Ai Weiwei, Nick Clegg, Heston Blumenthal, Lord Sugar and Hollywood legends galore

The Union lineup revealed

alien Cambridge Union Debating Eurovision george takei Hollywood lord alan sugar Nick Clegg paddy ashdown politics sigourney weaver stanley tucci star trek

The Union’s highly impressive Easter term line-up has been revealed, with 13 speakers, 6 debates and (most importantly) the Eurovision Final being shown live in the chamber.

Between them, the star studded lineup has 1 Bafta, 1 GLAAD award, 1 former Deputy PM, 2 Emmys, 3 Michelin stars, 4 Oscar nominations and 4 Golden Globes.

It appears that following  the immense success of Mark Hamill at the Union last term, the Union has continued along the popular culture line, with many Hollywood stars featured in the lineup.

Sci-Fi fans will rejoice, as Sigourney Weaver ‘Queen’ of the genre is due to appear on May the 4th (be with you). The Golden Globe winning actress has graced the silver screen in many cult films, including Alien, Avatar and Ghostbusters.

Star Wars last term, Star Trek this term - the Union is going intergalactic

Star Wars last term, Star Trek this term – the Union is going intergalactic

Continuing along the Sci-Fi line is George Takei who starred in the original Star Trek series (the better of the intergalactic film series, fight me Star Wars fans). However he has since become better known for his political activism. Winner of a GLAAD award and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project, Takei has made himself well known as a defender of LGBT+ rights.

Other famous individuals taking to the Chamber include actor, writer and director Stanley Tucci, known for The Lovely Bones and The Hunger Games series, world famous businessmen Lord Alan Sugar who is perhaps known better for being bulldog of the boardroom on The Apprentice, Chef Heston Blumenthal, and Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei.

Will Heston cook up a storm? Or flop like an undercooked soufflé?

Will Heston cook up a storm? Or flop like an undercooked soufflé?

Former Deputy Prime Minister, former Liberal Democrat Leader, Robinson College alumnus, and famous tuition fees pledge-maker Nick Clegg will also be making a return to Cambridge on 27th April. Lord James Palumbo, a Liberal Democrat peer better know known for founding the Ministry of Sound (a club that has nothing on Life and Cindies…) is also included in the lineup.

Lets hope Clegg can get the attention of the Chamber more than he got the attention of the electorate...

Students are Cleggie’s favourite type of audience.

For those interested in politicians whose party was not destroyed in the previous General Election, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark and Secretary-General of Nato is due to speak in June.

As always, the debates included in the lineup are closely related to ongoing topics, with highlights including “This House believes in Political Debate not Political Correctness”, and in preparation for the upcoming EU referendum, “This House believes the UK is better off in the EU”, featuring Lord Paddy Ashdown, former Lib Dem Leader speaking for the Proposition.

Lord Bilimoria, a Cantab who recently made the news through his involvement in the Panama Papers scandal will also feature in the Presidential Debate on the future of the Labour Party alongside, among others, journalists Toby Young, Isabel Hardman, and Dan Hodges.

Yep, he's coming to the Union

Yep, Lord Bilimoria

Other events put on by the Union include a screening of the Eurovision Final in the Chamber, a Non-Monogamy and Gender Panel Event led by the UniCORNS, and a Women in Leadership special event, reflecting on the challenges still faced by women in business and the best way to tackle them.

We will be able to experience the joy of alcohol, terrible outfits and cheesy songs in a more sophisticated location #socambridge

We will be able to experience the joy of alcohol, terrible outfits and cheesy songs in a more sophisticated location #socambridge

Union President and Tab #1 BNOC Charlotte Ivers told The Tab  “I’m particularly excited about the women in leadership event that we are holding just before May Week to mark the 30th term with a woman as President at the Union. The first few women to become President of the Union had to overcome incredible barriers to do so, and have since gone on achieve great things in their chosen fields, from law to politics. They are really inspiring people and I am really looking forward to welcoming them to the Union.”

It looks like the Union will be a welcome break for many students in the monotony of exam term.