Saturday, 27 May 2017 16:12

Simon Mayo

Simon Mayo at Great British Speakers

Simon Mayo is one of the nation’s most-loved radio broadcasters. With a career spanning nearly 30 years, he has worked for BBC Radio since 1981.

Simon presents ‘Drivetime’ on BBC Radio 2, which features the Radio 2 Book Club. He is also the co-presenter of Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live.

He has presented some of the UK's leading radio shows including the Radio One Breakfast Show, The Saturday Evening Show (Radio 1), The Simon Mayo Show for Radio 5 Live and The Album Chart Show for Radio 2. Simon also presented Act Your Age, a panel game for BBC Radio 4.

Simon also has a successful TV career. He hosted the National Lottery Winning Lines (BBC1) and Confessions (BBC1). He also presented The Big Dig for BBC2 in 2005.

In 2008, Simon was recognised as the Radio Broadcaster of the Year at the 34th Annual Broadcasting Press Guild Award and the Speech Broadcaster of the Year at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.

Simon has written several books including Confessions, based on the hit feature from his drivetime show, the Itch series of children’s novels and his first suspense thriller for young adults, Blame.

He is available for a range of corporate work, including public speaking , Q&As and awards hosting. His experience and expertise make him the perfect host for any music or film related events. Simon’s past events include Katie Melua's International Album Launch, Jacqueline Wilson’s Big Picnic Webcast and an inspiring speech on ‘what creates a good story’ at the HSS Hires Conference.


Published in Speakers
Friday, 19 May 2017 15:12

Francesca Beauman

GBS Francesca Beauman

With an avid interest in History, Francesca is an author, actor, presenter and historian. As a student at Cambridge University, Francesca met and began working alongside fellow historian and television presenter, Ania Dykczak. In 2000 they co-wrote, produced and presented Ania, Fran and a Kettle of Fish, a 13-part comedy for Channel 5. She has since hosted a number of television shows such as Show me the Funny (2001-2) on Channel 4, Bring it On (2003-4) for BBC1 and History Heroes (2005-6) on Channel 5. Francesca also appeared as a guest panellist on Quote Unquote and Museum of Curiosity on BBC Radio 4.

Her written works include ‘The Pineapple: King of fruits’ (2005) ‘The Woman’s Book, everything but the Kitchen Sink ’ (2007) ‘Shapley Ankle Preferr’d: a History of the Lonely Hearts ad’ (2011) ‘ How to Crack and egg with One Hand: A Pocketbook for the new Mother’ (2011) and ‘How to Wear White: a Pocketbook for the Bride-to-be’ (2013). She has also composed articles for a variety of art magazines and academic journals including Cabinet, Repast and Petit Propos Culinaire. Francesca also reviews books for the New Statesman and the Literary Review.

Published in Speakers
Monday, 15 May 2017 11:30

Dr Lucy Worsley

Lucy Worsley at Great British Speakers

Dr Lucy Worsley is a passionate historian having graduated from New College, Oxford with first class honours BA degree in Ancient and Modern History. She is currently the head curator of the Historic Royal Palaces, which include The Tower of London, Kensington Palace State Apartments and Hampton Court Palace. 

On television, Lucy has presented shows for the BBC and ITV including Six Wives With Lucy Worsley, The Women’s Institute and The Queens Garden. She is also the author of many historically influenced books, including, Cavalier: A Tale of Passion, Chivalry and Great Houses (2007), Courtiers: A Secret History of Kensington Palace (2010) and If Walls Could Talks: An Intimate History of Your Home (2011) which accompanied the television series of the same name. Lucy has also had two children’s books published, Eliza Rose (2016) and My Name is Victoria (2017). Her latest book, Jane Austen at Home, is set for release later this year.

Lucy is a confident public speaker and frequently blogs about her upcoming events on her website. Recently, she was a guest speaker for the Sandringham Women’s Institute, an event in which the Queen also attended.

Published in Speakers
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 18:26

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

GBS Yasmin Alibhai Brown

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a well know journalist and political commentator specialising in multiculturalism.

