Gyles Brandreth

One of Britain's best known authors, actors and TV personalities.

The multitalented former Conservative MP Gyles Brandreth has had an immensely varied and interesting career.

Videos of Gyles Brandreth

An Audience With Gyles Brandreth
Mastering Public Speaking
Gyles Brandreth on banks and bankers

Speaker Profile

About Gyles Brandreth

A familiar face from Countdown's Dictionary Corner, Gyles Brandreth is now a regular contributor to 'The One Show' on BBC 1 and 'Just A Minute' on Radio 4. Recognised not only for his wit and ability as a presenter and stage actor, Brandreth is famous for his distinctive accent and for his love of vibrantly coloured jumpers. Former Conservative MP for the City of Chester, Lord of The Treasury and a government whip, Brandreth's uniquely varied career and range of interests have seen him become a popular writer and speaker. The author of numerous popular novels, he has also written a number of biographies, has published some of his diaries and has written and starred in his own award-winning West End musical revue.

  • Bestselling author
  • Broadcaster
  • Actor
  • Former Conservative MP and government whip

An intriguing career and ample experience mean that the ever engaging and charismatic Brandreth has a vast array of anecdotes to share with audiences of all sizes. His unique wit and delivery style make him an obvious choice for awards hosting and after dinner speaking , he has even held the record for the longest continuous after dinner speech, racking up twelve and a half hours in aid of charity.

Former MP, stage actor, TV presenter, author and founder of a teddy bear museum these are just a few of the many roles which Gyles Brandreth has taken on during his working life. Now an occasional presenter on The One Show, London correspondent for Up to the Minute on CBS News and a regular on Radio 4s Just A Minute, Brandreths broadcasting experiences incorporate some of the UKs best loved shows, including Have I Got News for You and QI.

He is also known for his work as an interviewer for national papers such as the Sunday Telegraph and has written numerous books, from childrens novels to royal autobiographies. Brandreth was the Conservative MP for the City of Chester between 1992 and 1997, during which time his proposal for a Private Member's Bill was made law as the Marriage Act 1994. He was appointed a Lord of the Treasury in 1995 (whilst John Major was in power) and became a well-known government whip. His experiences in such roles have inspired a number of his writings and he has since published diaries from his time in politics.

In addition to his writing and presenting, Brandreth is a keen actor who has played Malvolio in Shakespeares Twelfth Night, Baron Hardup in Cinderella and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, a play penned by Oscar Wilde, the man who has inspired and is the protagonist of many of Brandreths novels.  His abilities as a speaker and comic have combined in his stage shows Looking for Happiness and The One to One Show, both of which have been well met by audiences and critics alike.

Born in Germany, Gyles Daubeney Brandreth moved to London with his family at the age of three. A gifted student, he eventually attended Oxfords New College, where he became President of the Oxford Union and edited Isis, the university student magazine.

Positions and Honours

  • Trustee - British Forces Foundation
  • Vice-president - the National Playing Fields Association
  • Editorial consultant - Whitakers Almanack
  • President - the Association of British Scrabble Players
  • Patron - the National Piers Society
  • Co-founder (with Michle Brown) - Teddy Bear museum
  • Former co-curator - exhibition of 20th century childrens authors, National Portrait Gallery
  • Former European Monopoly champion

Speaking Topics


"...honest, wildly indiscreet and incredibly funny" - The Daily Mail

"A deadpan comic to rival Jack Dee." - the Daily Telegraph

"If ever I hear a better speaker, I'll be surprised. Brandreth is brilliant." - Daily Express

"Not easy to entertain so many nationalities, but he carried it off with ease." - European Office Products Awards

"Very well informed, very funny, very appropriate to the occasion." - The Berkeley Group

"A master class in how these things should be done. Completely brilliant." - Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Staff awards

Testimonials for The 7 Secrets of Happiness: "An Optimist's Journey Gyles Brandreth has access to the secrets of the human heart." - The Times

Testimonials for The 7 Secrets of Happiness: "The 7 Secrets of Happiness will make people happier" - The Brentwood Gazette

Books By Gyles Brandreth

  • The Joy of Lex: How to Have Fun with 860,341,500 Words (1980)
  • The Book of Mistaikes (1982)
  • The Scrabble Brand Puzzle Book (1984)
  • A Guide to Playing the Scrabble Brand Crossword Game (1985)
  • Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries: 1992-97 (1999)
  • John Gielgud: An Actor's Life (2001)
  • The Joy of Lex: An Amazing and Amusing Z to A and A to Z of Words (2002)
  • Charles and Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair (2005)
  • Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders (2007)
  • Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders (2011)
  • Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol (2012)
  • The Scrabble Companion (with Darryl Francis) (1988)
  • Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death (2008)
  • The 7 Secrets of Happiness: An Optimist's Journey (2013)
  • The Biggest Kids Joke Book Ever! (2002)
  • Brief Encounters: Meetings with Remarkable People (2001)
  • Venice Midnight (1999)
  • Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage (2004)
  • Oscar Wilde and the Nest of Vipers (2010)
  • The Great Book of Optical Illusions (1985)
  • Under the Jumper: Autobiographical Excursions (1993)
  • Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile (2009)
  • The Word Book (2002)
  • World Championship Scrabble (with Darryl Francis) (1992)

Fee Details

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