After-dinner minted


How much would you pay for an hour of John Simpson’s company, for Andrew Neil’s ruminations on life and death or Andrew Marr’s witty Westminster anecdotes?

Axegrinder found that all three, and many other well-known journalists, are signed up as after-dinner speakers with Gordon Poole, “the UK’s premier talent agency”.

Marr, former BBC political editor and Start the Week presenter, tops the list with a fee in the £15,000 to £20,000 bracket, while world affairs editor Simpson ‒ “liberator of Kabul” ‒ comes in at £10,000 to £15,000.

Former Sunday Times editor and Spectator publisher Andrew Neil would set you back a similar amount, as would disposed BBC director-general Greg Dyke.

Max Hastings and Jeff Randall both cost £5,000 to £10,000, as does BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner OBE.

In the bargain basement range, ITN’s “award-winning” science editor Lawrence McGinty costs £3,000 to £5,000.

But who is the cheapest journo on Gordon Poole’s books? Who will get out of bed for something between £1,000 and £3,000? It is none other than the Tories’ favourite Guardian writer, Ms Polly Toynbee.

Above, left-right: Andrew Marr, Andrew Neil, Greg Dyke and Frank Gardner

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