Cruise Ship Speakers

Film & TV
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Brad Ashton
TV Comedy & Scriptwriter
Coming from: London,    UK
Brad Ashton’s career as an international comedy scriptwriter spans half a century during which he has written top TV comedy shows for eleven different countries. For eight years Brad ran a Comedy Writing School training two hundred would-be writers. Brad is also the author of four best-selling books on comedy. As an accomplished entertaining after-dinner-speaker Brad regularly gives talks to many organisations and up till now he has been a Guest Enrichment Lecturer on 62 cruises.

John Benfield
Actor
Coming from: Witney,  Oxfordshire  UK
A favorite for portraying villainy and fathership and recognised for his gritty yet soothing voice and chilling eyes, John Benfield is best known for playing men on either side of the law. Cast early in his career as a major character in the genre-defining series Prime Suspect, his face is anything but forgettable. John has appeared in numerous productions on stage, television and film. He has worked with a number of eminent directors, including Sam Mendes, Woody Allan, Ken Loach and The Wachowski’s. Having been in the industry for some 30 years, John presents a witty and informative insight into life behind the scenes.

Dr Carin Bondar
Nature, Wildlife & Biology
Coming from: Chilliwack,  British Columbia  Canada
Dr. Carin Bondar is a biologist, author, TV host and public speaker from British Columbia Canada. She is an accomplished science storyteller, with a number of television credits including National Geographic, The Discovery Channel and The Science Channel. Dr. Bondar is writer and host of the online smash hit series 'Wild Sex', which has amassed over 100,000,000 views. In addition to her media work, Bondar is also an adventurer and naturalist. This allows her to craft lecture performances that are specific to any region of the world, any ecosystem or any specific port destination.

Pip Burley
Showbiz, Celebrity, Television and Music
Coming from: Headley,  Surrey  UK
Destined to spend life as an engineer, Pip took on the world of music and the media instead. His colourful, jack-of-all-trades career has included performing with The Beatles, working in cabaret in the West End and on cruise ships with Joe Loss, followed by a spell in publishing and advertising. Based on his book ‘Briefest Encounters’, this series of lectures, lavishly accompanied with slides and video clips (and occasionally on the piano), celebrates the stars and celebrities Pip has met and worked with, as well as providing a fascinating insight into the nature of ‘celebrity’ itself.

Sam and Candy Caponegro
Movie and Broadway Musicals
Coming from: Somerset,  New Jersey  USA
Sam and Candy have directed and acted in theater for over 30 years. Their main goal now is to keep the movie musical alive. They have over 15 lectures dealing with the History of the Movie and Broadway Musical. They teach these courses at Rutger's University School of Continuing Education and various libraries and centers in NJ... "We promise you will leave our lectures with your toes tapping and a song in your heart."

Neil Davidson
Film Historian
The Golden Age of Hollywood
Coming from: London,    UK
Neil has been passionate about film and the History of Cinema all his life. He has worked in many areas of film including documentary making, script writing, financing and producing. He is currently the Chairman of a film production company, MWP Digital. He has written, produced and directed film commercials for many of the World's leading brand names. Neil's first love is the Golden Age of Cinema, and his enthusiasm for his subject brings the magic of the movies, and show business to life.

Pieter de Vries ACS
Cinematographer, Photographer & Documentary Expert
Coming from: Sydney,  New South Wales  Australia
Pieter de Vries is one of the leading documentary cinematographers in the world. As an ACS accredited Director of Photography, he has reached the very highest level of his craft. His films have won numerous awards, including several Emmys, and BAFTA’s. He has been awarded the Australian Cinematographer Society’s top accolade, Cinematographer of the Year. Based in Australia, he spends much of his time filming documentary programs for the BBC, NBC and ABC in Australia and National Geographic. On cruises Pieter will screen segments of his work and uncover some of the camera magic that is a part of his craft.

Howard Lanning
Film and TV History
Coming from: Potters Bar,  Hertfordshire  UK
Howard has had a career spanning more than 50 years in film and sound editing. He is a former Chairman of the Guild of British Film Editors and is currently President of the British Cinema & Television Veterans. Howard comes from a family of film makers. The series title of Howard’s eight talks is ‘80 Years in Films’ covering the end of the silent era, the beginning of Talkies up to the present day.

Paul Lavers
TV Presenter & Actor
Coming from: Carshalton,  Surrey  UK
Paul Lavers is probably best known as one of the original presenters on QVC – the shopping channel, where with his humour and singing he charmed people into buying. However he trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic school and worked extensively on the UK's theatre repertory circuit. He's also well known to fans of "Doctor Who" as Paul featured in four episodes with Tom Baker, 'The Androids of Tara'. Paul is skilled behind the camera as well and set up Ideal World TV and other channels, including The Entrepreneur Channel.

