A national treasure and a man who knows everyone, Gyles Brandreth is a writer, broadcaster, performer, former MP and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, now Chancellor of the University of Chester and one of Britain’s most sought-after award ceremony hosts and after-dinner speakers. A veteran of TV shows like QI (2003-) and Have I Got News For You (1999-2017), a reporter for The One Show (2008-) and a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Just a Minute, his many books include the fictional Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries and the number one non-fiction bestseller, The 7 Secrets of Happiness.
A former Oxford Scholar, President of the Oxford Union and MP for Chester, Gyles’ career has ranged 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.
An honest name-dropper, Gyles’ ancestors include George R Sims, a highly-paid journalist, Jeremiah Brandreth, the last man in England to be beheaded for treason, Benjamin Brandreth and the inventor of ‘Brandreth’s Pills’ a pill that cures everything.
Gyles is now in high demand as a speaker – he is actually the world record holder for the longest after-dinner speech at 12 and a half hours, so be careful what you wish for. Oozing with intelligence, anecdotes, charisma, style and class, Gyles will keep an audience engaged from the very start to the very end.
In his first career as a politician, Gyles Brandreth was a member of the Conservative party and MP for the city of Chester. He was also Lord Commissioner of the Treasury during John Major’s government, as well as Lord of the Treasury (or ‘whip’). His notable achievements include a proposed bill that later became law as the 1994 Marriage Act.
Now a prolific broadcaster and fabulous guest star, Gyles has appeared in TV shows including Blankety-Blank (1989), Celebrity Gogglebox (2019-), Celebrity Mastermind (2004), Pointless Celebrities (2012-2020), Great Canal Journeys (2020-), the IT Crowd (2010), Loose Women (2004-2010), Opportunity Knocks (1960s), Panorama (2001), Room 101 (2005-2014) – and over 300 appearances on Countdown (1983-).
He is also a familiar voice on the radio, presenting and talking for BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 live, including Woman’s Hour, The Week in Westminster, Pick of the Week, My Teenage Diaries and Desert Island Discs in 2011. For five years, he hosted more than 200 editions of LBC’s weekly arts and entertainment show, Sunday With Gyles Brandreth where he sharpened his interview skills with the likes of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ken Livingstone, Felicity Kendal, Hear’Say, Richard Whiteley, Uri Geller, Prunella Scales and Christopher Lee, amongst many, many others.
In 2019, Gyles began co-hosting a podcast called Something Rhymes with Purple alongside Countdown alumni, and fellow Great British Speaker Susie Dent. The podcast discussions the English language, particularly historic or unusual words and their origins.
His one-man shows have won multiple five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe and tour regularly throughout the UK. He has been seen in the West End in Zipp! One Hundred Musicals for Less Than the Price of One, Twelfth Night: The Musical, Cinderella, The Importance of Being Earnest and Hamlet, as well as Edinburgh shows The One to One Show and Wonderland.
As well as his experience with live broadcasting, Gyles is a proficient writer of newspaper columns, fiction and non-fiction books.
He has contributed work to The Sunday Telegraph, Honey magazine, Woman, Woman’s Own, TV Times, New Statesman, the Spectator, Dogs Today and Manchester Evening News.
He is also a bestselling author of both fiction and non-fiction books, which titles including Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries, Philip & Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage, The Joy of Lex, Have You Eaten Grandma, Philip: The Final Portrait, John Gielgud: An Actor’s Life and A Guide to Playing the Scrabble Brand Crossword Game, as well as the famous Oscar Wilde themed fictions including Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death, the Dead Man’s Smile and the Return of Jack the Ripper.
Gyles won his first prize as public speaker when he was 15 years old, and he hasn’t slowed down since. He has spoken all over the world from Helmsley Palace, Buckingham Palace and Wembley Arena, from New York to Frankfurt, and for Coca-Cola, bankers and nuns, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton and Richard Branson. Thanks to his vast and varied experience, he is now one of Britain’s busiest after-dinner speakers and hosts. His speeches are delivered with bundles of enthusiasm and humour with endless interesting anecdotes.
– Current Affairs
He is a confident and passionate speaker and host, bringing his charm and charisma to all types of events, managing to keep every audience member engaged from beginning to end.
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
A standing ovation on a wet Wednesday in January – amazing. It was the best speech I have ever heard.
Citywire New Model Adviser Awards
This is the third year he has done it and it was better than ever – beyond brilliant, completely perfect.
The COCOAS Awards at the Eden Project
Really top notch! He had the audience in absolute stitches and really gauged the mood right to deliver a seamless performance.
Excellent and received very good feedback from clients. Very impressed with how he took a genuine interest in the awards.
RVM Promotions Ltd.
Gyles was fantastic. He led the session ably – he was very knowledgeable about the subject, and took the time in advance of the session to speak to each of the panellists and put them at ease. He was very enthusiastic and ensured that the discussion was at once light-hearted and informative. In short, he fulfilled, and exceeded our expectations.
Anna, Exterion Media
Gyles was outstanding – he really tailored his speech to the audience and I was at a dinner the following evening where Gyles’ after-dinner speech was the talk of the evening.
Head of Aberdeen Business School
His energy, witty anecdotes and enthusiasm were completely irresistible.
Center Parcs Charity Gala
I am delighted to say that Gyles Brandreth was absolutely brilliant. I can report with confidence that he was our best celebrity speaker yet! He made the day and had everyone in attendance in fits of laughter. He has a great command of the political scene and reduced it almost to a well organised farce. We would recommend him to anyone who wants a first class speaker.
British Vehicle Salvage Association
Undoubtedly the best after-dinner speaker there is and a thoroughbred professional on all levels.
Surrey Property Awards
Simply the best presentation speech I have ever heard.
Timothy James and Partners, Van Gogh Alive Event 2021