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Peter Cardwell

Talk Radio Political Editor, Peter Cardwell, is an informative and entertaining conference speaker for keynote speeches or after dinner.  He is also an accomplished host, moderator and facilitator.  His best selling book, The Secret Life of Special Advisers, is now out in paperback and highly recommended.

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Conference speaker, Peter Cardwell, has been sacked by Dominic Cummings in 10 Downing Street, flirted with Cate Blanchett on air — who joked at the end of the interview she would send him her number — and sneered at by Piers Morgan for four and a half minutes on national television.  He has advised four Cabinet ministers in four different government department, presented hundreds of hours of radio and television and spoken at dozens of events to diverse audiences.

He has been there and done that in politics, in broadcasting, as well as a more recent role as a Non-Executive Director on a FTSE 250 company which was established less than two years ago.


In 2016 after ten years as a journalist, he became a special adviser in government, in four departments successively: the Northern Ireland Office; the Home Office; the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government; and the Ministry of Justice.  After being sacked, he wrote a book, The Secret Life of Special Advisers, which outlines how government really works on the inside, as well as tales of a Cabinet minister twerking to Stormzy, another who disappears from her ministerial office for one afternoon a month to get Botox, and what it’s like to be asked about why your boss has four ovens continuously by the media over an eight-day period.  The book was serialised in the Mail on Sunday and has just gone to its third edition.

After growing up in Northern Ireland and doing his degree at Oxford, for 10 years, Peter was a reporter and producer.  His first job was writing questions for Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight and he worked in a variety of roles at the BBC in Washington – for example covering the Obama election in 2008 – as well as in New York, Belfast and London/Westminster.

In his spare time, Peter volunteers as chairman of a trust for student journalists, mentors a teenager in the care system and spends time with his rescue cat, Jack.

Current Media

As well as being Talk Radio’s political editor and a presenter at the station, Peter frequently comments on politics on outlets including The Today Programme, Channel 4 News and ITV News At Ten, as well as writing for outlets including The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator and Politico.

Speaker, Presenter and Facilitator Corporate Events

Peter understands the corporate, political, media and economic landscape and is a popular choice for corporate events to give business speeches, after-dinner speeches and to chair events. Feedback on his presentations includes:

“Informed, in-depth and witty, Peter’s speech brought the political situation and his own experiences in both politics and journalism alive for 350 delegates at the annual conference of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors.  I knew Peter’s easy and accessible style from TalkTV before booking him and he was the ideal speaker to communicate the complex world of politics to a general audience.  He was also very easy to deal with: straightforward, communicated brilliantly and was totally reliable.  I would recommend Peter to any organisation looking for a speaker or presenter on current affairs and politics. As an experienced broadcaster he would also make an ideal host.”  James Bielby, Chief Executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors 2022.

“From the start of the process to the end of the event, Peter was friendly, accommodating and utterly professional.  His many years of political, journalistic and presenting experience made him the ideal chair for our event.  He listened to our top-level speakers, his interactions both informed and with a lightness of touch, bringing insight, knowledge and humour to proceedings.  I would have no hesitation in recommending him for future events, and we will certainly use him again for ours.” Vanessa Pine, outgoing Director, Atlas Consulting 2022.

“Peter could not have been easier or more agreeable to deal with and, when he arrived at the dinner, he moved easily and comfortably with the members and their guests, showing himself to be at ease in their company … Peter spoke fluently, clearly and confidently, his voice carrying easily across the room and, while he made some serious points about the role and responsibilities of a special adviser, he laced them with humorous anecdotes without ever being indiscreet. His address was very well received, many of our members reporting that they found it very interesting and informative and, at the same time, entertaining.” John Young, Chairman of the Oxford Alumni Association of Northern Ireland, Malone Golf Club, Belfast 2022.

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