What do you do to ensure your act has a lasting impact?
As a host, I do everything in my power to ‘own’ the evening. I invest a lot of time prior to the event to engage with the client and their vision for the evening, and immerse myself in every aspect of it on the big day. I take great satisfaction at bringing together the often disparate elements of an event and making it ultimately feel like a coherent and most importantly, highly entertaining evening. When I perform a comedy set, I work hard to make it as tailored and relevant to the audience I’m playing to as possible. Hosting an event for the FT recently, for example, featured plenty of material about the parlous state of the world economy, and an event for the mobile phone industry similarly focused on the funnier aspects of that world!
How did your corporate entertaining begin?
Many years ago, I hosted the launch of FilmOn.com, a movie-streaming website. Looking back on it, an idea incredibly ahead of it’s time; it’s now huge. It was a riotous evening, featuring a movie quiz for the great and good of film and TV. It even featured a turn from the Cheeky Girls! It was a hilarious and totally unique evening and gave me a great first taste of corporate entertaining.
Which event has been your favourite and why?
There hasn’t been a single one that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy, but two highlights would probably be twice hosting the Sony World Photography awards in Cannes – it’s a truly global event, taking place in the theatre that hosts the Palme D’Or. I was also the face of the Pimms Summer Party season this year, in which Pimms gave two competition-winners the ultimate summer party. What’s not to love about that? Actually I also hosted the World Draught Masters Event for Stella Artois recently which was extraordinary. Sorry that’s three…!
If you could perform at any event, past or future, what would it be?
The Oscars, love! Failing that I’d happily front the Bafta’s or the National Television Awards…
Who would you most like to share a platform with?
I’d be thrilled to work with either John Cleese or Sir Terry Wogan – two geniuses in their respective fields.