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HEROES: Jimmy Wales interviews Stewart Lee

5th July 2017 · 7:45pm - 9:30pm

In person | Virtual event

 HEROES: Jimmy Wales interviews Stewart Lee

Join us for a unique meeting of minds. Wikipedia founder and tech pioneer Jimmy Wales meets his hero: BAFTA winning comedian Stewart Lee.

Throughout 2017 The School of Life will host a unique series of life events called HEROES, in which we explore how people influence and learn from one another. We invite one of the central figures of our times to nominate a personal hero from a different field – a cultural icon whose work they have longed admired from afar. We bring the pair together on stage for a unique and rich conversation.

The comedian Stewart Lee has long fascinated Wikipedia founder and pioneer of the digital age Jimmy Wales. An iconoclastic, anti-populist stand-up famed for his devastating takedowns of jingoists, nativists and bullyboys, Lee is beloved by fans of smart satire and absurd humour. The Times call him ‘the comedian’s comedian, and for good reason’, while for novelist Will Self he is ‘perhaps the most intelligent comedian ever to tread British boards.’

In Stewart Lee’s hands, stand-up comedy becomes a weapon against a rising tide of nationalism, bigotry and reaction. Olivier award winning Jerry Springer – The Opera provoked a furore from religious pressure groups; his attempt to beat the presenters of Top Gear at their own game earned him a drubbing in the tabloid press; and his merciless satirical columns in the Guardian frequently provoke hatred and outrage from self-described enemies of the politically correct Metropolitan liberal elite.

Join us as we discover why one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in the world, Jimmy Wales, has nominated Stewart Lee as his hero.


Internet and technology entrepreneur Jimmy Wales is founder of the online non-profit encyclopaedia Wikipedia and co-founder of the privately owned Wales serves on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit charitable organisation he established to operate Wikipedia. He is also executive chairman of The People’s Operator PLC, a London based mobile phone company. In January 2016 Wales became a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group In 2006 Jimmy was named in Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ for his role in creating Wikipedia.

Stewart Lee is ‘one of the top three or four living stand ups’ (Time Out). His BBC series Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle won a BAFTA and two British Comedy Awards. He co-wrote and directed the Olivier award winning Jerry Springer The Opera and is the author of the books How I Escaped My Certain Fate, If You Prefer a Milder Comedian Please Ask For One, and most recently, Content Provider. He has hosted radio documentaries on Native American Clowns, Satanic music, free jazz, psychedelic pagan kids’ TV, Radiophonics, and Morris Dancing. He is also the voice of a Tarantula spider in an exhibit at London Zoo. Stewart has two children and has lived in Stoke Newington, Hackney, London since the 1990s.

19.20       Venue opens
19.45       Talk begins
20.45       Audience Q&A
21.30       Event ends

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