Alex Leger
Television Producer, Director and Cameraman
Coming from: Exeter,  Devon  UK
Alex Leger has had an extraordinary life. Over the last 60 years the BBC’s world-famous and award-winning ‘Blue Peter’ programme has been entertaining and exciting children and adults alike. For 36 years Alex has been at the heart of the action as the show’s most prolific film maker. His book, Blue Peter: Behind the Badge is a compelling, and sometimes scary, account of the hits, misses and near-death experiences of a life on the road. He is a great raconteur and his talks are lavishly illustrated with film and video clips and enriched with many behind the scenes anecdotes.

Valerie Leon
Actress
CELEBRITY
Coming from: London,    UK
The ever glamorous icon of the 70's, Valerie Leon made her West End debut in Funny Girl with Barbara Streisand at London's Prince Of Wales Theatre. During her career she has been associated with three British Cults: Bond, Carry On and Hammer Horror. Apart from film and theatre she has worked on numerous TV shows. Her talks are about her life and work during this golden age of film and tv, illustrated with vintage material from her association with some of the 70's classics.

Professor John Lobell
Art, Architecture & Design
Coming from: New York,    USA
John Lobell has a widely ranging mind addressing the future, technology, art, architecture, myths and movies, culture, and creativity. He received degrees in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and is a professor of architecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He has lectured at leading cultural institutions and on cruise ships throughout the world. Lobell is an informative but casual speaker who comfortably interacts with his audiences and encourages questions and discussion. He enjoys making complex issues, such as our latest technologies, clear.

Adam Pasco
Gardening & Gardens
Coming from: Peterborough,    UK
Adam has been a leading gardening journalist in the UK for over 30 years, successfully launching and editing BBC Gardeners' World Magazine for 22 of these. He now works from his own media company as a writer, lecturer, and consultant to clients in the gardening industry. Adam has worked across all areas of the gardening media including national TV, radio and newspapers, books, multimedia, digital online and tablet formats, and live events. As an experienced lecturer, Adam has a wonderful selection of highly illustrated, informative and entertaining talks on gardening.

Colin Shindler
Social History, Film, TV & Sport
M.A. Ph.D. (Cantab.)
Coming from: London,  -  UK
Colin Shindler has maintained an active interest in twentieth century American and British social and cultural history whilst pursuing a wide-ranging career as a writer and producer in television, radio and motion pictures, and as an author of books and journalism for forty years. He was awarded his Ph.D by Cambridge University and has been lecturing for the History Faculty there on film and history in the area of modern British and American social and cultural history since 1998. He has lectured on cruises both for Cunard and Swan Hellenic.

Roy Short
Hollywood and Genealogy
Coming from: Brentwood,  California  USA
Roy Short is a retired Senior Manager of Deloitte Consulting who has spent the past thirty years studying and teaching genealogy. Upon retirement from corporate consulting he launched "Short On Time", a Professional Genealogy practice and has conducted seminars and workshops on a wide range of family search topics. Since then, his passion for motion pictures has prompted him to create a portfolio of "Tribute" modules which explore and explain different aspects of movie making, stars and genres. He now spends most of his time entertaining and educating cruise passengers in both Hollywood and Genealogy.

David Sibbald
British & American Entertainment
Coming from: 2 Leeds Road,  Harrogate  UK
A Scot from Edinburgh, David started his career in the Newsroom at Radio Clyde in Glasgow after university, but the lure of teaching Spanish, Russian, Portuguese and French was too great to resist. He later owned his own restaurant in Harrogate, but returned to teaching until his retirement. Since then David has worked on local radio and the internet, providing programmes on music from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and a recent interest – country music. David loves meeting people from all walks of life and is frequently invited to talk to groups locally and on cruises.

John Thomas
Motion Pictures and Television
Producer/Director/Professor; Feature Films, Documentaries, Celebs
Coming from: Houston,  Texas  USA
John has worked 45 years in Hollywood, including the production of nearly 40 documentaries, commercials and 7 feature films as producer/director/writer and editor. He has worked at the major Hollywood studios, and directed many well-known stars. As a stand up comedian, John peppers his movie presentations with his trademark, easy-going and unassuming observational humor. Unlike other speakers who just talk about movies, John is an actual movie maker who can authoritatively answer audience questions, and provide honest answers along with real world illustrations and examples.

David Wiemers
Hollywood Expert; Destination Lectures
Coming from: Fort Lauderdale,  Florida  USA
Emmy award-winning writer, producer, and voice director, David Wiemers had a grand career in Hollywood spanning more than 3 decades. As a professional member of the National Speakers Association and Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest honor given by the organization, Wiemers has regaled audiences throughout the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe. As a comedy writer, he knows how to engage and entertain an audience. Wiemers’ career gave him the opportunity to travel the world. Now audiences get to see the world and it’s unique destinations through the eyes of a Hollywood professional: What is the destination’s story? What is its character? What makes it tick?