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Leeds International Festival of Ideas (LIFI) is set to return to Leeds Playhouse this October, promising four days of engaging dialogue, profound connections, and boundless curiosity. With an exceptional lineup of worldwide speakers, performers, and thought leaders, LIFI24 promises to captivate and challenge attendees with its diverse topics.

From October 2nd to 5th, LIFI will delve into pressing issues spanning addiction, artificial intelligence, care, neurodiversity, and the impact of reality TV on our perception of reality. This year's festival aims to spark dynamic conversations and foster meaningful connections among participants.

Among the luminaries headlining LIFI24 are esteemed figures from various fields, including journalism, entertainment, science, and technology. Notable names scheduled to grace the festival stages include Kate Adie, Stacey Dooley, Kate Garraway, Goldie, Paterson Joseph, Nile Rodgers, Rebecca Lucy Taylor aka Self Esteem, Tim Spector, Carol Vorderman, Matt Willis and many more. 

Joining the festival this year as keynotes and fireside chats are the brilliant Nile Rodgers and BEKA, who’ll lead a dynamic conversation on the evolution of creativity, where the rhythm of music never ceases. Kate Adie (Former BBC chief news correspondent) and Stacey Dooley (who recently hosted the BAFTA’s) will delve into the intricate realm of conflict reporting and the portrayal of war. Tim Spector (Scientific Co-Founder of Zoe) and Dr. Amir Khan (GP and bestselling author) will unravel the mysteries of gut health and nutrition, offering insights into optimal well-being. Grace Beverley will grace us with her expertise as an entrepreneur and influencer during the lunchtime discussion, exploring the nuances of the creator economy. And lastly, brace yourselves as Carol Vorderman and Rebecca Lucy Taylor, also known as Self Esteem, fearlessly confront archaic portrayals of women in the media, sparking a dialogue on whether the media needs to step up and evolve.

The panel chats this year are the strongest the festival has had. Get ready for an engaging lineup as Matt Willis from the pop-punk band Busted and Lauren Windle, an esteemed author and journalist and more as they tackle the topic of addiction. Delve into the realm of AI with Georgie Barrat, host of Gadget Show, along with NHS Digital's Dr. Nisha Sharma and the talented actor Paterson Joseph, who brings a sceptical yet insightful perspective. Professor Tim Wilson (The Circle) joins forces with Rylan (X Factor, Big Brother) alongside Charlotte Armitage, an expert on the duty of care for production companies, to explore the impact of reality TV on our perception of reality. Discover the diverse facets of neurodiversity with Ellie Middleton, an impassioned activist, Christine McGuiness, a model, and Tumi Sotire, founder of The Black Dyspraxic, in what promises to be a highlight of the discussion as they discuss “We’re all neurodiverse aren’t we?”. And ponder the question of care with Kate Garraway as she leads a conversation with Goldie, a renowned music producer, and Lizzy Oma, an advocate for cohousing, about who steps in when basic human needs are left unmet due to illness, age, disability, or poverty.

Attendees can expect thought-provoking insights, lively debates, and innovative perspectives as experts and thought leaders delve into these pressing issues. 

Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the conversation. The Leeds International Festival of Ideas takes place at Leeds Playhouse from October 2nd to 5th. Tickets will be available on 10th May, and fans are encouraged to visit to sign up for the latest news and ticket updates.

Yorkshire’s culinary scene is about to sizzle as Etci Mehmet, the renowned Turkish Steakhouse, announces its arrival in Leeds this summer. With its stellar reputation for exceptional steaks and a dining experience like no other, Etci Mehmet is set to become the new hotspot for food enthusiasts across the region.

Having already captured the hearts (and taste buds) of diners in Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham, Etci Mehmet brings its unique blend of premium culinary delights, vibrant atmosphere to the heart of Yorkshire.

At Etci Mehmet, every dining experience is a celebration. Guests are treated to a feast for the senses, with legendary fire shows and a mouthwatering Turkish-inspired menu available every day of the week.

