Gyles Brandreth, with his chin on his hands, in front of a wall of colourful windmills


Writer and performer

New College, 1967


QUADCAST - Alumni Stories: Episode 22, January 2017


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Celebrated writer, broadcaster, performer and former politician, Gyles Brandreth, talks about his extraordinary career and varied interests in this podcast. He describes his busy undergraduate years during the Swinging Sixties and highlights how his experiences at Oxford laid the foundations for his successful working life.

Brandreth speaks about being president of the Oxford Union, directing the Oxford University Dramatic Society, and even meeting Paul McCartney, Jane Asher and Tony Benn. He also refers to studying Modern History and Modern Languages at New College, and advises students to make the most of their youth.

The interview explores a range of diverse topics, from Brandreth’s role as a government whip during John Major’s administration to his appearances on Radio 4’s Just a Minute, and from writing about the secrets of happiness to his admiration for Noel Coward.


Interviewer: Guy Collender
Music: Setuniman from