Alastair Campbell is a writer, communicator and strategist best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. Still active in Labour politics, he now splits his time between writing, speaking, charitable fundraising, politics and campaigns.
Alastair Campbell read modern languages at Cambridge. By the age of 29 he had moved a long way from his roots as the son of a Pennine Vet to become the news editor of a newspaper called Sunday Today. He 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 but after helping Mr Blair 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 took up running eight years ago at the instigation of his sons and he has since 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, his best friend having been killed by leukaemia. He is the charity¹s chairman of fundraising, currently focused on seeking fifty donations of 50,000 pounds for the charity’s fiftieth anniversary. 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 is one of the party¹s most in-demand speakers at fundraising and motivational events, and 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 Labour¹s 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 2012.
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. 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, Exec Creative Director, Red Bee Media