Dominic Holland

Dominic Holland has been doing stand-up comedy since 1991 and has become one of the most regarded comedians of his generation.

Dominic has made countless TV appearances, recorded an award winning series for BBC Radio 4, and has published four novels and one non-fiction book, as well as writing umpteen articles and short stories. He is one of the country’s most respected comedians, playing regularly at The Comedy Store and Jongleurs and performing full length at theatres all over the country. Dominic’s material is what sets him apart, inoffensive and totally accessible to all, relying heavily on acute observations on all our lives. This material, combined with a very personable stage presence, always make his shows relaxing, intimate and hugely enjoyable.

Since becoming a professional comedian Dominic has performed five highly acclaimed sell out one-man shows at the Edinburgh Festival, winning the Perrier Best Newcomer Award in 1993 followed by a Perrier Nomination at the 1996 Fringe. The Small World of Dominic Holland show for BBC Radio 4, broadcast in 2000, won a comic heritage award, a series he followed up with Holland’s Shorts. Dominic also co-wrote and appeared in the sitcom HAL which aired in the autumn of 2014.

His acting credits include Young Persons’ Guide to Becoming a Rock Star and the film Tube Tales. Dominic embarked on a writing career for the late Bob Monkhouse, On the Spot, BBC Radio 2’s What If sketch show and the BBC Clive Anderson series in which he also appeared, giving a comedic slant to the week’s news topics.

In addition, Dominic has made numerous guest appearances on such television shows as Have I Got News For You, The Clive James Show, The Brian Conley Show, The Des O’Connor Show, The Stand Up Show, Edinburgh Nights, Best of Edinburgh, The Royal Variety Show, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

The Sunday Times described him as ‘The UK’s master of observational comedy’ and the Daily Telegraph noted that ‘he is a top notch stand up who everyone should see’. Dominic’s personal favourite quote about himself was by the late Bob Monkhouse who called him ‘Britain’s funniest not yet famous comedian.’ Dominic is still working hard on the ‘not yet’ bit.

Iwan Thomas MBE

Iwan is without doubt one of the finest 400m runners that Britain has ever seen. Securing medals at all major championships, Iwan still holds the British 400m record of 44.36s, after 20 years. Not only talented in Athletics, Iwan competed internationally in BMXing, where he was ranked 4th in Europe.

Iwan stormed the athletics scene in the 1998 winning Gold in the 400m and the 4x400m at the European Championships in Budapest. That same year, he represented Europe against the other continents of the World at the World Cup in South Africa, again winning medals in both events, he then flew straight to the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur where he became champion of the Commonwealth winning a bronze medal for Wales in the 4x400m relay, and a gold in the 400m.

He was part of the Channel 4 team at the World Championships in Daegu and did a series of features which helped to motivate young people to get active with a year to go until the London Olympics.

Iwan is an experienced TV presenter with regular features on BBC’s The One Show, which has seen him report on a wide variety of topics; in addition to hosting all the major British Athletics events. Most recently, Iwan has survived ‘The Island’ with Bear Grylls.

Jeff Grout

Listed in the ‘100 Best Business Speakers in Britain’ Jeff is a sought after public speaker acting variously as a business speaker, conference chairman and interviewer.

Jeff was formerly UK Managing Director of a leading international recruitment consultancy and Business Manager to Sir Clive Woodward. His clients include British Airways, Ernst & Young, Amazon, Barclays, Harrods, Deloitte, Virgin, HSBC, Henley Business School, the Danish Centre for Leadership and the League Managers Association. He is a successful business author: ‘What do Leaders Really do?’ was published in 2007 and ‘What You Need to Know about Leadership’ in 2011.

Most recently he has interviewed a number of entrepreneurs and leaders including Jason Leonard, Lord Coe, Greg Dyke, Lord Sugar, Sven Goran-Eriksson, Michael Parkinson, Bob Geldolf and others, providing wonderful anecdotes and insights for his speeches.

