Creative forces gather for 24 hour 'speech marathon' in Manchester

The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess, novelist Irvine Welsh and actor, Steve Coogan have completed a 24 hour “conversation” in memory of Tony Wilson.

They joined members of New Order and Radio 1 DJs Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie for the ‘The Speech Marathon’, referred to by the organisers as “the city’s longest intelligent conversation”.

Tony Wilson was the visionary behind Factory Records, the Manchester label which signed acts like Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays. He died, aged 57, in August last year.

Organisers hoped that The Tony Wilson Experience would inspire the next generation of creative talent in Manchester.

“Tony was always a great evangelist for Manchester and his music,” Irvine Welsh said. “I first met him in the Hacienda and then again a few years later when I got into writing.

“What always struck me was the way he never talked down to people, he always made time for them, no matter who he was speaking to.

“Talking to other people, sharing ideas and thoughts with them about what you do and what they do is an important part of the creative process for most artists and this is what the Tony Wilson Experience is all about.”

A total of 24 key speakers over the 24 hours shared their creative expertise and experience with the audience, which was made up of 200 people hand-picked from creative submissions they made through the event website.