Alastair Campbell, speaker, is an international communicator, writer, strategist and mental health advocate. He is perhaps best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. He became Editor at Large of The New European in 2017 and continues as a consultant strategist and Ambassador for Time to Change and other mental health charities.
Alastair Campbell read modern languages at Cambridge. He became the news editor of Sunday Today newspaper and went on to became political editor of the Daily Mirror. During this time he was also one of then Labour leader Neil Kinnock’s closest advisers. It was from that post which Alastair Campbell resigned to become spokesman for Tony Blair, then leader of the opposition. After the 1997 election he became the Prime Minister’s Chief Press Secretary and Official Spokesman, which entailed the co-ordination of Government communications and twice daily briefings of the press. He did this job for Labour’s first term. After helping them win a second landslide election victory, he became Director of Communications and Strategy.
His main hobbies are running, cycling, bagpipes and following Burnley FC. He has run the London Marathon, the Great North Run, and the Great Ethiopian Run, and completed several full triathlons, all for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Fund. He is the charity¹s chairman of fundraising.
He returned to the Labour Party for six months prior to the 2005 general election and continued to advise the party informally under Gordon Brown, including during the 2010 campaign, in which he ‘played’ David Cameron in rehearsals for the historic TV debates. He was a founder of the Go Fourth campaign aimed at focusing Party activists and the public on the need to understand the real choices facing Britain. Together with former sports minister Richard Caborn, he pulled together two of the most successful fundraising dinners in Labour’s history, both on the theme of sport at Wembley stadium.
Passionate about sport, he was written about different sports for The Times, the Irish Times and Esquire magazine. He was communications adviser to the British and Irish Lions rugby tour of New Zealand in 2005. He has raised funds for Burnley FC, a team he has supported since the age of four. His charity projects have involved him playing football with both Diego Maradona and Pele, and appearing in a one off version of the popular TV programme, The Apprentice. He has also appeared as a mentor in the BBC Two series, The Speaker, advising on persuasive speaking. Other TV appearances include BBC One’s Question Time, C4’s Jamie’s Dream School, BBC’s Top Gear and a Panorama documentary.
In 2019 Alastair visited Australia to make a series of speeches about mental health. He was subsequently appointed Global Ambassador to Australians for mental health.
His publications include, The Blair Years (an instant Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller), also Prelude to Power, Power & the People, Power & Responsibility and most recently the Happy Depressive. His most recent book, published in 2020, is Living Better – How I Learned to Survive Depression. He has also written two novels, All In the Mind and Maya.
Alastair Campbell is a highly sought after speaker at conferences and events around the world, specialising in strategic communications and change
“He set out to carefully tailor his insights to a largely creative audience, and his anecdotes were told with the ease of a master storyteller.” Charlie Mawer, Executive Creative Director, Red Bee Media