The topics he covers in his presentations include: What do leaders really do?; Building High Performance Teams; Leading Change; Sporting Lessons for Business; and the Characteristics of Success.

Jenny Kleeman

Jenny is an award-winning journalist and documentary maker, specialising in hunting down and telling unique stories.

Jenny has fronted a number of films for Channel 4’s foreign affairs documentary series Unreported World. Covering stories from across the globe; from the depths of the Amazon rainforest to Afghanistan, via Liberia, Cambodia, Nigeria and Honduras. She has covered subjects as diverse as human trafficking, Afghan film-making, nightclub raids in Mumbai, overpopulation in Manila and lobster diving in the Caribbean.

Back on home turf, Jenny has reported for BBC One’s The One Show and Channel 4’s Dispatches, reviewing the newspapers on Sky News and BBC News Channel.

She has also written extensively for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, New Statesman, The Observer and Vice Magazine. Her features have been republished across the world, from the South China Morning Post to the New Zealand Herald.

Jenny won the One World Media Television Award in 2011 for ‘Manila: The City with Too Many People’, and was Shortlisted for the Amnesty International Gaby Radio Journalism Award in 2012.

John Inverdale

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John Inverdale is one of Britain’s foremost sports presenters.

During his radio career, he has presented 7 Olympic Games, 8 Football and Rugby World Cups, 28 Wimbledon Championships, 20 Open Championships, plus numerous other major sporting events throughout the world including the Ryder Cup, World Athletics Championships, Grand Nationals and Cheltenham Festivals, Champions League and FA Cup Finals.

The son of a Royal Navy dental surgeon, John Inverdale was born in Plymouth in 1957. He attended Clifton College in Bristol and went on to gain a degree in history at Southampton University before embarking on a career in journalism.

John began his career as a reporter for the Lincolnshire Echo before moving to BBC Radio Lincolnshire in 1982. His first job with network radio was in 1986 as a sports reporter for BBC Radio 2 and a news reporter for Radio 4 on the Today programme. In 1988 he became presenter of Sport on 2 which he hosted for six years until the advent of Radio 5 Live when he moved to a daily news programme.

In 1997 he was named Broadcaster of the Year at the Sony Awards, and in 1998 Radio Personality of the Year by the Variety Club.

His television career began with BSB in 1990 as presenter of rugby and football, and on the BBC, he presented Rugby Special from 1994 to 1997.

John hosted his own BBC1 sports chat show Onside for seven series, and is a regular presenter on current sports programmes including Wimbledon. John has also hosted ‘The World’s Strongest Man’, which regularly attracted audiences in excess of 10 million.

Married with two daughters, John’s biggest sporting passion is rugby union, and he is closely involved with Esher RFC. He is also a self-confessed pop trivia bore.

Katharine Merry

Katharine is a rare Athlete who had outstanding success at both junior and senior level athletics. Having been the fastest girl in the world aged 14, 12 years later she became the fastest woman in the world over 400m.

Since Katharine’s retirement from Track & Field in 2005 the Olympic medallist has worked within the Event, Sport and Media industry at the same level that she enjoyed in her competitive career. Katharine is a hugely popular Event host who is able to absorb a brief and use her years of experience and knowledge to deliver on message, informative and entertaining commentary and interaction with the audience. Her unflappable nature and attention to detail, means that she can adapt to any situation and brings the best out of people she interviews.

Katharine is, in fact, the only female TV lead Commentator in Athletics, which has seen her working at numerous Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, European Championships, as well as lead Commentator for Channel 4 at the Paralympics and Paralympic World Cup events.

Katharine has the versatility of being an established broadcaster and host around the World. Whether infield in the USA, live television presenting or behind the microphone being a lead commentator, she excels in her sport of Track and Field as well as Netball, Triathlon, Pentathlon or Beach Volleyball! Her sporting knowledge helps her hold her own as a regular guest on BBC Radio 5 Live’s “Fighting Talk” panel show and on a variety of established television and radio programmes.

