A HOST of famous faces hope to spark debates on a series of subjects during a string of public lectures.
Olympian Steve Cram, film producer Lord David Puttnam, former Sunderland MP Chris Mullin and children’s author Terry Deary make up just a handful of speakers at Sunderland university’s public lecture series.
Topics set to be tackled include sport, science, politics, television, film and literature.
Based in the Murray Library, each of the lectures aims to inform and encourage debate about the topics among the general public.
The series starts on October 18 and is free of charge to everyone.
Celebrated speakers will continue the talks until May 2013. A few of the scheduled speakers have close ties to Sunderland.
The lecture series opener will be a talk from University of Sunderland chancellor Steve Cram. He replaced fellow lecture speaker Lord Puttnam as chancellor in 2009.
Steve, of Jarrow, is also a BBC commentator and former world 1,500 metres champion.
The 1984 Olympic silver medallist will begin the lectures with a reflection on the impact and legacy of the London Games.
His lecture will be followed by former Sunderland South MP Chris Mullin.
Mr Mullin, an honorary degree recipient from the university, will discuss the three volumes of his famous diaries on November 8.
The diaries focus on a 16-year period of New Labour’s rise and fall.
He will be signing books after the lecture.
Scientist and former filmmaker Lord Puttnam will also give a lecture in March.
Sunderland children’s author Terry Deary’s talk will wrap up the lecture series in May.
The author of the Horrible Histories series also serves as an ambassador of the city.
Additional speakers throughout the year include news broadcaster Alastair Stewart, scientist Robert Winston, crime writer Val McDermid and BBC historian Michael Wood.
There will also be a talk on politics and education from MP Estelle Morris, who is also pro-vice chancellor of Sunderland University.
The public lectures will be held at the City Campus Lecture Theatre in Murray Library.
Anyone interested in more information about the events should phone 515 3383 or to email firstname.lastname@example.org.