Speakers under the spotlight

Tribute bands, group drumming and business gurus may have had their day, according to one of the industry’s leading entertainment bookers. Talking at the C&IT Forum, Jeremy Lee, managing director of speakers’ bureau JLA, branded the options as passé. Chef Gordon Ramsay, sports coach Sir Clive Woodward and comedian Rory Bremner were also considered to be past their best. Lee spoke of the importance of ensuring that speakers are suitable for the client’s profile, and warned against being swayed by personal taste. "There’s a real danger that the ‘chairman’s wife syndrome’ can affect decisions," he said. "Who you know shouldn’t come into it either – one of the prime objectives should be to challenge the audience’s assumptions." One-time judo partners William Hague and Lord Sebastian Coe were both tipped as being perfect for the current climate, as were comedians Jimmy Carr and Dara O’Briain. Among those earmarked to be ‘hot’ next year are broadcaster Andrew Marr, cyclist Lance Armstrong and ex-Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan.

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