She is frequently called upon for TV programmes including BBC's Question Time.

She is an accomplished public speaker

Is there such a thing as a national identity any more?

What does national identity mean in an era of multiracial culture?

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is one of Britain’s most important commentators on multiculturalism: in her book "Exotic England" she describes ‘a curious nation’ that has developed thanks to its long history of immigration.

Promiscuous England

The English have been typecast as imperial snobs, rulebound, repressed, class-ridden, prejudiced – their racism cuts and scars.

But reel through their long history to now and you find they can be passionate, wanton, infinitely curious and open. More so than hot blooded Mediterranean and Eastern peoples, or the other UK tribes. Their national dish is curry and their saint is from Syria, with skin as brown as mine.

That story needs to be reclaimed and told, most of all to those who are drawn to UKIP and narrow nationalism.

Exotic England

"England," she says, "is uniquely susceptible to Eastern civilisations," In this talk Yasmin tells the hidden stories of forgotten individuals.

England is a small country, but its inhabitants have always been unusually curious about the rest of the world. From Warren Hastings, first Governor-General of Bengal, who opposed missionary activities in India, proclaiming his love for that country as being greater than that for England, to the MP Rory Stewart, who acknowledges the English are "excited by civilisations of excess, sumptuousness and high emotion..."

Her talk engagingly discusses the two-way traffic of foreign influence: the British travellers who headed off across the globe; and the waves of immigrants who settled here. Yasmin is perfectly qualified to talk about the combination of England and the East. Born in Uganda, she moved to Britain in 1972 and married, first, a fellow Ugandan Asian, and, secondly, an Englishman. In 2004, her son married a Cheshire girl in a Unitarian church in Wilmslow.

Englishmen, Alibhai-Brown reminds us, love going abroad: "They who went out to anglicise the world did so, but in the process were mystified and transformed."

Tales of My Upbringing - Love, Migration and Food

Yasmin tells the personal story of her family and the food and recipes they've shared together,

This talk tells the history of Indian migration to the UK via East Africa. Her family was part of the mass exodus from India to East Africa during the height of British imperial expansion, fleeing famine and lured by the prospect of prosperity under the empire.

In 1972, expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin, they moved to the UK, where Yasmin has made her home with an Englishman. The food she cooks now combines the traditions and tastes of her family's hybrid history.

This talks gives the audience something more than history to go away with. Imagine, Shepherd's Pie is much enhanced by sprinkling in some chilli, Victoria sponge can be enlivened by saffron and lime, and the addition of ketchup to a curry can be life-changing

Who do we think we are? Looking at Britain as it is now!

More than half a century ago there was large-scale migration of 'foreign' communities to the UK. This brought with it the excitement of new foods and music, ideas and art, and different social functions and a different sense of history.

But indigenous Britons are still grappling with the implications of how that immigration decades ago has brought about an altered British society - and Britons. Yasmin has interviewed many different people and this talk asks the difficult questions and suggests ways of interpreting the massive transformations and realities of Britain today.

In her talk she has the refreshing habit of dropping in unpalatable home truths about certain factions of the political left. "Feminists" she tells us, "need to stop regarding theirs as the only valid issue in the world".

Of anti-racist initiatives we hear that "far too many inept and furious people got into racism awareness and anti-racist training ... and did more damage than if they had left the issue untouched"

Published in Key-Note
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 15:23

Joe Wadsack

 GBS Joe Wadsack

Joe studied wine-making in Bordeaux and has since worked as a wine buyer and consultant for a number of leading supermarket chains. He is no stranger to television with his role as Richard and Judy’s wine expert on Channel 4 as well as his own series Great Wine Walks for UKTV’s Good Food Channel.

Flamboyant and straight talking, Joe is a recipient of the coveted International Wine and Spirit Communicator of the Year Award. He has a great palate that culminated in him becoming the youngest ever International Senior Judge at The Royal Melbourne Wine Show at 29 years old. In fact, Joe judged the Royal Melbourne Wine Show in October 2013, making him the only International Senior Judge in it's 130 year history to judge it 3 times. He was a Panel Chairman of the International Wine Challenge.

