Iain Dale: All Talk with Gyles Brandreth

Iain Dale’s Wednesday broadcast featured Gyles Brandreth’s mellifluously plummy tones navigating his way from pornography to Maureen Lipman, from dad jokes to serial killers, and almost everything in between.

Brandreth is the ideal dinner party guest

For folks like me, for whom small talk is the work of the Devil, Brandreth is the ideal dinner party guest: funny, friendly, seemingly genuinely interested in the world and the people around him, and able to keep the chat going. As such, he must be an interviewer’s ‘go to’ dream as well: little chance of dead air or rabid disagreements from this Grand Homme of the light entertainment circuit.

Much of Brandreth’s appeal seems to lie in the fact that he both knows and trades on the fact that he is something of a privileged ponce, but one who usually manages to reign himself in ‘just’ before ever taking himself too seriously. It is a persona that seems heightened rather than artificial, and one which has seen him bounce from celebrity jumper-whore to MP to ubiquitous media panellist to avuncular know-it-all with idiosyncratic charm.

It is this unique career patchwork which helps Brandreth regale his listeners much in the style of the raconteurs of old; and in an age where ignorance is a badge of honour, and learning seen as an unnecessary encumbrance, his delight in sharing information is both infectious and reassuring. And, you know, fundamentally, it’s just NICE to listen to someone who respects knowledge. Particularly someone who tries to wears it (relatively) lightly and who relishes fusing the low-brow with the high.

Brandreth moves from dropped royal names to emotional self-help with skill, making stops - which may or may have been scheduled - at Mental Health Parkway, Memory Lane Circus and terminating at Positive Mental Attitude Central. But it was when talking about the Edinburgh Fringe and how that glorious crucible of creative insanity revitalised him post-Parliament that he really hit the spot for this most bereft of Fringers. Without sentiment or saccharin, Brandreth conjured up all of the many reasons why we come back to play under the shadows of Arthur’s Seat year after year: the weirdnesses and wildness, the camaraderie, the kindnesses, the support, the invention, and above all... the sheer, bloody, wonderful artistic democracy that can see a household name such as Brandreth perform next to all the bright-eyed emerging acts just starting to dip their toes in the professional water.

Reviews by Rebecca Vines

Pump House Theatre

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

★★★★
A Company 6 Scots

I Am Gavrilo Princip

★★★★
London, England

Iain Dale: All Talk with Alastair Campbell

★★★★
The Space UK

Five Lock Down

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Award-winning LBC radio presenter, CNN political commentator and For the Many podcast host Iain Dale brings his acclaimed, incisive insight on current affairs to conversations with leading figures from politics and broadcasting.

This episode is from a literary dinner held at The Savoy in April 2002 to mark the fifth anniversary of Politico’s.

Margaret Thatcher was the guest of honour, Gyles Brandreth was master of ceremonies and there were speeches by Iain Dale, Sir John Nott, Sir Bernard Ingham and Professor Peter Hennessy.

Most Popular See More

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets