Cruise Ship Speakers

Film & TV
  Click on photo for full profile and contact details.

Robert Ash
Celebrity Chef
BBC Masterchef Finalist, Winner The Observer Chef Competition. Author.
Coming from: Brentford,  Middlesex  UK
Robert Ash is a former BBC Masterchef finalist, and winner of the prestigious Observer/ Rothschild Mouton Cadet Chef Competition. He is currently Chef/Patron at Robert Ash at Rue du Lac in Macon, South Burgundy, France, the successful cookery school he opened in 2004, which is host to guests and students from all over the world. "Robert’s passion for teaching defines him. More than anything, he has the patience to convey all of this to his audience in a way that makes perfect sense."

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.

Rob Bayly
Balloon Pilot and former BBC TV Producer
Radio Presenter
Coming from: Bristol,  Somerset  UK
Rob has flown balloons in the Arctic, deserts and mountains. Among his record-breaking flights he has flown the Atlantic by balloon. In parallel Rob was a member of BBC staff for 33 years, starting as a TV producer on ‘Tomorrow’s World’ and finishing his career on the ‘Antiques Roadshow’. Rob draws on extensive first hand knowledge of ballooning and broadcasting, both very visual and entertaining subjects. He is also happy to volunteer for other cruise roles such as tour guiding and on board radio/TV broadcasting.

John Benfield
Coming from: Witney,  Oxfordshire  UK
John Benfield has had a career in acting for some 30 years. On completing his studies at Nottingham University he decided to swap the history books for props and costumes and headed off to drama school. His acting career started on the stage of a company called The Bubble, a mobile theatre which performed at various venues in and around London. He is known and recognised for many parts he has played on television and in film. However, his most well known character is probably DCI Michael Kernan - Jane Tennison's (Helen Mirren) boss in Prime Suspect.

Steve Brookes
Gardening Presenter, Broadcaster & Author
Dip. Hort (Pershore) / Gardening, BBC
Coming from: Stratford-upon-Avon,  Warwickshire  UK
Steve Brookes, a well know BBC Gardening Presenter & Journalist, is a fun and charismatic presenter. His enthusiastic approach and subtle humour blend with his extensive horticultural knowledge to make the subject rich and inspiring. His wealth of great gardening tips and ideas coupled with his humorous outlook and anecdotes on horticultural life make for entertaining talks.

Barney Broom
Author & Film Director
Coming from: Blakeney,  Norfolk  UK
Barney Broom works in the film industry. As a writer/director he has won awards for his work having made commercials, documentaries for both TV and cinema. In 2002/03 Barney was involved in the Borobudur Ship Expedition sailing a replica vessel across the Indian Ocean in the wake of 8th century Indonesian migration to Africa. The documentary produced entitled Braving the Cape was sold to Discovery. His first novel Haute Cuisine was recently published, with a second book Podric Moon and the Corsican Tyrant due out next year. He is a member of BAFTA and the Director’s Guild of Great Britain.

Pip Burley
Music, TV & Show business
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.

Benton Cade
Filmmaker & Asia Expert (especially China & Japan)
PhD in Film Studies
Coming from: -,  Beijing  China
Dr Benton Cade is an English filmmaker originally from Reading, England. He has lived in China for over a decade, first in Anhui province and then in Beijing. In 2011, he wrote and directed the award-winning documentary Sky Ghosts. His second documentary, Red Son, continued the religious theme by focusing on the history and development of Catholicism in China. Since September 2015, Cade has been Professor of Film Studies at Tsinghua, China's top university. Benton has lectured on Chinese and Japanese subjects on cruise ships in the region.

John Clithero
Sports Writer & Broadcaster
World of Sport & World of Entertainment
Coming from: Leeds,  West Yorkshire  UK
John Clithero worked for BT for 32 years where he gained extensive experience as a Lecturer in Telecommunications at their specialist Training College. After he took early retirement in 1992 he turned a part-time hobby into a business as a self-employed Freelance Sports Journalist and Broadcaster. He has travelled to many Countries covering Cricket, Rugby, Football, Golf and many other sports for BBC, Newspapers and Internet sources.

Stephen Cole
Presenter / Al Jazeera / BBC World
Coming from: London,    UK
Stephen Cole is the senior anchorman and correspondent for the Royal Television Society Award winners Al Jazeera English based in the Middle East and London. He is considered as one of the best known faces of international news television. He is the longest-serving British male Presenter of 24-Hour news. Stephen presents a series of talks on cruise ships about his 40 years in the News and the history of Arab TV.

Andrew Cooper
Natural History Television Producer
BSc. Biology
Coming from: Newton Abbott,  Devon  UK
Andrew is a broadcaster, presenter, author and award winning wildlife film maker. A graduate biologist and anthropologist from the University of London, for many years he was a familiar face on BBC TV through his documentaries and live reports. His career as a TV producer with the BBC Natural History Unit took him worldwide, employing some of the biggest names in the business. A popular lecturer and an engaging, highly rated cruise enrichment speaker, his entertaining, richly illustrated talks are highly informative and tailored to the locations being visited with anecdotes and amusing stories.

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.

Peter Dorling
History of the BBC
Former member of the BBC’s official Speakers’ Panel
Coming from: Wendover,  Buckinghamshire  UK
Peter was on the staff of the BBC for 40 years and began in the BBC’s overseas services with audiences of 100 million people when he read the news. He then transferred to BBC TV News where he spent 30 years as producer, reporter, interviewer, news presenter, and film-director. On retirement he was in demand as a television training consultant for other television stations around the world. Peter uses his film-making experience to give on-board practical ‘tutorials’ for passengers keen to make professional-looking personal videos of their holiday.

Richard Evans
Casting Director
Showbusiness, Celebrity, Performing Arts, Theatre, Actors and Acting
Coming from: London,    UK
Richard is a London based Casting Director who has cast a wide variety of productions in all media since 1989. Prior to this he worked as an actor for ten years. He loves talking about his work and the entertainment industry in general to interested groups and regularly leads audition and career development workshops at many top drama and theatre schools throughout the world, from RADA in London to The Lee Strasberg Institute in New York.

David Fitzpatrick
World Affairs, Journalism & Television News
Coming from: Fairfield County,  Connecticut  USA
A three-time Emmy Award winner, David Fitzpatrick spent more than 40 years as a producer & manager at the highest levels of network television news. He had a 25 year career at CBS News where he served as both a producer & manager, including a 3 year run as one of Morley Safer’s producers at “60 Minutes.” He joined CNN in September 2001, days after the attacks on Sept. 11. He became the principal producer for CNN Anchor Aaron Brown and again began to travel the world for CNN. David is new to cruise ship speaking and is keen to share his experiences as a TV producer both behind the scenes and covering world events.

Simon Hall
Crime Writing & Creative Writing
Teacher of Creative Writing
Coming from: Exeter,  Cornwall  UK
Simon Hall reports on real life crimes whilst creating imaginary ones of his own. His day job is as a BBC TV and radio Home Affairs and Crime Correspondent, but he’s also an author of detective fiction. Alongside his novels, Simon is a tutor in creative writing, teaching at popular writers’ schools in Britain and overseas. Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter.

Martin Hannant
Broadcasting, Theatre & Drama
Radio & Comedy Stars of the 40's & 50's
Coming from: Chipping Norton,  Oxfordshire  UK
Martin lives in Chipping Norton and spent 33 years of his life working as a Primary School teacher. He has been involved in Amateur Dramatics and Operatics since he was 13 years old and has also appeared in 16 major productions with Chipping Norton Amateur Operatic Society taking principal parts. Martin is a committed cruiser and presents a series of talks on the Radio and Comedy Stars of the 40's and 50's and the history of pantomine and early children's TV.

Philip Hopkins
Journalist & International Conference Speaker
Hollywood - The Golden Era
Coming from: Leeds,  West Yorkshire  UK
Phil is an adventurer and a veteran of both stage and the media industry. He spent 30 years in mainstream journalism – newspapers, radio and TV – and, as a graduate of the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, has appeared in some 50 musicals. He has performed at the highest level in theatres, and his love for all things Hollywood led him into a period of research on the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable....and a raft of other icons from Tinsel Town's Golden Era. He has been to Everest Base Camp, taught crisis media management in Kazakhstan, and is a motivation speaker. Phil is the ultimate 'versatile' performer.

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.

Valerie Leon
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.

Steve Levinson
Broadcast Journalist & Economist
Coming from: Pinner,  Middlesex  UK
Steve has been one of Britain’s leading economics and business broadcast journalists for many years. He is highly respected both within and outside his profession for his hard hitting and original journalism, which has won him a number of awards. His insights into the media and the world of politics and economics, have also made him a sought after consultant and advisor to many national and international organisations. In the course of his career he has interviewed many leading political and financial figures. He speaks informatively about media and economics.

Sheila Parker
Entertainer & Showbiz Personality
Formerly one of the 'Vernons Girls'
Coming from: Barnet,  Hertfordshire  UK
Sheila was born in Liverpool, living next door but one to Paul McCartney, a childhood sweetheart. She started her career at the tender age of 15 dancing with the legendary "Tiller Girls", before moving on to the famous "Vernon Girls", where she appeared every Saturday night on British Television. Sheila's talks are a nostalgic trip back in time from the early 1960s, when Rock and Roll was in its infancy, with some amusing anecdotes and tales of the famous people she has worked with, and a reminder of the great music of the era.

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.

Peter Purves
TV Presenter & Commentator
Coming from: South Darenth,  Kent  UK
Peter has been in “the business” since his first professional acting job in repertory theatre in Barrow-in-Furness in 1957, when he was just 18. He is best remembered for being one of what has become called “the Dream Team” of Presenters of the now iconic children’s TV Programmes, “Blue Peter”. He has worked in TV as an Actor, Presenter and commentator. He began giving talks on Cruise Ships in 2011 and enjoys entertaining passengers with subjects that are all very close to his heart.

Emanuel Robinson
The Men who made Hollywood
Coming from: Ilford,  Essex  UK
Manny was a Fleet Street journalist for more than 35 years, working for the London Evening Standard and the Sunday Express. During his career he made many trips to Hollywood and became fascinated by the stories of the men who built up the movie industry like Louis B Mayer, Sam Goldwyn and the Warner Bros. rather than the film stars themselves. He has been in demand as a speaker for the past 20 years and his talks cover the careers of those Hollywood moguls: their tempers, their talent and their desire to be nothing short of emperors in the world of cinema.

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 Shute
Broadcaster & Drama Coach
BBC Correspondent & Producer
Coming from: Calpe,  (Alicante)  Spain
David was the first person to broadcast 'live' to the UK radio audience going through the Sound Barrier. He's a former BBC Network Reporter and Senior Producer. An established Cruise Ship Lecturer he has performed for all the major cruise lines and has occupied guest seats on BBC's Radio Two talk shows. As a former Senior Producer from BBC "Pebble Mill", David will entertain his listeners with stories of behind the scenes at the BBC. David also cruises as a Drama Coach directing plays on board.

Rachel Sloane
Writer & Broadcaster
Coming from: Felixstowe,  Suffolk  UK
A lively and experienced speaker, Rachel has spoken to businesses, organisations, charities and community groups in a speaking career of over thirty five years, with stories of life behind the scenes in a radio station, the funny experiences and the moving ones, the famous and the infamous people she has interviewed. Rachel is an award winning writer and broadcaster who has presented every type of programme from news, current affairs, consumer, arts, medical and phone-in.

Tony Sloman
Film & Cinema Historian
Coming from: London,    UK
Tony is recognised worldwide as one of the world's leading cineastes and has been involved with the film industry all his life. He is an acknowledged authority on all aspects of film production, distribution and exhibition. He has lectured on subjects as diverse as Digital Editing, Cinema and Widescreen Cinema, and on feature film technique. In his series of talks for cruises, he talks about Cinema History and popular Movie Genres.

Robert Watts
Film Producer
Coming from: Wadhurst,  East Sussex  UK
During the course of his long and distinguished career, film producer Robert Watts has played a key role in the making of seven of the top 100 highest-grossing films of all time; THUNDERBALL; the first STAR WAR TRILOGY and the first three INDIANA JONES films, as well as other vanguard films; 2001 A SPACE ODYSSY; PAPILLON, MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN; WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? He is an accomplished public speaker and is in regular demand by British and International TV film companies for interviews and documentaries.