roadcaster visits Oxford to talk at Experience Oxfordshire’s Cultural Platform – and sing Bohemian Rhapsody for Jericho Canal Trust

Robert Peston, political editor of ITV News, appeared at the Blavatnik School of Government yesterday, February 23, as special guest speaker at Experience Oxfordshire’s annual Cultural Platform.

Peston was grilled by Financial Times columnist, Tim Harford, host of Radio 4’s More or Less programme, covering topics ranging from Brexit and the 2008 banking crisis to Donald Trump and Arsenal football team.

The event, which attracted more than 100 leading figures from Experience Oxfordshire’s Partner network, Oxford’s arts and local business community, is part of Experience Oxfordshire’s commitment to promoting culture in the county.

The event was chaired by Richard Venables, of VSL & Partners, who is a Board Member of Experience Oxfordshire and OxLEP (Oxford Local Enterprise Partnership). Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government also joined the question and answer session, fresh from hosting talks with global leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Representatives from Oxfordshire’s tourism, heritage and cultural sector were joined by councillors from local authorities across the county, as well as representatives from Oxford Economics and Oxford’s two Universities.  The event was supported by VSL & Partners, Oxford City Council, Oxford Economics and Richardsons Chartered Accountants.

Hayley Beer-Gamage, Chief Executive of Experience Oxfordshire commented:
“The annual Experience Oxfordshire Cultural Platform is part of our continuing commitment to promote culture in Oxfordshire. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the thriving arts and culture scene, but also ensure that we continue to invest and promote this vitally important part of the visitor economy. It was a privilege to have such a high calibre and high profile panel join us at this year’s Cultural Platform and we are very grateful of their support.” 

After speaking at the Experience Oxfordshire Cultural Platform, Robert Peston kept a promise made to BBC Radio 4’s Eddie Mair and sang Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen’s famous rock anthem with the Jericho Singers at a musical celebration of the Oxford Canal at St Barnabas, the canalside church.

While not quite achieving the decibels of Freddie Mercury, Peston received an enthusiastic reception from the 200-strong audience. Radio 4 listeners will be able to judge from themselves on today’s PM.

Commenting on the evening, Robert Peston said: “It was wonderful being on a platform with Tim Harford and Ngaire Woods – I’m their biggest fans – and quite frankly I would have paid to sing Bohemian Rhapsody with Jericho Singers.”


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