Broadcaster James Naughtie returns to Aberdeen to give free public lecture

Broadcaster James Naughtie returns to Aberdeen to give free public lecture

Distinguished broadcaster and journalist James Naughtie will return to the north-east to give a lecture in celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens.

Naughtie, a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, will give the institution’s Centre for the Novel Annual Lecture for 2012, entitled ‘An Age for Dickens?’

In the free public lecture, on October 11, he will consider the relevance of Dickens' fiction and journalism to the modern political scene.

The event forms part of a season of Dickens celebrations at the University which has also seen actress Miriam Margoyles present her one-woman show to a sell out audience. On November 8 the series continues with Dickens' biographer and critic Michael Slater.

Naughtie, who grew up in Huntly and studied English at the University of Aberdeen, began his career as a journalist in 1975 at the Aberdeen Press & Journal, moving to the London offices of The Scotsman in 1977. The following year he joined the paper's Westminster staff, and became its Chief Political Correspondent. In 1981, he worked for The Washington Post as the Laurence Stern fellow on its national staff. Naughtie joined The Guardian in 1984, and became its Chief Political Correspondent in 1985.

In 1986, Naughtie moved into radio presenting, presenting The Week In Westminster moving to The World At One in 1988. Naughtie has been a presenter of the televised Proms since 1992, and has also presented opera programmes such as Radio 3's Opera News.  In 1994 he became one of the main presenters of Radio 4's Today programme.

He will join prestigious company in presenting the annual lecture of The Centre for the Novel - a research centre based in the School of Language and Literature at the University of Aberdeen which runs a range of academic activities and events from seminars and workshops to international scholarly conferences.

Previous presenters are eminent writers and critics from across the spectrum of literary interest including Margaret Atwood, John Sutherland, Michele Roberts, John Mullan, and Sophie Hannah.

Dr Hazel Hutchison, Director of the Centre for the Novel at the University of Aberdeen, said; “It's lovely to welcome James Naughtie back to the campus, and it is inspiring for our students to see where a University of Aberdeen degree can take you in life. 

“All year, the University has been running events to celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens' birth, and this lecture will be one of the highlights. 'An Age for Dickens?' is right at the heart of what the Centre for the Novel is all about - by reading great fiction, we don't just find out about the past, but we can also expand the ways in which we think about the world around us today.”

‘An Age for Dickens?’ will take place on Thursday October 11 at 6pm in the 11 October 2012 18:00MacRobert Lecture Theatre, Kings College, University of Aberdeen.

Admission is free, but booking is advised by visiting