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Keynote speaker Jeffrey Archer is a former politician, a serving Member of the House of Lords, and a worldwide bestselling writer, with sales of over 250million books. He is the only author ever to have been a No.1 bestseller in fiction (fifteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries). He is able to share his unique knowledge and experiences and inspire a crowd.
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Jeffrey Archer was born in London but grew up in Somerset. He is the son of a printer, and was educated at Wellington School, and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was President of the University Athletics Club, and went on to run the 100 yards in 9.6 seconds for Great Britain in 1966.
At the age of 26 he was elected to the Greater London Council, and three years later he was elected as Member of Parliament to represent the county of Louth in Lincolnshire. He served for five years. In 1986 he left the House of Commons to write his first novel.
Jeffrey ran a successful campaign for Mayor of London and was selected as the official Conservative Party Candidate for London’s Mayor in October 1999 by an overwhelming majority. In November that same year, he withdrew his candidacy, having been charged with perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment, and was released in July 2003, after two years. He wrote three volumes of his PRISON DIARY.
Jeffrey has written sixteen novels, six sets of short stories, three plays (all of which have been performed in London’s West End), three children’s book, two screenplays and a Gospel. He is published in more than 97 countries and 37 languages, and has international sales passing 250 million copies.
At age 34, Jeffrey Archer completed his first novel, NOT A PENNY MORE NOT A PENNY LESS. It was sold to 17 countries within a year. It was also adapted into a successful serial for BBC Radio 4, and by 1990 it was televised by the BBC. He followed this with SHALL WE TELL THE PRESIDENT, a fast moving thriller about a plot to assassinate Edward Kennedy while he was President of the United States.
With two best-sellers behind him, KANE AND ABEL and A QUIVER FULL OF ARROWS came next.
His tenth novel, THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT, in which the action moves from the White House, to a Russian Mafia Boss’s luxurious hideaway outside St Petersburg, was published in May 1998, and spent 24 weeks on The Sunday Times Best-seller’s List.
Jeffrey Archer’s fourth book of short stories, TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT, was published in March 2000, and this was followed by his novels, SONS OF FORTUNE, in December 2002, FALSE IMPRESSION in March 2006 and A PRISONER OF BIRTH, a powerful story of fate and fortune, redemption and revenge, published by Macmillan in March 2008, all of which entered the best-sellers list around the world.
Jeffrey’s latest project is a five-book series called The Clifton Chronicles. Both book one, ONLY TIME WILL TELL which was published in 2011 and book two, THE SINS OF THE FATHER, published in March 2012, went to No.1 around the world, and The Sins of the Father spent 12 weeks on the Sunday Times Bestseller list, including 3 at No.1.
Since the General Election in 1987, Jeffrey Archer has written several plays including BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT, which ran for over 600 performances at the Queen’s Theatre in London’s West End, and starred Frank Finlay and Wendy Craig.
For three years he owned and ran the Playhouse Theatre in London. Jeffrey also produced Barry Humphries in Dame Edna, The Return at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. He is currently an ‘angel’ in 10 or more London shows.
Jeffrey also took on his first West End role, playing the part of the accused in his own play, THE ACCUSED. After nine weeks, the play completed a very successful regional tour, before playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a limited 8 week run. He has also appeared in a cameo in BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY, and has also appeared in two television commercials.
In 1991, Jeffrey Archer was co-ordinator of the Simple Truth Appeal which raised roughly £57 million for the Campaign for Kurdish Relief, which focused world-wide attention on the plight of the Kurdish people.
He is an amateur auctioneer, giving his time free of charge to conduct around 30 charity auctions a year, and has raised more than ten million pounds in the last ten years for many different charities, including the Red Cross, Help for Heroes, The Prince’s Trust, Sir Magdi Yacoub’s Chain of Hope, the Australian Flying Doctor Service, Leukaemia Research, and several others.
On April 18th, 2004 Jeffrey completed the Flora London Marathon in 5 hours 26 minutes, raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, the British Heart Foundation, The Fund for Addenbrooke’s and the Facial Surgery Research Foundation. He was overtaken by a camel, a phone-box and a girl walking. He has no plans to repeat the experience.
Jeffrey and his wife of 46 years, to Dame Mary Archer DBE, have two sons, William and James, and divide their time between homes in London and Cambridge.
He talks on ‘How to write a bestseller’, his life in general, and about British politics.