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Gyles Brandreth

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Broadcaster and acclaimed interviewer keeps the audience engaged with his keynotes based on his wide-ranging career

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4.75 out of 5 stars

"Gyles Brandreth was truly superb. He "read" the audience perfectly and his background work ensured that his speech was well targeted."

Harry Richmond - The Sportsman's Charity See all references
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About Gyles

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Keynote speaker Gyles Brandreth is one of Britain’s busiest after-dinner speakers. He is a writer, broadcaster and former Oxford Scholar, and has even starred in his own musical revue. His speeches are inspired by his wide range of experience.

Keynote speaker Gyles Brandreth, a former Oxford Scholar, President of the Oxford Union and MP for the City of Chester has gone from from being a Whip and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in John Major’s government to starring in his own award-winning musical revue in London’s West End.

Gyles Brandreth is a broadcaster and an acclaimed interviewer, primarily for the Sunday Telegraph. His broadcasting programs include ‘Just a minute’ and ‘Have I Got News for You’. Our speaker Gyles Brandreth is also a performer, he has recently been seen in Zipp! One hundred musicals for less than the price of one at London’s Duchess Theatre, and on tour throughout the UK. In 2010 he was on tour with his own one-man show, The One to One show, in Edinburgh. He also opened his play, Wonderland, in 2010.

In addition to his performing, the talented speaker Gyles Brandreth has written biographies, novels and children’s books. His work include two volumes of diaries: ‘Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries’, and ‘Something Sensational to Read in the Train: The Diary of a Lifetime’; as well as two royal biographies: ‘Philip & Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage’ and ‘Charles & Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair’. Other works include a series of Victorian murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde as an amateur detective, which has been produced both in the UK and in the US. The mystery is based on Wilde’s real-life friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. He has also published the New York Times best-seller, ‘The Joy of Lex’.

Speaker Gyles Brandreth is often an award ceremony host, but he has also won and been nominated for many awards, both as a public speaker, but also as a novelist, children’s writer, broadcaster, journalist, political diarist, theatre producer and lastly as a businessman.

Gyles is married to writer and publisher Michèle Brown, with whom he oversees the exhibition of twentieth century children’s authors at the National Portrait Gallery. They also founded the award-winning Teddy Bear Museum based in Wimbledon at the Polka Theatre. Gyles is the vice-president of the National Playing Fields Association.

Gyles’ ancestors include one of the highest-paid journalists of his day, George R Sims, as well as Jeremiah Brandreth, the last man in England to be beheaded for treason. His great-great-grandfather was the man who promoted ‘Brandreth’s Pills’, a medicine that cured everything.

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    Speaker Gyles Brandreth Keynote Topics

    • Politics
    • Journalism
    • After Dinner Speeches
    • Awards Host
    • Current Affairs
    • Life and Times of Gyles Brandreth

References

Gyles Brandreth was truly superb. He "read" the audience perfectly and his background work ensured that his speech was well targeted

Harry Richmond

The Sportsman's Charity
10.09.2014

Interview with Gyles Brandreth

What makes a good after-dinner speaker?

Oddly enough, I think a good speaker needs to be a good listener. Oscar Wilde used to say that “listening is an art; speaking is a craft”. A good speaker needs to be acutely aware of his audience: who they are and what they are wanting and expecting from a speech.

What should event planners keep in mind when booking a speaker?

That a speaker needs to be seen and (above all) heard, and sometimes a wonderful room has a dreadful acoustic! I have spoken in some glorious settings – palaces, museums, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the Cutler’s Hall in Sheffield – where the acoustic has meant that I have had to speak much more slowly than usual in order to be clearly heard. A good sound system and a good acoustic make for a good listening experience.

How does humour factor into your talks?

Humour features in all my talks. Sometimes I am simply giving an after-dinner speech where being entertaining is essential. That’s at the heart of what’s wanted. But humour is always important, whatever the speech or the setting. Humour is what makes us human. But I don’t necessarily mean “jokes”. I mean stories that are relevant to the subject or audience, but also raise a laugh – usually a laugh of recognition.

What types of audiences benefit most from your keynotes and why?

I am a former politician and a journalist who has interviewed and met many of the world’s leaders (Thatcher, Blair, Clinton. Cameron, Mandela, Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai etc) so when I talk about “leadership” it’s because I have observed it at close hand.

As well, as talking about my experience of leaders in politics and business and the arts, I also talk about what makes people happy. I have written a book (and a stage show) about happiness – and how it affects our lives and work. Organisations (and governments) are increasingly interested in the economic and social impact of what makes us happy and why. Business needs a happy work-force.

What is one of your favorite experiences as a keynote speaker?

I hosted the British Funerals Directors Awards recently and was invited to try out a coffin. I found lying in the silk-lined casket curiously comforting! When I talk to a particular business, I do really try to get under the skin of that business. It’s what makes the job of speaking continuously fascinating and rewarding for me.

See keynotes with Gyles Brandreth
Non-binding request for Gyles Brandreth

Send a simple request. You’ll get a quick reply with fees and availability

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Gyles Brandreth

4.75 out of 5 stars

"Gyles Brandreth was truly superb. He "read" the audience perfectly and his background work ensured that his speech was well targeted."

Harry Richmond - The Sportsman's Charity See all references

Keynote topics with Gyles Brandreth