Ultimate List: 25 of the Top After Dinner Speakers for Your Next Corporate Event
Here at Champions Speakers, we are the UK’s leading after dinner speakers booking service. Having spent decades networking with clients and speakers, we have utilised our reputation to conduct a special survey into the most popular after dinner speakers!
In our survey, we asked 84 participants to name their top after dinner speaker. Our team then analysed the results and discovered the most popular orators by the number of votes, and why they were chosen.
So, in no particular order, here are the most popular after dinner speakers according to our survey:
Why book an after dinner speaker?
After dinner speakers are the perfect combination of entertainment and education. They are commonly hired for corporate events to top off an evening of celebration, whether for a company milestone or to recognise employees’ hard work.
After dinner speakers are natural storytellers, so are booked to engage audiences and leave them with a fresh perspective on life. Woven throughout their anecdotes are actionable takeaways, like the importance of mental health or the power of teamwork.
Our survey says… these 25 fantastic figures are the most popular after dinner speakers to book! Read through our list, then contact a booking agent to secure one of these celebrities or sportspeople for your event.
BBC's Chief Political Correspondent (1992 – 2000)
John Sergeant was repeatedly heralded for his humour and wit. A natural entertainer, his after dinner speeches reveal the highs and lows of his reporting career, which spans 50 years.
Our previous client, the Building Research Establishment, was thrilled by John’s after dinner speech:
"John Sergeant went down extremely well, we have had nothing but praise for him. He is also a true professional, please pass on our thanks for a job well done."
Former Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond Films
A British icon, Samantha Bond was voted for her onstage eloquence. With multiple prestigious acting titles to her name, she entertains attendees of her after dinner speeches through star-studded anecdotes.
Former Rugby Union Player & BT Sport Pundit
A true sporting legend, Martin Bayfield is a fan favourite after dinner speaker. His speeches take audiences on a journey through his career, making for an entertaining experience and unforgettable corporate event.
Our previous client, INCA, loved Martin’s hosting style at their awards ceremony:
“The feedback from the event has been excellent with members commenting on what an engaging and interesting speaker you were. It was lovely that you joined us for dinner, and we were especially pleased at the way you engaged with our members, taking the time to sign autographs and pose for photographs. This was over and above what we expected and added real value to our event.”
TV Personality & Former Member of Parliament
Balancing both political and media experience, Gyles Brandreth’s varied experience earned him a place on our list. He holds the record for the longest after dinner speech at over 12 hours, making Gyles a celebrity on the circuit!
Our client, Aberdeen Business School, was really impressed by Gyles’s after dinner engagement:
"Gyles was outstanding - he really tailored his speech to the audience, and I was at a dinner the following evening where Gyles’s after dinner speech was the talk of the evening!"
Acid Attack Survivor & TV Presenter
Sometimes, the most powerful after dinner speakers are the ones who have an emotive story to share. That is what makes Katie Piper so popular, her experience of surviving an acid attack and now thriving as a TV presenter.
Our client, Penna, was inspired by Katie’s words of wisdom at their virtual event:
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Katie. She spoke with inspiration, authenticity, truth, and confidence. Her story is undeniably unbelievable, and her positivity and words of wisdom will stay with me for my entire life. I’ve tried to think of my favourite moment, but in all honesty I don’t have one as it was all outstanding.”
Former MD of Birmingham City & The Apprentice Star
Voted Businesswoman of the Year, Karren Brady is a popular after dinner speaker for corporate events. Her experience as the MD of Birmingham City and role on The Apprentice makes Karren an instantly recognisable figure.
Our client, Capital One, only had positive reviews of Karren’s speech:
“Thank you for taking the time to talk to the ladies at Capital One, they found your talk motivating, inspiring and refreshingly honest!”
Former MP & TV/Radio Star Who Presented on the BBC
Having worked with Michael Portillo on multiple events, we were not surprised by the result! His after dinner speeches are truly unforgettable, they discuss political discourse and invite attendees to explore British history.
Our client, the Nottinghamshire Hospice, was really impressed with Michael’s after dinner speech:
“Everyone enjoyed, we have to say very much so! He hit the tone just right with humour and political insight!”