Oz Clarke describes Joe’s tasting ability as “excellent ... with an extraordinary wine tasting repertoire”.


Joe is a well known TV face serving as Richard and Judy's wine expert (Channel 4) and is the author of the Richard & Judy Wine Guide (Harper Collins). For three years Joe also appeared as The Wright Stuff’s Wine Expert (Channel 5) guiding the viewers to the month’s best buys. He was The Terry & Gaby Show's Wine Expert, and a weekly contributor to Great Food Live, UKTV's Good Food’s live lunchtime show. His own series for Good Food is still being shown - Joe Wadsack's Great Wine Walks with Kitty Johnson the daughter of the famous Hugh Johnson. Joe is also the Drinks Expert on BBC TV's 'Food and Drink' programme with host Tom Kerridge.

Writer & Journalist

Joe was the Wine Expert for the Sunday Express for many years. Joe also writes for Trade Paper Harpers and wrote monthly for Waitrose Food Illustrated and quarterly for Waitrose in Season. Joe was shortlisted in 2013 in the Roederer Awards for 'World's Best Wine' blog. Gaining a WSET Diploma Distinction in 1992, Joe also won the Viva prize and went Piedmont for a week. He was at l'Institute d'Oenologie in Bordeaux in 1991 and received a Stage 7 winemaking diploma (the equivalent today of a Postgraduate modern winemaking practices course.)


One of Joe’s most enjoyable and gratifying jobs was working as a wine consultant for Dartington Crystal in Devon, where he aided their design department in creating their hugely successful lead-crystal Wine Master glass range. The Chef’s Taster glass is still considered by many to be the finest tasting glass available today.

For the last few years Joe has acted as a consultant to various companies in the wine trade, and continues to host tastings all over the country as well as abroad. He is the regular host for the annual Tesco Wine Fairs around the British Isles.

Wine Judge

The other activity which perhaps Joe is most renowned for is being a wine judge for various international wine competitions. He is and has been a Panel Chair for ten years at The International Wine Challenge, the world’s largest blind wine tasting, and is a regular international guest judge on the Royal Australian Wine Show Circuit.

Published in Speakers
Monday, 28 November 2016 17:06

Neil Bentley

GBS Neil Bentley

It all started back in 1991, presenting on the infamous 103.2 Power FM.  Neil held down the position of overnight host, while studying media and film at college during the day.  Certainly a tricky work life balance for a 16 year old. Once graduated, he then set upon a journey around the country to gain experience and knowledge at a variety of the UK’s best loved radio stations. Neil was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to be part of the main presenting teams at Horizon Radio, Northants 96.6FM, B97 and TFM – before landing the dream job of daytime DJ at Galaxy 105 in Leeds.

Galaxy 105 was a huge turning point in my life.. Neil's passion of dance music and radio were fused together, helping him to ride the wave of the brand and deliver record breaking audience figures.  He would regularly DJ all over the country for brands like Deja Vu & Gatecrasher as well as further afield tours in Ibiza, Miami & Tenerife and it was here that he caught the attention of the management team at 95.8 Capital FM, who gave an offer he couldn’t refuse.

In 2003 Neil became the afternoon presenter on the now legendary London station, working alongside Chris Tarrant, Jeremy Kyle & Neil Fox.  He presented in front of 100,000 people at Party In The Park, was the go to expert for entertainment stories on Sky News and remixed a top 40 hit.  This was also the time that heralded the start of his voiceover career, catching the ear of Haymarket Publishing and became one of the main live voiceover artists for awards on Park Lane – alongside Alan Dedicoat.

In 2008 Neil moved to Heart 106.2fm and was lucky enough to be given the Drivetime Show.  In an ever growing competitive market he managed to score a number 1 position, while also becoming the main cover host for Jamie Theakston on Heart Breakfast.  Neil presented alongside Emma Bunton, Gina D’Campo and Alexandra Burke and interviewed a plethora of guests including Liam Neeson, Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins.