Post retirement Katharine has also established herself as an engaging, insightful and entertaining speaker for a variety of organisations from corporate companies like Lloyds to those in the sporting and teaching world. Inspiring all with her journey from a 10 year old with an Olympic dream to being an Olympic medallist, she shares her journey plus the skills and disciplines involved.

 

Pete Firman

Pete is recognised as the UK’s leading comedian/magician. He starred in BBC1’s prime-time Saturday night programme ‘The Magicians’.

His skill for fusing magic and comedy has made him one of the most in demand magicians working on British television, writing and performing in magic shows such as ‘Monkey Magic’ (FIVE), ‘Dirty Tricks’ and ‘Derren Brown’s 3D Magic Spectacular’ (Channel 4) and ‘The Secret World of Magic’ (Sky One).

He has also made dozens of guest appearances on programmes like ‘The One Show’, ‘The John Bishop Show’, ‘BBC Breakfast’, ‘The Sarah Millican Television Programme’, ‘Celebrity Mastermind’, Gordon Ramsay’s Cookalong Live’, ‘Comedy Rocks with Jason Manford’, ‘This Morning’, ‘Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live’, ‘Comedy Cuts’, ‘Saturday Live Again!’ and ‘Something For the Weekend’.

He is also an accomplished television presenter, having fronted the gameshows ‘Stakeout’ and ‘Wait For It’ for BBC1 and ‘The Body Shocking Show’ for E4.

‘Tricks To Freak Out Your Friends’ is Pete’s first book for the public. A beginners magic book for the 21st century. So successful was it in the UK, it was also released in the USA and is about to go into its second print run.

Pete has performed 9 years in a row at the ‘Edinburgh Comedy Festival’ as well as the ‘Just For Laughs Comedy Festival’ in Montreal, which is by invite only. He has toured the UK with 5 solo theatre shows, most recently ‘Trickster’ in 2014.

Rachel Burden

Rachel presents Radio 5 Live’s Breakfast Show alongside Nicky Campbell. She has travelled widely for the network, broadcasting from Rome, Dublin, Kenya, New Zealand and South Africa.

Rachel Burden is an experienced radio presenter, and has co-hosted the BBC 5live Breakfast show with Nicky Campbell since 2011. She has worked on the national radio station for over 10 years in a variety of presenting roles, and reporting from all over the world. Recent broadcasts include the death of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and a trip to Afghanistan which included reporting from Kabul and alongside British troops in Camp Bastion.

Rachel also regularly appears on BBC Breakfast as a reporter and more recently presented their general election live audience debate.

Rachel began her radio career in BBC local radio, having graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in History and Politics, and trained in broadcast journalism at Cardiff University.

Rod Woodward

Award-winning comedian Rod Woodward has been heralded as a young Bob Monkhouse, his material is witty, topical and superbly timed.

Rod is the son of eminent Welsh sports writer, Karl Woodward, who recently retired as the longest serving member of the national newspaper of Wales, The Western Mail. He had planned to follow his Dad and take up a career in the media but, when offered a job as a studio audience warm up man at HTV Wales, Rod took a year out from university to pursue his childhood ambition of becoming a professional comedian.

Since then Rod has been tipped for the comedy premiership by such luminaries as Peter Kay and the late Bob Monkhouse after winning the Best Newcomer to Variety Award. Having supported Paddy McGuinness and Russell Brand on tour, in 2008 he won the BBC 1 Wales comedy competition Funny Business. Rod has performed at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas ahead of Joe Calzaghe’s super fight with Bernard Hopkins and to celebrate Cardiff City reaching the FA Cup final, Rod wrote and performed comedy song ‘Do The Ayatollah’ backed by more than 100 Bluebirds fans. Set to the tune of the Macarena, it was a YouTube sensation and was featured on network radio and television shows, including Soccer AM and GMTV.

More recently he was invited to host Max Boyce’s 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Wales Millennium Centre and appeared on a St. David’s Day special on Welsh television.

The highlight of Rod’s career was being invited to perform at the London Palladium before William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on the Royal Variety Performance.