Gyles Brandreth is a writer, broadcaster, 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 QI and Have I Got News For You, a reporter
on The One Show and a regular on Just a Minute, his many books include
The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries
and the No 1 best-seller: The 7 Secrets of Happiness.
Gyles Brandreth – in 600 words
A former Oxford Scholar, President of the Oxford Union and MP for the City of Chester, Gyles Brandreth’s 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.
A prolific broadcaster (in programmes ranging from Just a Minute and Wordaholics to QI and
Have I Got News for You), an acclaimed interviewer (principally for the Sunday Telegraph), a novelist,
children’s author and biographer, he has published two volumes of diaries:
Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries (‘By far the best political diary of recent years, far more perceptive and
revealing than Alan Clark’s’, The Times) and
Something Sensational to Read in the Train: The Diary of a Lifetime (‘Witty, warm-hearted and deeply poignant’, Daily Mail).
As a performer, Gyles Brandreth has been seen in the West End in Zipp!One hundred musicals for less than the price of
one at the Duchess Theatre and on tour throughout the UK, and as Malvolio and the Sea Captain in Twelfth Night: The
Musical at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 2011/12 he played Lady Bracknell in a new musical version of The
Importance of Being Earnest and in 2016 appeared in Hamlet at the Park Thatre in London.
Gyles Brandreth is one of Britain’s busiest after-dinner speakers and award ceremony hosts. He has won awards himself,
and been nominated for awards, as a public speaker, novelist, children’s writer, broadcaster (Sony and Royal Television
Society), political diarist (Channel Four), journalist (British Press Awards), theatre producer (Olivier), and businessman
(British Tourist Authority Come to Britain Trophy). He has featured on This Is Your Life and Desert Island Discs and is
a former chairman and now vice-president of the National Playing Fields Association. At the end of 2016, he succeeded the late Duke of Westminster
as Chancellor of the University of Chester.
He is married to writer and publisher Michèle Brown, with whom he co-curated the exhibition of twentieth century children’s authors
at the National Portrait Gallery and founded the award-winning Teddy Bear Museum now based at Newby Hall
in North Yorkshire. His son, Benet, is a barrister, award-winning speaker, authority on rhetoric – www.artofrhetoric.com
- and author of an acclaimed novel about Shakespeare's lost years: The Spy of Venice.
His daughter, Aphra, is an environmental economist. With his daughter Saethryd and grandson Rory, he is the author of a compendium
of family games, The Lost Art of Having Fun. With Saethryd, he has also created Novelty Knits, a celebration
of the colourful jumpers he was noted for wearing on TV in the 1970s and 1980s.
Gyles Brandreth’s forebears include George R Sims (the highest-paid journalist of his day, who wrote the ballad Christmas
Day in the Workhouse) and Jeremiah Brandreth (the last man in England to be beheaded for treason). His great-great-grandfather,
Benjamin Brandreth, promoted ‘Brandreth’s Pills’ (a medicine that cured everything!) and was a pioneer of modern advertising
and a New York state senator. Gyles Brandreth has been London correspondent for “Up to the Minute” on CBS News and his books
published in the USA include the New York Times best-seller,
The Joy of Lex, as well as The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries
(Simon & Schuster) and The 7 Secrets of Happiness (Open Road Media).
Gyles Brandreth – in 60,000 words
Under the Jumper: Autobiographical Excursions
by Gyles Brandreth, published by Robson Books, 1993
Gyles Brandreth – in 600,000 words
Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries, published by Biteback, 2015 Something Sensational to Read in the Train: The Diary of a Lifetime, published by John Murray, 2009
Gyles Brandreth is a former appeals chairman, chairman and currently vice-president of the National Playing Fields Association,
now known as Fields in Trust: www.fieldsintrust.org.
In 1986 as chairman of the Barn Elms Protection Association, Gyles visited Sir Peter Scott to trigger the creation
of what became the London Wetlands Centre: www.wwt.org.uk/visit/london.
Gyles has served on the appeals committee of what used to be called Action Research for the Crippled Child, now www.action.org.uk
He is the patron of PetSavers, a division of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association dedicated to improving the health of
pets, providing vets with a better understanding of the illnesses that affect animals: www.petsavers.org.uk.