Amusing speakers to laugh along with

ARE you game for a laugh? If so, these could be the events for you at this year’s Wells Festival of Literature – starting with the funny old mathematical world of Marcus du Sautoy.

So you never thought maths could be funny? Then you have not come across the renowned mathematician’s book Around the World in 80 Games in which he explores the link between mathematics and games.

From around the globe he looks at the origins of old and new games, from Whist to Wordle, Hopscotch to Scrabble, explores how the simplest games endure, and also how to invent a good game. It is about the mathematics of chance, gaming strategies, computer games and how mathematics and games are interconnected.

So get on board for a speaker whose book is suitable for anyone between the ages of eight and 108.

You may not have thought of the priesthood as comic either. Again, you would be wrong as the Reverend Fergus Butler-Gallie, pictured, proves in his mirthful memoir Touching Cloth.

It is a love letter to the Prayer Book, to Liverpool, funerals, cake tins, lager and to what the Church of England can be at its best.

The Reverend has ministered in parishes in Liverpool and Central London, has also spent time working in the Czech Republic and South Africa, and is the author of two best-sellers and numerous articles in the press.

Yet another unlikely source of humour is the world of immunology as seen by Luke O’Neill, a top immunologist with both the wit and talent for cutting through the noise.

In his latest work To Boldly Go Where No Book Has Gone Before he delivers a spellbinding – often hilarious – history of (almost) the entirety of science.

He tells the zigzag story of how we got to this moment in human history, tackling some of the great questions of our age from Artificial Intelligence to climate catastrophe. Not much to laugh at there, you might think, but it’s the way he tells it that has already made him a best-selling science writer with his previous book Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here’s The Science.

These are just three of the festival’s exciting line-up of speakers. For times, dates and details of how to book tickets look out for the festival brochure, out now in various venues around the city, or go online at