Ade Adepitan MBE

Born in Lagos Nigeria and raised in East London, Ade survived polio as youngster. Contracting the virus at just 15 months old he began to lose the use of his legs, and at aged three his parents migrated with him to the UK. Ade went on to succeed as an international Paralympic wheelchair basketball player and renowned broadcaster.

Never one to hold back, Ade’s work has taken him across the globe; most recently to Kenya as part of the BBC’s Our Changing Planet, charting our worlds most threatened ecosystems. He also went undercover with C4’s Dispatches, reporting foreign affairs for Unreported World and fronting the ground-breaking BBC Two Series, Climate Change: Ade on the Frontline. Filmed during the pandemic, Ade meets the people and places around the globe who have been directly affected by climate change.

Ade is a well-respected co-host on Children in Need’s annual live appeal show. He has hosted countless sporting events including his BAFTA ward wining coverage of the 2012 Paralympics on C4 co-hosted with Clare Balding. An Olympics that changed the course of history for people’s attitudes towards disabled people, not just in sport.

In a personal documentary for C4, Ade Adepitan: Journey of my Lifetime, Ade returned to his birthplace Lagos to investigate Nigeria’s polio endemic. Picked up by the Sunday Times, Ade’s story left viewers inspired including support on Twitter from Bill Gates, who invited Ade to speak at the Global Vaccine Summit: We Changed History in 2020, when Nigeria officially declared the country free from wild poliovirus, becoming the last country in the continent of Africa to be polio free. A milestone that see’s Ade continue to work alongside the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to end poliovirus globally.

An exceptional public speaker and live host, Ade supports a plethora of charities including Amnesty International, Unicef and NSPCC and continues to deliver motivational speeches to schools, charities, and businesses around the world.

Ade’s personal sporting achievements include a Bronze in The Athens Paralympics, Silver in the European Championships and Gold in The World Championships. Ade received an MBE in 2005 and was awarded Honorary Doctorate from Loughborough University in 2006 and the University of East London in 2010.

Ade has released four children’s books all based on stories from his own childhood, as a Nigerian kid with a disability growing up in East London during the ‘80’s. His debut book series follows a superhero character called Cyborg Cat, and they call centre around the same messaging “We can all be superheroes, no matter who we are or where we’re from.” 100% of the proceeds from Ade’s second book were donated to Children in Need.

Jimmy McGhie

Jimmy is a top comedy circuit act in the UK, as well as a highly sought after corporate awards host and TV warm up artist.

Jimmy’s career was kick started in 2005 after reaching the finals of the prestigious ‘BBC New Talent’ competition and performed in the Amused Moose Hot Starlets Showcase at the Edinburgh Festival. He then began working full time as a stand-up comedian performing in theatres, clubs, arts centres and universities all over the country and abroad.

Performing stand up all over the world, Jimmy has appeared on numerous television and radio programmes including the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Comedy Central, ABC Australia, THREE New Zealand, Absolute Radio and many more.

Jimmy has performed 10 solo shows at festivals around the world including the Edinburgh Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Sydney Comedy Festival, Perth Comedy Festival and New Zealand International Comedy festival.

He took his first solo show, ‘Jimmy McGhie’s Northern Meeting’, to the Edinburgh Festival in 2009 receiving rave reviews and returned in 2010 with his solo show ‘Jimmy McGhie – The All-Powerful Warrior Who With His Endurance And Inflexible Will To Win Goes From Conquest To Conquest Leaving Fire In His Wake’. In 2011 Jimmy returned to the festival with the show ‘Jimmy McGhie – Artificial Intelligence’.

Alice Bufton-Thorneycroft

Alice is constantly researching and working with new inspirational speakers and experts, connecting them with our clients and ensuring a tailored approach for all HTL events. Alice enjoys idea generation and has a natural creative edge which means her solutions to business challenges often have a memorable twist.

In the past Alice has run her own business, Abingdon Management and Consulting, specialising in the area of wellbeing and performance. In particular Alice worked with Dr Frank Dick to deliver practical and sustainable solutions to address performance development issues. Alice was awarded with an ‘excellence’ citation from The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) for the work both she and Frank Dick carried out within the corporate sector.

Alongside facilitation, Alice is an experienced conference host and interviewer having been asked to perform this role on more than one occasion for the Lloyds Banking Practice Pool Annual Conference, Network Rail, Poggenpohl’s Annual conference and Countrywide Surveyors Annual conference for over 450 people, which culminated in an interview on stage with the CEO of Countrywide Alison Platt and CFO Hamanshi Raja.

Alice has interviewed celebrities Matthew Dawson and Michel Roux JR for Just Retirement in front of 100 of their IFA community. She also interviewed Lord Coe as part of a private evening event held at Simmons and Simmons.

