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Surprise panellist at design for living debate

Stand-up comedian and actor Ross Noble made an impromptu appearance at the University of York as part of an expert panel at a York Festival of Ideas event.

Ross Noble at the Festival of Ideas event‌The comedian, who rose to mainstream popularity through his appearances on celebrity quiz shows such as Have I Got News for You, joined a panel discussion on the global grand challenges for technology, architecture and design held at the Ron Cooke Hub.

Ross Noble is currently touring the country filming for a new comedy documentary in which he makes unexpected appearances at events, joining in with the activities.

Joan Concannon, Director of External Relations at the University of York, and one of the York Festival of Ideas organisers, said: “Ross Noble’s unplanned appearance in York followed a tweet from a member of the University’s Communications team inviting him to attend the festival. He saw this as a great opportunity and jumped at the chance.

“His inclusion on the debating panel alongside experts such as Andy Hopper from the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Paul Newby from the Shepherd Group and Martin Mayfield, from Arup added a whole new dimension to the discussion!”

Running until 29 June, the 2013 York Festival of Ideas consists of over 120 mostly free events with talks from world-class speakers, performances, exhibitions and interactive experiences for people of all ages. For more information visit