Cricketer of the Year in 1976 & Derby Captain
If there is one word that attendees use to describe Geoff Miller, it is 'hilarious'! This cricketing legend is the perfect after dinner speaker: wit, charisma and authenticity tied up in his star-studded anecdotes.
Our client, Building Adhesive Limited, loved Geoff’s sense of humour:
“Went very, very well thanks. He was funny and had a lot of life experiences/stories to tell that everyone found really interesting. Also opened up to questions at the end, which could have kept going for hours - plenty of interaction and help to finish off the day well.”
World-Cup Winning Rugby Union Sports Star
A worthy speaker to be featured on our list, Kyran Bracken is the rugby star turned after dinner speaker you need to book. He was part of England’s 2003 World Cup winning team, making his engagements exhilarating, to say the least!
Our client, Amersham & Chiltern RFC, were blown away by Kyran’s after dinner speech:
“Kyran was outstanding! The whole consensus was it was the best evening we have had to date, and that was mainly because of Kyrans input in the evening!”
The World’s Greatest Living Explorer by Guinness Book of World Records
Ranulph Fiennes was named the World’s Greatest Living Explorer by the Guinness Book of World Records, so it is with no surprise that he is on our list. His incredible after dinner speeches take audiences on an expedition over mountains, oceans and arctic terrains.
“Fabulous – a remarkable man who gave a brilliant presentation and was a delight to deal with. Nothing was too much trouble, and the talk was as good as it gets – inspirational, witty, humbling and enthralling. You won’t do any better than have Ranulph Fiennes as your guest speaker.”
TV Presenter Famed for Stacey Dooley Investigates
As a journalist and TV presenter, Stacey Dooley is completely at home on stage. Her after dinner speeches engage audiences from start to finish, as Stacey’s natural charisma resonates with all in attendance.
Iain Duncan Smith
Former Leader of the Conservative Party
Another political powerhouse, Iain Duncan Smith’s after dinner speeches discuss his experience as the Conservatory party leader. An eloquent speaker, Iain is perfect for corporate events and galas.
Our client, the Chamber of Commerce, were really impressed by Iain’s political insight:
“Everything went really well, and Iain was very well received by our audience. He arrived on time, was happy to have photographs and his presentation was perfectly pitched for our business audience. Thank you for all of your help with organising and please pass on our thanks to Iain for his time.”
Journalist & BBC Newsreader
As one of Britain's most recognisable faces, Kate Silverton is a worthy recipient of the ‘top after dinner speaker’ title. Whether she is presenting on Panorama or BBC Breakfast, her natural presence highlights Kate’s talent as a speaker.
Former Presenter of The Gadget Show
Best known for hosting The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury’s after dinner speeches encapsulate the humour and wit he brings to British television. He now attends corporate events as an after dinner speaker specialising in the media and technology.
Theatre & TV Star Known for Flash Gordon
From Doctor Who to Flash Gordan, Brian Blessed is an instantly recognisable after dinner speaker. He earned a place on our list from his infectious energy and booming voice, which define his corporate speaking engagements.
Our client, LADbible, had only positive reviews for the outstanding Brian Blessed:
“Brian was an absolute pleasure to work with! He is the kindest, most interesting man I think I’ve worked with to date!”
Former UK Special Forces Solder & SAS: Who Dares Wins Presenter
Described as “inspirational”, Ollie Ollerton leaves a lasting impression at every event he attends. The former SAS soldier and TV presenter wows audiences with his thrilling stories of survival in the face of danger.
Our client, Rubric, were blown away by Ollie’s virtual after dinner speech:
“Please can you pass on a HUGE thanks from all of us here at Rubrik and from our customers & partners. Such a great presentation, really well received, and Ollie was incredible! As he was telling the story of being chased by militia, I literally stopped breathing! Fantastic speaker & he deserves every success with his business ventures - great guy!”
TV Sensation Famed for Mary, Queen of… Series
With her eye for creativity and energy enthused presenting style, Mary Portas inspires innovation as an after dinner speaker. She earned a loyal fanbase from her TV series and today, Mary is a popular addition to corporate events.
