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BBC War Correspondent John Simpson CBE gives keynote speech at the Experience Oxfordshire Cultural Platform

BBC War Correspondent John Simpson CBE gives keynote speech at the Experience Oxfordshire Cultural Platform

John Simpson CBE was welcomed to Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire on Wednesday 11th March, as guest speaker at the Experience Oxfordshire Cultural Platform, which included a keynote speech, an interview from the former High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Richard Venables and audience Q&A. Following John Simpson’s keynote speech “Is the world becoming a more dangerous place?”, the wide-ranging discussion included highlights of John’s long career, his predictions for the future of the BBC, and making Oxford his home of the last several years.

This year’s Cultural Platform attracted leading figures from Experience Oxfordshire’s Partner network, the county’s political leaders and the local business community. The event is part of Experience Oxfordshire’s commitment to promoting culture across Oxfordshire and was sponsored by VSL & Partners, Heythrop Park Resort and Richardsons Chartered Accountants – Oxfordshire based companies who share a passion for promoting and supporting the cultural sector in the County.

Commenting on the event, Hayley Beer-Gamage, Chief Executive of Experience Oxfordshire said:

“The annual Experience Oxfordshire Cultural Platform is part of our continuing commitment to promoting culture in Oxfordshire. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the County’s cultural heritage and remind ourselves how important culture is to Oxfordshire. This year’s event also included a timely reminder from our guest of honour, John Simpson CBE, that we must continue to invest in and promote this vitally important part of the visitor economy. It was a privilege to host the event and John was interesting, insightful, entertaining and an absolute pleasure to work with. Our thanks go to all of the sponsors of this event that was enjoyed by all in attendance”.

Speaking about the Cultural Platform, John Simpson CBE said:

“I was delighted to support Experience Oxfordshire Charitable Trust by attending this event. It was a pleasure to speak at the Cultural Platform, to welcome so many of Oxfordshire’s leading figures to Heythrop Park Resort and to participate in such a positive exchange of questioning and debate. I do hope the guests enjoyed the afternoon; and found the event as enlightening and stimulating as I did.”

Richard Venables, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire added:

“John Simpson provided great insight into unpredictability in today’s world and his often humorous interaction with world leaders. His observations on Oxfordshire where ‘on point’ with the need to actively promote all aspects of Oxfordshire’s cultural life and not to rest on our laurels.”

Andrew King, Director of Richardsons Chartered Accountants, added:

“Richardsons were delighted to sponsor this event. It provided an uniquely privileged perspective on the sweep and pattern of world events over the last 50 years, and priorities for shaping Oxfordshire’s future.”

Paul Russell, Heythrop Park Resort Director commented:
“We were delighted to host the prestigious Cultural Platform this year. Heythrop Park Resort’s story combines a 18th century manor house with a stylish, contemporary estate and we are conscious of our place within the wider story of Oxfordshire. We were very fortunate to hear John Simpson’s stories of the many places he has reported from, and how they have shaped him.”

As part of the event and to encourage wider engagement of the local community Experience Oxfordshire also ran a competition to win a pair of tickets to the event, and they were won by Jayne Cooper from Freeland, near Witney, who commented on winning and attending the event:

“It is the first time I have won a competition so felt really good yesterday being at the cultural event. We both enjoyed our time, in networking with others and listening to John Simpson and the question and answer session. Very informative, easy listening and fun too. Opportunities like this don’t happen very often!”