The Guardian carries a transcript of the appearance by Christopher Hitchens and his brother Peter (Daily Mail Columnist). They famously don’t get on, or don’t get on famously, whatever. In fact they hadn’t spoken for four years. Aside from an amusing interlude when a woman in the audience complains that CH is smoking:
Female audience member Excuse me. I’m not usually awkward at all but I’m sitting here and we’re asked not to smoke. And I don’t like being in a room where smoking is going on.
CH (smoking heavily): Well you don’t have to stay darling, do you? I’m working here and I’m your guest, OK? And this is what I’m like; nobody has to like it.
IK Would you just stub that one out?
CH No. I cleared it with the festival a long time ago. They let me do it.
FAM We should all be allowed to smoke then.
CH Fair enough. I wouldn’t object. It might get pretty nasty though. I have a privileged position here, I’m not just one of the audience, so it would be horrible if everyone was like me. This is my last of five gigs, I’ve worked very hard for the festival. I’m going from here to Heathrow airport. If anyone doesn’t like it they can kiss my ass.
IK Would anyone like to take up that challenge?
(Laughter. Woman walks out)
my favourite part of the encounter was the very end:
IK Are you two friends?
PH No. There was an old joke in East Germany that went, Are the Russians our friends or our brothers? And the answer is, they must be our brothers because you can choose your friends.
CH The great thing about family life is that it introduces you to people you’d otherwise never meet.
IK One last question from the audience.
Audience member You’ve been casting furtive glances at each other throughout the whole event but you’ve never yet made eye contact. Would you for this final moment, look each other in the eye?
CH You don’t know what we’ve just been through. We were asked by James Naughtie to do an on-radio handshake, [and] I thought it was a handshake made for radio.
Audience member So will you do it?
[CH and PH look briefly at each other]
PH They want everything to be all right.
CH They want a happy ending - that’s their problem.