But it was the end of 2012 that was the most pivotal moment of his career, leaving Radio behind and becoming the founding member of a boutique creative video communications agency that helps brands and events showcase themselves online.



Published in Event Hosts
Monday, 28 November 2016 16:43

Steve Rider

GBS Steve RiderSteve hosts Legends, a series of interviews with racing heroes transmitting on the Sky F1 channel.

Steve Rider is one of the most current experienced sports presenter and journalist on British television. He presented 12 summer and winter Olympic games and in 20 years at the BBC was the host of Sportsnight, Grandstand and Sports Personality of the Year. He presented international rugby and motor sport and over fifty major golf championships.

Steve joined ITV Sport in 2006 to present Formula One and their Fifa World Cup coverage. He went on to host Champions League, FA Cup and England fixtures and the Rugby World Cup from New Zealand in 2011. He continues to host ITV4’s coverage of BTCC. He is a three time sports BAFTA winner and has twice been name sports presenter of the year. Steve hosts the annual Laureus World Sport Awards from worldwide locations and in 2012, presented the coverage from Westminster Central Hall, London for Sky.

Steve is an Ambassador of UPS and Official Supporter for London 2012 Olympics.

In 1980 Steve made his network debut as presenter of ITV coverage from the Moscow Olympics and he is the only television journalist to have presented all of the major sports magazine programmes of British Television, including BBC TV GRANDSTAND, BBC TV SPORTSNIGHT, ITV WORLD OF SPORT and ITV MIDWEEK SPORTS SPECIAL.

Steve has a journalistic background both in local newspapers and press/public relations. For two years he was a reporter and feature writer with Hayters, the Fleet Street based sports agency, before joining the newly established independent local radio stations LBC/IRM as a sports presenter and reporter.

His television career began at Anglia Television, where he was Sports Editor. Two years later he joined Thames Television where he was widely regarded as one of ITV sports top presenters and reporters.

In 1985 he accepted an invitation from the BBC to take over from Harry Carpenter as presenter of Sportsnight, a role he filled for six years. In 1991 he switched positions to become the main host of BBC Sports flagship programme Grandstand. During this period he also took over as BBC’s golf presenter and became closely associated with the Ryder Cup, The Open, the US Masters and World Matchplay. Since 2000, Steve also presented the BBC coverage of ‘The Seve Cup’. 2006 saw the publication of his book ‘Europe at the Masters’ (Sutton Publishing).

Steve hosted the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year from 1986 and in autumn 2003, published a book to celebrate 50 years of the event.

Again for the BBC, Steve anchored coverage of the Commonwealth Games, the Olympics and the Winter Olympics. In 1996 he hosted the bulk of BBC’s coverage of the Barcelona 1996 Olympics, which won the International Olympic Committee Golden Rings Award, the Royal Television Society Sports Award and was nominated for a BAFTA award. Steve continued to be the main anchor for the BBC’s Olympics and Commonwealth Games coverage, up to and including Athens 2004.

Other sporting events Steve presented for the BBC include The Cricket World Cup in 1999, three major documentaries on The Open 2000 and the award winning documentary on Ayrton Senna and Motormonth, a weekly look at motor racing around the country. 1998 saw Steve host Wimbledon and front the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race. He hosted the Boat Race for several years and the BBC’s rowing coverage. Steve’s other credits (appearing as ‘himself’) include Goodnight Sweetheart, French and Saunders, The Full Wax, Blankety Blank and They Think it’s all Over.

He developed the BBC’s domestic motor sports profile and pioneered the highly successful British Touring Car Championship through BHP, which became a highly rated Grandstand feature. Steve has become strongly involved in corporate video and presentation for the motor industry along with Golf companies, clients include Williams, McLaren, HSA, Volvo, Wilson, Nissan, Jordan, Littlewoods, Jaguar, Renault and the RAC Network Q Rally.

