The writer, actor and comedian Stephen Fry is the new president of the Hay Festival – a popular event for book lovers. He succeeds the late Eric Hobsbawm. Fry said: "When Peter Florence asked me to become president of the Hay Festival my first thought was that he must be joking or on psychotropic medication. This is the honour of honours. Hay-on-Wye is way on high. Ask any author or reader." Hay Festival, whose UK newspaper partner is the Telegraph Media Group, runs from May 22 to June 1.