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The Happiness Lecture with Gyles Brandreth

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Quirky legacy that brings happiness to Birmingham
There's a charming tradition that takes place every year at Birmingham University and brings a little bit of happiness to those lucky enough to get a free ticket.

It's called The Baggs Memorial Happiness Lecture and is due to the bequest of former Birmingham University graduate, Thomas Baggs, who left the organisation a donation on one condition - that an annual public lecture on happiness took place.

Gyles Brandreth carries out this year's annual lecture on happiness at Birmingham University

And keeping to that promise, every year a guest high profile speaker is selected to talk about "happiness".

It may be a general title, but that leads to many a varied and insightful lecture from those special enough to deliver the speech.

Speakers have included actors, authors, economists and celebrities including Peter Ustinov, Alastair Campbell, Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and writer Alexander McCall Smith, of the Ladies Detective Agency fame.

This year, the lecture will be delivered by author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth at Birmingham University's Great Hall on June 17.

Brandreth, who is a reporter on BBC1's The One Show and regular on BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute, is also a former MP and Government whip.

But whether he focuses on what happiness actually is or how to achieve it, the most important fact is that it will be the continuation of a charming tradition guaranteed to bring a moment of happiness.

For ticket details on this year's Happiness Lecture, visit: Birmingham University Events webpage
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Why? Quirky event that will make you smile
When: June 17
Where: University of Birmingham Great Hall
Cost: Free
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