Steve is in high demand for corporate events, credits include BMW, Fleet News Awards, Motor Cycle News, Road Transport Awards, Motor Trader Awards, British Insurance Awards, British Transport Awards, OAG Airline of the Year Awards, Security Awards, British Hairdressing Business Awards, Building Industry & Electrical Industry, Bathroom & Kitchen awards, EFTA Print Awards among many others. Conference credits: Natwest, British Telecom, Cellnet, Flymo, Wells Water, Alliance Mutual, Reliance Mutual and Vauxhall. Press conference hosting is another of Steve's skills and credits include Adidas, Wells Water and Steve’s particular favourite, Formula One car launches.


2008. British Academy Television Awards, winner in best sport category, ITV/North One Television, F1: Canadian Grand Prix live.

2007. RTS Television Sports Awards. Nominated in Sports Presenter category.

2005. Broadcast Awards Best Sports Programme for Olympic Grandstand, Matthew Pinsent’s fourth Gold Medal.

2001. Royal Television Society’s Sports Awards. Best programme, Actuality, Live outside broadcast and Judges Award for Olympics Sydney 2000 coverage.

2001. Broadcast Awards Best Sports Programme for Olympic Grandstand.

1996. The Royal Television Society Sports Presenter of the Year.

1994. The Television & Radio Industries Club Sports Presenter of the Year.
Published in Speakers
Friday, 14 October 2016 12:11

HRH Princess Michael of Kent

HRH Princess Michael of Kent highly regarded speaker from Great British Speakers

Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent is the younger child of the late Baron Gunther von Reibnitz and his wife, the late Marianne, née Countess Szapary.  She was born near Carlsbad in Bohemia on the estate of her maternal grandmother Princess Hedwig zu Windisch - Graetz and descends from ancient European lineage on both sides of her Family.  Having lived in Austria, Australia and on her father’s farm in Mozambique, the Princess moved to London from Vienna to continue her historical studies, including the History of Fine and Decorative Artat the V&A and subsequently formed her own interior design company, Szapar Designs.  She married His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, the first cousin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in Vienna in 1978 and they have two children, Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriella Windsor.

Their Royal Highnesses undertake over 200 public and charitable engagements annually as royal Patrons or Presidents for more than 100 charities and other not-for-profit organisations, which they support independently.  Both speak a number of languages and are active in several different sectors and countries which reflect their interests, not least in Russia, they also support the promotion of British business and exports overseas.  Princess Michael has taken on a number of new commissions for lectures and decorating and has joined Gmurzynska Galerie in Zurich as their International Ambassador. The Gallery specializes in Contemporary and Modern Art as well as Impressionists and the Russian Avant Garde.

Her Royal Highness has an abiding love of history and the arts and since her marriage has written three historical biographies, all of which were bestsellers and translated worldwide: “Crowned in a Far Country: Eight Royal Brides”; “Cupid and the King: Five Royal Paramours”, and “The Serpent and the Moon: Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance King”. A mini television series of this last book is currently being negotiated.

Princess Michael’s fourth book and her first historical novel, “The Queen of Four Kingdoms”, set in 15th century France, is Volume I of The Anjou Trilogy. This first volume will be available in bookshops from 17th October and on Amazon and other on-line outlets. Volume II, "The Mystery of Agnès Sorel" will be published in 2014 and the third volume, yet to receive its definitive title, is expected in 2015.

It was the success of her first book that stimulated international interest in Princess Michael to give lectures on her specialist subjects, initially speaking to the French Institute in New York City which led to her long association speaking for the Metropolitan Museum and for Sotheby’s in USA.  For the past twenty years she has pursued an active lecture career, speaking on various historical subjects.  Her Royal Highness has spoken all over the U.S., principally at museums and universities but also for banks and other commercial institutions.  Princess Michael has also lectured in other countries including Canada, Argentina, Greece, Austria, Switzerland and Russia, both commercially and for a variety of charities and national institutions, most often at museums, universities and galleries.  Her Royal Highness served on the Board of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Princess Michael’s other love is for her animals - in particular horses, dogs and her Siamese and Burmese cats of which she is particularly fond.  She is the Royal Patron of three animal conservation organizations in Africa, which are respectively concerned with cheetah in South Africa, rhino and wild dogs in Tanzania and an elephant and rhino orphanage in Kenya.  Another passion is Her Royal Highness’ garden.  She has a number of lectures in her repertoire on the history of the garden and is an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, a City of London Livery Company.  Princess Michael is also Honorary Freeman of two other livery companies: the Worshipful Company of Weavers and the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

HRH was awarded the Order of the Starry Cross, the ladies' equivalent of the Order of the Golden Fleece, by Her Imperial Highness the Archduchess Regina of Austria who died in 2010.  The Princess is also a Grand Dame of the Order of Malta, and in September 2010 received the Order of Mercy in recognition of her 32 years charity work.