One of Alice’s attributes is her thorough preparation and research skills in order to create a successful interview. Asking the right questions to prompt deep thinking is an essential skill to the success of the interview from the audience’s perspective.

Providing the right balance of questions to meet the needs of the event, to bring out the best of the personality being interviewed and to capture and maintain the audiences’ attention are all skills that have been honed over the years during which Alice has been interviewing for different organisations.

In addition to interviews in front of ‘live’ audiences Alice also has experience of writing and asking interview questions for filming purposes. HTL’s Brilliant Minds Digital platform comprises of video briefing’s centering around a specific topic of relevance to business today and features a variety of pertinent experts offering their insights. Alice has spent many hours behind the camera interviewing experts.

Alice’s work focuses on improving engagement, coaching and presentation skills in conjunction with how to review more effectively for continuous improvement and confidence-building. Alice has worked in a 1:1 capacity with a number of senior leaders to help them improve their presentation and interpersonal skills.

Sophie Morgan

Sophie was paralysed from the chest down in a car crash aged 18. Since then she has gone on to establish a diverse and successful portfolio career; spanning across various creative industries.

She is a Television Presenter and reporter, and has presented the brand new property series ‘Best Laid Plans’ (10 part series, Tern TV), current affairs program ‘Tricks of the Restaurant Trade’ (12 part series, Betty), Unreported World (Quicksilver Media) as well as Live Sports (Winter Paralympics 2018, Rio Paralympics, World Para Athletics).

Sophie is Director of the following companies:

• Empire Investors – a property investment & development company
• Sophie Morgan Creative – a company providing bespoke services to retailers to improve disability representation
• Votal – a new voting App launching in 2018

She is also works as an Artist and Portraitist, London, and runs a small boutique arts company called Love Lines.

In addition to this Sophie is an award-winning campaigner, Patron of Scope, Ambassador for Aira Wheels and Batec mobility and was voted in the top 100 most influential people with a disability two years running.

Mary Nightingale

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Mary Nightingale is an English newsreader and television presenter, best known for her roles within ITV presenting the Evening News. During her time at ITV News Mary has been involved in some of the UK’s biggest stories.

After studying English at London University, Mary worked for a few years as a Eurobond dealer, joining the City just as it was revolutionised by the so-called ‘Big Bang’ in 1986. She left the Square Mile to join Sir Keith Mills’ team at Airmiles, helping to launch what was then a revolutionary sales promotion concept to the British Public.

In 1990 Mary had her first taste of television, when she was invited to screen test for a popular daily programme on TV Tokyo: World Business Satellite. She got the job, and spent the next 5 years reporting the main financial news from Europe – combining her writing skills with valuable city experience. She covered many high profile stories during that time, including the toppling of Margaret Thatcher, and the release of Nelson Mandela.

In 1991 Mary expanded her TV experience on the newly launched BBC World Service Television – presenting World Business Report – a twice daily live half hour programme.

She first broadcasted to a UK audience in January 1993, when Carlton succeeded Thames Television in the London region; initially presenting the late night bulletin on London Tonight, and then joining Alastair Stewart as main co-presenter in 1996.

During that time Mary also worked as a newsreader on BBC Radio Five Live, presented for Reuters Financial TV, reported for BBC Ski-Sunday, and fronted the ITV Rugby World Cup from South Africa – one of the first women to present such a high profile sports event.

Mary took a break from News in 1999, when she landed what was often called “the best job in television” – hosting the hugely popular ITV travel show “Wish you were Here…” . During her travels Mary crossed the Atlantic on the QE2 and Concorde, learnt to scuba dive, and herded cattle by horseback on a ranch in Arizona. She also saw more golden beaches and cruise ships than she can possibly remember!

But after 2 years globe-trotting she missed the buzz of the newsroom, and in 2000 was tempted back, joining ITV for the re-launch of the Evening News, initially with Dermot Murnaghan, then Mark Austin, and, for the past five years, with her original co-presenter and friend Alastair Stewart. The programme won three RTS Awards during that time.

Mary is now sole Anchor for the programme which continues to grow audience numbers and win awards. She has broken the news of the death of the Queen Mother, coverage which was later nominated for a BAFTA. She was one of the first to interview Kate and Gerry McCann after the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine in Portugal.

Gregg Wallace

A high-profile presenter on UK TV, Gregg came to prominence as the co-host of MasterChef, Celebrity Masterchef and Masterchef: The Professionals alongside John Torode. The show has versions in over 25 countries, earning its reputation as the world’s biggest food programme.

