Gyles Brandreth – in 50 words
Gyles Brandreth is a writer, broadcaster, former MP and Government Whip - and one of Britain's most sought-after award ceremony hosts and after-dinner speakers. Currently a reporter on The One Show on BBC1 and a regular on Radio 4's Just a Minute, his acclaimed Victorian detective stories - The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries - are now being published in twenty-one countries around the world.
Gyles Brandreth – in 500 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 to 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).
He is the author of two acclaimed royal biographies: Philip & Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage and Charles & Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair, and in 2007/2008, John Murray in the UK and Simon & Schuster in the US began publishing The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries, his series of Victorian murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde as an amateur detective and based on Wilde’s real-life friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes (‘One of the most intelligent, amusing and entertaining books of the year. If Oscar Wilde himself had been asked to write this book he could not have done it any better’, Alexander McCall Smith).
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.
2010 saw him back in Edinburgh and on a sixty-date tour with The One to One Show. 2010 also saw his play,
Wonderland, staged in London and Edinburgh.
With music by Susannah Pearse, it starred Michael Maloney as Lewis Carroll and Flora Specer-Longhurst as Isa Bowman, the actress who played Alice in Wonderland on stage.
Most recently, Gyles has been appearing as Lady Bracknell in a new musical version of The Importance of Being Earnest and in 2013 he returns to Edinburgh with a new
one-man show: Looking for happiness.
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), political diarist (Channel Four), journalist (British Press Awards), theatre producer (Olivier), and businessman (British Tourist Authority Come to Britain Trophy).
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 the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon. He is a former chairman and now vice-president of the National Playing Fields Association.
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. Today, Gyles Brandreth has family living in New York, Maryland, South Carolina and California. He has been London correspondent for “Up to the Minute” on CBS News and his books published in the United States include the New York Times best-seller, The Joy of Lex as well as Philip & Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage and The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries.
Gyles Brandreth – in 50,000 words
||Under the Jumper: Autobiographical Excursions
by Gyles Brandreth, published by Robson Books, 1993
Gyles Brandreth – in 500,000 words
Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries by Gyles Brandreth, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999
Something Sensational to Read in the Train: The Diary of a Lifetime, published by John Murray, 2009
Gyles Brandreth: Contact
Gyles Brandreth: Newsletters
Newsletter - 15 April 2013
I’ve been away on a Uniworld River Cruise along the Mekong River, visiting
Vietnam and Cambodia. It was organized by Titan Travel and beyond
amazing. A full report will follow. Meanwhile, to get a flavour of it all check out
I’m back and I’m busy. I am travelling the length and breadth of the UK for The
One Show; I’m back in Dictionary Corner on Countdown in May; Wordaholics is
currently airing on Radio 4 at 11.30 am on Wednesday mornings; I am taking
part in some more episodes of Just A Minute quite soon – including a couple from
And all’s set for my new one-man show. It’s called Looking for happiness. Click
here for details. I am planning a few previews to “workshop” the show and the
first is happening at my local church, St Mary’s in Barnes. I thought it a good idea
to start in a church: the audience can hope for a miracle and I can pray for one.
There will be other previews (at Mylor in Cornwall on 2 June; at Framlingham
College on 13 June; at the Udderbelly on London’s South Bank on 15 June; at the
Watermill Theatre in Berkshire on 30 June) and on 17 June I am due to deliver
the ‘Happiness Lecture’ at Birmingham University. Catch the show if you can.
It opens in Edinburgh on 31 July and runs for a month. More soon.
All the best,
Newsletter – 1 January 2013
Happy New Year!
What’s my news for 2013?
On the BOOK FRONT, I am happy to report that Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol has had some lovely reviews.
It is the sixth in my series of Victorian murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and their circle. –
and it has just been optioned for TV. In the UK the book is available as a hardback from John Murray and the paperback
is due out in the spring – when the US hardback is published by Simon & Schuster. More details here: www.oscarwildemurdermysteries.com
The next – the seventh – in the series of Oscar Wilde mysteries won’t be appearing before 2014. (I’ve got the plot: I just need
to find the time to write the book. Once I have done the research, with a clear run on a good day I can manage a thousand words –
but that means I need at least one hundred uninterrupted days to write each one.) Meanwhile: I have succeeded the late, great Ned
Sherrin as the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations – with the new edition due for publication in October 2013.
If you have gems that you think are “musts” for inclusion, please send them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the THEATRE FRONT, I am working on a new one-man show for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I have been to Edinburgh three
times: first with Zipp! (One hundred musicals in one hundred minutes or your money back); then with Twelfth Night – The Musical; and,
most recently, with The One to One Show – produced by Bound & Gagged Comedy who are presenting the new show. It’s going to be called
Looking for happiness . . . Details – plus the dates for Edinburgh and the tour that follows – from www.boundandgaggedcomedy.com in due
course – and in the Newsletter. Watch this space.
Watch this space, too, for more news of the musical of The Importance of Being Earnest. There’s talk of a London season next Christmas . . .
Of course, there is always ‘talk’. so we’ll see . . . Meanwhile, if you’d like to take a look at (or even buy – a couple of people have!)
‘The Bronze Lady’, the remarkable sculpture of my Lady Bracknell executed by the brilliant James Matthews go to: www.james-matthews.co.uk
On the TV and RADIO FRONT, I’m busy criss-crossing the UK as a reporter for The One Show (BBC1 on weeknights at 6.59 pm); I have just
recorded a couple of editions of Just A Minute that are scheduled for transmission on BBC Radio 4 from February sometime and I am currently
recording the second series of Wordaholics which will go out on Radio 4 in the summer (I think). It’s half an hour where we have fun with
words and the line-up includes Alun Cochrane, Susie Dent, Milton Jones, Natalie Haynes, Milton Jones, Lloyd Langdord. They’re very good.
I hope our paths cross in the coming year. In recent weeks my travels have taken me to Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Cardiff,
Sheffield, Solihull, Chepstow, Manchester, Oxford, Birmingham, Lavenham, and Tenbury Wells. When I know for sure where I’ll be this year,
there will be a Newsletter with full details. For now, Happy 2013.
All the best,
PS: Royce Mills as a matchless Widow Twankey in the wonderful Aladdin at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford: ‘Thank goodness for Tesco.
It keeps the riff-raff out of Waitrose.’