Gavin Esler - How Britain Ends

Photo by Jeff Overs

Gavin Esler is an award-winning broadcaster and podcaster, journalist and writer.  He is the author of five novels and four non-fiction books.  Best known for his reporting and presenting work at the BBC, Gavin has been the main presenter on Dateline London on the BBC News Channel and BBC World.  He was formerly the BBC’s Chief North America Correspondent for eight years, based in Washington and frequently reporting from the White House, mostly during the Clinton presidency.  On returning to the UK, he joined the presenting team on the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs programme Newsnight.  He left the BBC in 2018.


In his latest book How Britain Ends, Gavin explores the possibility of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland reinventing itself, or even coming to an end.  The book examines what “being British” might mean in the 21st century – if anything – and whether the UK, which has reinvented itself every century since 1603, can begin a further restructuring for the 21st century. Drawing on Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English literature and culture, Gavin asks whether a federal structure could in the end save the union, or whether what he calls “the elephant in the bed” – England itself – may itself ensure that the competing nationalisms on these islands mean the United Kingdom is inevitably coming to an end.


“Both timely and provocative.“  (Alex Massie, The Sunday Times)


“An eloquent, forensic examination of resurgent English nationalism as the force that has driven Brexit and may now break up the United Kingdom.” (Jonathan Coe)


“A great book – leaves you shuddering for the future.” (Polly Toynbee)

Saturday 16th October | 12:30pm

Players Theatre, Thame, Oxfordshire

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