Gregg began his career as a greengrocer at Covent Garden Fruit and Veg Market and in 1989 he started George Allan’s Greengrocers, a company that built up to an eventual turnover of £7.5 million and boasted over 500 restaurant clients.

Based on his business success, he was invited to co-present Veg Talk on BBC Radio 4 with Charlie Hicks, which lasted for seven years. In 2002, he was the original presenter of Saturday Kitchen, a show he still features on to this day. Other food-related TV projects include: Eat Well for Less, Inside the Factory, Turn back Time, Harvest and Supermarket Secret.

Along with various food and cookery shows Gregg has appeared on everything from Who Do You Think You Are? to 8 Out Of 10 Cats and also had a stab at Strictly Come Dancing in 2014. Away from the media, Gregg formerly owned a restaurant and was also Managing Director of an online farm shop and distributor of home grown produce to the public and restaurants. He also regularly writes for Good Food and Olive magazine.

Gavin Hewitt

Gavin Hewitt is a prominent writer and broadcaster. He was until recently Chief Correspondent at BBC News. From 2009 to 2015 he was the BBC’s Europe Editor.

He has had a front row seat at many of the world’s major events.

In 2016 he covered the Trump campaign in the United States. He was in East Berlin the night the Berlin Wall came down and in Moscow for the end of Soviet Communism. He covered the 9/11 attacks in the United States and reported from New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina. He was embedded with the American Third infantry for the war in Iraq and covered the Obama campaign in 2008.

He has given speeches in New York, Toronto, Italy, Germany, Brussels and Luxembourg.

Gavin has four main corporate speeches:

The Battles of the Mind: drawing on experiences including covering war and natural disasters he talks about resilience, courage, failure, survival and moral dilemmas.

The Disruptors: Using some personal stories he talks about how the information revolution is changing the world of work, shaking up politics and challenging democracy.

Portraits of power: Using a mixture of stories and anecdotes he talks about power, what it does to people, and how modern leadership is changing.

Global Shocks: Having spent five years in Brussels and having covered the Trump campaign he talks about Brexit and anti establishment politics and the modern era of insecurity.

Gavin has written three books including the ‘Lost Continent’ on the political and economic crisis in Europe. His blog was voted one of the most influential in Europe.

Before that Gavin wrote ‘A Soul on Ice’ about his experiences as a frontline correspondent. It was described as a ‘breath-taking recollection of real stories’ and was later used as the basis for a West End play.

In the eighties he lived in Toronto Canada and worked for Canadian Broadcasting. He has written articles for the Outlook Section of the Washington Post.

He has won a Bafta, an Emmy, an RTS and a Peabody award.

 

Dion Dublin

Dion Dublin is the former Manchester United footballer, turned popular TV personality. Dion has most recently presented Home Under The Hammer on BBC1 and has had a successful media career since retiring from football in 2008.

One of England’s best-loved footballers, Dion was best recognised for his 2 year spell at Manchester United, in which he scored on his debut. He was given legendary status at many of his other clubs including scoring 48 goals at Aston Villa where he was the joint top scorer in the Premier League in 1998. Dion also earnt four England caps when he was playing for Coventry City.

Dion has built a very successful media career as a football pundit for the BBC and Sky. He presented Late Kick Off for BBC1 East and can also be heard regularly on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Aside from his love of football, Dion is extremely passionate about music. He has invented his own instrument called ‘The Dube’ which is a percussion instrument. The Dube has been endorsed by the likes of Courtney Pine and has also been used by bands such as Feeder and The Maccabees.

Chrissy Bray

Chrissy Bray is an accomplished comedic presenter with years of experience in television, radio, public and corporate functions. A talented improviser and versatile host, Chrissy is able to MC every style of occasion, from gala balls to intimate birthday parties and everything in between.

From hosting the 2010 World Cup Fan Fest at Darling Harbour, Sydney for over 20,000 people, to presenting live on Channel Ten, Chrissy Bray has a wealth of experience both in the corporate sector and in the entertainment industry.

Having been Australia’s only female warm up comedian in the cutthroat world of television, Chrissy honed her skills learning how to keep audiences enthralled with her sharp banter and natural charm.

Her vocal prowess and ability to engage audiences has seen Chrissy performing around the world alongside various DJs. From the Melbourne Cup and Formula One in Australia, to Love Box music festival in London to DISTRIKT at Burning Man festival in the USA, Chrissy’s passion for electronic music coupled with her magnetic stage presence has captured audience’s imaginations everywhere.

Now based in London, Chrissy manages her singing and presenting career in both the UK and Australia.

With several themes to suit any celebration, Chrissy’s curated experiences are highly adaptable and have been tried and tested with outstanding results in every scenario.