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Sir Terry Pratchett to present Richard Dimbleby Lecture

15th January 2010

Bestselling writer Sir Terry Pratchett has been asked to present this year's BBC One Richard Dimbleby Lecture.

The Discworld author is the first novelist to be chosen to deliver the speech, which will be broadcast on February 1st and will discuss the UK's ageing population.

Entitled Shaking Hands With Death, the lecture will examine how the country needs to assess the way it deals with death in light of increasingly long lives and the rise of incurable illnesses.

The topic is a personal one for Pratchett, who announced in December 2007 that he has a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Jay Hunt, controller of BBC One, said he is 'delighted' that the author has agreed to deliver the lecture, which is held each year to honour veteran broadcaster Richard Dimbleby.

'Sir Terry Pratchett has spoken with great bravery and honesty about his battle with Alzheimer's and I look forward to an intelligent and thought-provoking speech,' he commented.

Last year, the lecture was delivered by the Prince of Wales, who examined the major challenges facing the world and how they can be tackled in the future.

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