Princess Michael is not only a respected historian and author but also a skilled communicator who brings history alive by combining witty oratory with vivid presentations.  Demonstrating that history is not only about dates and events she brings personalities to life and describes events that made a considerable impact not only at that time but that have affected many aspects of life through the years.

Published in Speakers
Friday, 14 October 2016 10:47

Simon J Lycett

Simon J Lycett celebrity florist presenter speaker at Great British Speakers

In 1993 Simon was asked to arrange the flowers for the smash-hit film 'Four Weddings And A Funeral'. His work is now much in demand for T.V. commercials, radio, films and pemieres.

As the resident AT florist, Simon has regular appearances on ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show and in addition to television work, Simon has commitments throughout the year to Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and the RHS and the BBC at Chelsea Flower Show.

The names of his clients are synonymous with style, flair and profile, and amongst them are such luminaries as His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Her Majesty the Queen, former US President George Bush, Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway, Sir Elton John, Nicky Haslam and Ringo Starr. Simon created a fairytale setting in Ireland for David and Victoria Beckham’s wedding. Thandie Newton and Victoria Smurfitt have commissioned Simon for their weddings, as did King Constantine of Greece and the footballers Thierry Henry, Ashley Cole and Gary Neville.

Simon was thrilled and excited to be asked to provide flowers for the historic event of the wedding of HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Windsor Castle.

To celebrate the 80th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, he was privileged to decorate the Royal Box at the Royal Opera House for a Gala Performance and, later in the year, to create magnificent vast flower arrangements to adorn the tables at the final private dinner held at the Ritz.

Most recently, Simon and his team provided the flowers for the party Her Majesty The Queen gave at the Mandarin Oriental the evening before the wedding of the Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. More than 50 crowned heads of state were present, which is certainly a jewel in Simon’s crown!

Simon J Lycett Ltd provides fabulous flowers which are created with skill and imagination by a dedicated team of dynamic florists.

Published in Speakers
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 17:54

Hayley Hassall

Great British Speakers Hayley Hassall BBC award winning reporter Newsround and Panorama

Hayley Hassall is an award winning investigative journalist.  She currently reports for BBC Sport, BBC Breakfast and The One Show, after many years working as an undercover reporter for Panorama.  Hayley's undercover work over a period of years resulted in major improvements to British health care and earned her a BAFTA, an International Prix Europa award and two Royal Television Society awards.

Hayley was the first reporter to reveal the results of the UK general election in 2015 and has enjoyed presenting at live events such as Wimbledon and the Olympics.  Her recent documentary on The Winter Olympics was shown on Prime time BBC2 and iPlayer.  For this Hayley battled -15 degree snow storms, reporting on snow-capped mountains and presenting for BBC live as the gold medals came sliding in.

Hayley has also reported for The One Show and Songs of Praise, covering vast range of topics from children in poverty, beauty pageant to illegal cosmetic surgeries.  Currently Hayley also anchors BBC children's news programme, Newsround - she has carved out a niche for herself as the children's home affairs reporter, successfully investigating child anorexia, homelessness, child poverty and abuse. 

When you watch her speaking fluently on screen, you would never guess that she suffered from a bad stammer from the age of four.  It wasn't until Hayley was 11 that she was offered help in the form of speech therapy, which taught her techniques to help deal with the problem and she now wants to raise awareness that one in ten children in the UK have problems with communication.  Her experience has led her to become an ambassador for the children's speech, language and communication charity, I Can (, which offers expert resources so children can be diagnosed and given help at an early stage.

Published in Speakers
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