The Cambridge Union line up for Michaelmas is out
Speakers include Caitlyn Jenner, Anthony Scaramucci and Sir Ian McKellen
With last Easter’s line up being described as ‘the best in decades’, it almost seemed inevitable that this years speakers would fail to match the enormity of Bernie Sanders, Michael Howard and Mary Berry. However, this termcard features another huge array of stars from politics, show-biz and sport. The Union have once again delivered for their members.
Following on from reality TV heavy Week 0, the Speakers card starts with BBC historian Simon Schama, best known for the documentary series a History of Britain, who will be interviewed by Radio 4’s Tom Sutcliffe. The next day American Talk Show host, Chelsea Handler of Netflix fame, will take the stage
Week 2 will kick off with 8000 Hours founder Will MacAskill, followed by another charity giant Michael Penrose, CEO of Unicef.
Later in the week, Union members will have the chance to experience the cultural phenomena that is Anthony Scaramucci. Infamous for his chaotic ten day stint as Trump’s Communications Director, The Mooch is sure to provide an interesting night at the Union.
Week 3 features a wide range of speakers, from UK Supreme Court President Baroness Hale (of Girtonian origins) to Dame Diana Rigg DBE, whose illustrious acting career has taken her from Shakespeare to Game of Thrones. Keeping with the GoT theme, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, better known as Jamie Lannister, will be featuring later in the term.
Ending the week, footballer Eni Aluko, rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi and Olympian Asha Phillip will host a ‘Women in Sport’ event.
Week 5 features two very different speakers, starting with Cornelia Parker OBE, infamous for ‘The Maybe’ exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, as well as holding the role of official artist of the 2017 general election.
Arguably one of the lineups biggest stars, Caitlyn Jenner will be speaking to students the following day. The Olympic Decathlete came out as transgender in 2015, when she was named Woman of the Year.
The following week, University Challenge stars and Radio 4 power couple Monkman and Seagull will be speaking on the topic of knowledge, before making way for the acting giant that is Sir Ian McKellen. McKellen’s career has spanned six decades, taking him from the stage to the screen.
Week 7 features Prince of Liechtenstein Hans-Adam the second, owner of LGT Banking Group with a net worth of $7.6 billion. Just don’t ask him for an internship.
Rounding off the line up, Week 8 takes a decisively political theme. Former PM of New Zealand Helen Clarke and Former PM of Australia Kevin Rudd will tell you all you need to know about South Pacific politics, while Robert Peston, Political Editor of ITV News (who you’ve probably seen on the TV) will be speaking on the current political climate at home and abroad.
On the debating side of things, four motions in particular catch the eye. “This house would rather be on reality TV” will feature Love Island pair Marcel Sommerville and Gaby Allen alongside Made In Chelsea stars Georgia Toffolo and Sam Thompson in the proposition. It's open to everyone, even non-members.
“This House would scrap tuition fees” will see the return of former CUSU president Amatey Doku, partnering with Daniel Zeichner MP and former transport secretary Dr Rebecca Montacute. On the opposition, NUS presidential candidate Tom Harwood, Spectator political correspondent Katy Balls and the Telegraph’s educational expert.
Turning to international politics, “This house regrets giving Russia the cold shoulder” will feature former Russia Today presenter Oksana Boyko and Vladimir Pozner, famous for representing the USSR during the Cold War. In the opposition, former Polish foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and Liberal democrat MP Tom Brake.
Finally, we have "This house has lost its faith in faith", with atheist author Ken Follett and, surprisingly, Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm arguing that we have. On the opposition, Russell Brand will argue that we should pay more attention to those who keep faith in our ever more secular world.
Union President Page Nyame-Satterthwaite said, “The termcard is a product of lots of voices, ideas and people working together. I have had an incredible team and hopefully that reflects in the outcome to make the Union one that puts members first, puts on lots of events (booked for the short term and long term), opens up debating for everyone, takes a critical approach to debate/speaker lineup as led by Maria and Olivia and is supported by a team of 55 that is accountable to the membership.”