From the 28-day dry-aged premium beef to the show-stopping Etci Special Fillet Mignon prepared tableside with live flambé demonstrations, and not forgetting their sensational famous Turkish Baklava, there’s something to delight every palate.

Founded in Istanbul in 2012 by Mehmet & Mustafa (affectionately known as Baba), Etci Mehmet launched its first UK restaurant in Manchester, which instantly became the city's hottest dining spot. Followed by openings in Riyadh, Birmingham, Liverpool, Doha & Casablanca. With its arrival in Leeds, creating 60 jobs in the city, the restaurant is set to become a firm favourite among locals and visitors alike. 

Their UK brand has rapidly risen to a high-profile favourite, attracting loyal and regular guests including celebrities and sports stars. Etci Mehmet has a unique way of bringing people together in their relaxed yet vibrant restaurants. They have created the perfect place to enjoy a delicious lunch, dinner with friends and celebrations for the whole family to enjoy, with the warmth of their hospitality.

Speaking ahead of the Leeds launch, Operations Director Amine el Gueddar commented:

We are thrilled to continue our UK expansion. Leeds has been cooking for a long time and was the next natural destination. Many of our current guests travel weekly from the Yorkshire district, including Bradford, Huddersfield, Batley, Dewsbury and Wakefield, we wanted to bring the Etci experience closer to them. 

Leeds ticks all the boxes, and we found the perfect location on Eastgate, Headrow, in the heart of the city. It is easily accessible to students, professionals, and families alike. With ample parking and proximity to transport links and motorways, enjoying a delicious meal at Etci Mehmet has never been easier.”

As one of the UK’s largest cities, Leeds holds a wealth of opportunities for Etci Mehmet. The restaurant is excited to become a part of the city’s thriving community and looks forward to contributing to its development and growth.

“We can’t wait to create an inviting atmosphere at our new restaurant, filled with our passion for food and hospitality,” said el Gueddar. “We love seeing everyone enjoying their time together with us and we’re excited to serve, support and entertain the Yorkshire community!”

For more information, visit or follow us on @etcimehmet_uk.

Top-rated Mexican eatery Boojum is all set to bring its fresh, high-quality, ‘live out loud food’ to Leeds on Wednesday 10th April and to kick things off the award-winning brand is giving away free burritos to the first 300 customers on the opening day from 12pm.

After amazing success on the island of Ireland, growing from one Belfast store back in 2007 to 16 today, the brand will open its very first mainland UK store in Merrion centre, Leeds.

#6 trending dish on Deliveroo globally, number 1 Mexican

Boojum has developed a cult like following, rooted in unbeatable value, high-quality natural ingredients, famously generous portions, served with personality and energy. Boojum also offers a range of vegan & vegetarian and halal friendly options. Making Boojum a favourite with students across Ireland and offering something for everyone.

Recently recognised as having the 6th most trending dish on Deliveroo globally (number 1 in Mexican), Boojum is also celebrated for its fast and friendly service, making it the ideal place to go for that perfect post-gym protein fix, afternoon bite, quick lunch break and to satisfy any other foodie cravings. And if you don’t want to leave the house but need that burrito fix, the cult brand will be available on Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat and Click ‘N Collect, making it even easier to get that Mexican fix.

The new 45-seater Leeds stores menu features customisable burritos, bowls, nachos, tacos, chips, and salsas all made fresh in store every day. Boojum also offers an interesting range of soft drinks and variety a of Mexican beers including favourites Corona and Modelo. 

“We have been blown away by the response to opening our first British site in Leeds and can’t wait to be part of the famous foodie scene. Whether it’s for an afterwork bite, casual date night or beers and burritos with friends, Boojum has you covered, and we can’t wait to open our doors on the 10th April.”  said Head of Marketing, Paul McCullagh.

For further updates on the opening giveaway, make sure to follow @boojummex on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and X.

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