscope
03 Sep 01 | Glasgow 2001
Physicist honoured for pub cabarets
06 Sep 00 | Festival of science
Sparking interest in science
06 Sep 00 | Festival of science
The BA festival factfile
14 Feb 02 | Boston 2002
Small world, big science
17 Feb 00 | Washington 2000
Science steps into a new age
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