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Biography: Simon Calder

Simon Calder


Others say

"Simon was first class. Professional, humour, relevant. Gave us some good PR mentions in media beforehand. Through the wards he was flexible and again professional. Very approachable from the audience and took Q&As. Would not hesitate inusing Simon again"
Blackpool Council

"We really appreciate the energy and creative thinking you bring to the events we organise on regeneration. The contributions you have made to our Magnetic South Conference, the Making of Medway event and Beyond Brighton Pier have been brilliant and we always look forward to working with you."
Director, Sussex Arts Marketing Ltd (SAM)

"I want to thank Simon so much for his fantastic contribution to the judging of the Awards and the wonderful way he came across at the event. His presentation was so engaging and the accompanying slides were hilarious. Ive had so much feedback from guests since saying how much they loved listening to Simon speech."
Events Manager UK/Europe, Tourism New Zealand

"It was a great evening and Simon was, as ever, a real pleasure to work with. I hope we can persuade him to continue to do be our awards host? Can you please pencil us in for next year now?"
Director of Museums & Heritage Show Ltd

Simon Calder is Britain's leading travel commentator and a charismatic after-dinner speaker on the adventures and misadventures of a travel writer.

Simon owes his love of travel to his parents - and in particular their decision to move to Crawley, a new town in Sussex. He was born beside the A23 on Christmas Day, 1955. By the time he was six, he realised that there had to be more to life than this. Fortunately, that summer he joined the Crawley branch of the Woodcraft Folk, and after a camping trip to the Lake District, Simon was hooked.

Later that same year, the USSR decided to send some nuclear warheads to Cuba. President Kennedy threatened retaliation and Simon's parents realised that Gatwick airport, two miles away, was in the line of Soviet fire. So they took the family to Gatwick, and boarded a plane to Guernsey in the Channel Islands, where they stayed for a week before the superpowers stepped back from the brink of nuclear war. Simon has been grateful to Fidel Castro ever since. When Simon was 13 he started to learn the fine art of free travel by hitch-hiking. Four decades later, he is still thumbing his way around the world, augmented by cycling.

"He was an excellent, professional speaker who delivered humour and interest to his presentation with great ease. He was a delight to work with."
Tourism South East

Simon’s career began at Gatwick airport, where he cleaned out planes for Sir Freddie Laker and, later, frisked passengers (for a job, that is; not a hobby).

He then started to write travel guidebooks and articles.  Today Simon is Senior Travel Editor of The Independent, and also writes for Conde Nast Traveller, BA’s inflight magazine, High Life, and the trade publication, Travel Trade Gazette.

Simon presents Fast Track’s Travel Clinic on BBC Worldwide where he answers viewers travel questions and queries. He also films a Weekly Video Diary which can be found online at the Independent and on his personal website.

He was recently a contestant on Celebrity Mastermind, and his specialist subject was Concorde.  To his utter surprise, he won.

More recently he was a contestant on Celebrity Eggheads and lost!

Simon is also a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast News, Daybreak, ITV News, CNN and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Five Live.

In 2012 Simon won the award for Outstanding Achievement and Broadcast Journalist of the Year at the Travel Press Awards, and the News Journalist of the Year for Print at the Business Travel Journalism Awards.

Speaking Topics

Travel Editor for The Independent and presenter of the BBC2's Travel Show and the Holiday programme on BBC 1, Simon Calder is a consummate and charismatic after dinner speaker.

  • Travel
  • TV/Radio presenter

For more information or to book Simon Calder, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk

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