I’m A Celeb’ Winner & Fan Favourite Football Manager
Harry Redknapp earned a position on our list from his unforgettable speaking engagements and television presence. The football manager turned I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here winner captivates audiences at events – could he attend yours next?
Our client, Walsall Football Club, were impressed by Harry’s hands-on speaking style:
“The night was a real success […] Harry was great with the punters and a great Speaker who spoke for at least 45 minutes then stayed on for photos.”
Olympic, World, European & Commonwealth Gold Medallist
Sally Gunnell is an icon of the British sporting scene. The multi-medal winning athlete motivates audiences at her after dinner speaking engagements, leading to transformed workplace productivity and performance.
Our client, Virgin Atlantic, reported that Sally set a high standard at their after dinner event:
“A brilliant presentation. You inspired, captured and motivated the imagination of everyone in the room. You have set a very high standard for future opening speakers.”
The Original Stig on BBC’s Top Gear
Who better to attend your corporate event than the original Stig! Perry McCarthy’s after dinner speeches are popular for their celebrity anecdotes, which includes the many famous figures he has driven around a track.
Our client, Audi, had rave reviews for Perry’s after dinner speech:
“With Perry you can always guarantee that your guests are going to have a fun time. His ability to grab everyone’s attention and make them laugh has ensured that we book him on a regular basis.”
Former Political Spokesperson & Equality4MentalHealth Co-Founder
Alastair Campbell can talk extensively on both politics, the media and mental health. Such diverse topics make him a fan favourite, and a sure-fire success at your corporate events. Do not miss this exciting after dinner speaker!
Our client, the Law Society of Ireland, had high praise for both Alastair and Champions Speakers:
“Alastair was absolutely fantastic. He was insightful, controversial and very entertaining. To top it all he is a very pleasant and charming man. Thank you for all your help in securing Alastair for us and for all your hard work. I look forward to working with you again in the future.”
European Broadcasting Union Winner & TED Talk Speaker
Charles Hazlewood is a TED Talk regular and seasoned public speaker. With a background in classical music, Charles’ engagements bridge the gap between conducting and business. Learn how to “orchestrate success” with Charles!
Our client, The Servant, encouraged others to hire Charles with their feedback:
“If you want to inspire your employees to excel as a team, bring Charles Hazlewood to address your next company gathering.”
Professor of Particle Physics & Documentary Presenter
Brian Cox’s after dinner speeches transport audiences to outer space, from the comfort of your venue. He is immensely popular among clients, thanks to Brian’s many television appearances and reputation for innovation.
Our client, Banks Sadler, were truly starstruck by Brian’s after dinner speech:
“He was BRILLIANT. Mind blown...”
Red Arrows Display Pilot & Royal Air Force Pilot
As Andy Wyatt has been described as “superb” by previous clients, we are not surprised to see him on our list of the top after dinner speakers! The Red Arrows pilot reveals how he stays calm while under immense pressure, a vital topic for corporate events.
Our client, Severn Trent, had only positive feedback for Andy’s presentation at their event:
“Throughout his time on stage, the audience was captivated, and Andy’s presentation was one of the best of the day. It is clear that Andy is a first-class orator and delivers a message that is indeed inspirational. If anyone is looking for someone to provide a motivational message, then I can thoroughly recommend Andy as the man to do it.”
Team Captain on A Question of Sport
Whether booked to discuss resilience, mental health or his rugby success, Matt Dawson is the perfect all-round after dinner speaker. He is famed for his wit and charm, as exhibited on A Question of Sport and in his punditry roles.
Our client, Guenther Bakeries, commended Matt’s discussion of leadership and teamwork:
“He was a fabulous speaker, he really engaged with the audience and his speech on leadership and teamwork was brilliant.”
Having completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing, Megan joined Champions Speakers in 2019. She is found regularly contributing to the company blog where she discusses everything from the latest news to self-improvement, as well as contributing t... Read more
Champions does not speak for or claim to represent all the individuals listed on this website as the exclusive booking agent or agency unless specifically stated. Acts listed on this site are for informational purposes only.