Speaker | Host
Journalist and broadcaster Philippa Kennedy is an accomplished and amusing public speaker, event host and interviewer. She has hosted the British Press Awards, the Regional Press Awards, the annual Press Ball and business-to-business awards ceremonies. She was the 2013 winner of the Journalists’ Charity Award and part of the original panel of the daytime TV show Loose Women. Philippa is also a regular Contributor on TV. Her interviewing skills are warm and incisive, she has an inclusive yet authoritative style and is comfortable interviewing on stage at busy public exhibitions and events.
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Read more about Philippa Kennedy OBE
Northern Ireland born and a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, Philippa Kennedy trained as a journalist on the prestigious Mirror training scheme in Plymouth before heading for Fleet Street and The Sun as a reporter. Over the years she covered the Cyprus spy trials, the Olympics, the Cannes Film Festival, the ballooning exploits of Sir Richard Branson and a host of celebrity interviews with stars of stage, screen and track. She once “broke into” Wakefield jail to interview a soldier ‘unfairly’ convicted of murder, helping the successful campaign to free him.
She was the first female news editor of the Daily Express and later became its Wednesday columnist. For five years she was Editor of the “Journalists’ Bible” Press Gazette, during which time she revamped the British Press Awards. She also relaunched the annual Press Ball which she chaired for 10 years, raising more than £300,000 for the Journalists’ Charity. She is a founder member of Women in Journalism, a former vice-chair of the London and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2003, for services to journalism.
In 2007 Philippa Kennedy joined the staff of the new English language newspaper The National in Abu Dhabi where she interviewed A-listers Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Mikhail Shostakovich, Andrea Bocelli, the late Omar Sharif & Jeremy Irons. In 2012 Philippa returned to university to do an MA in Screenwriting at Regents College, London and is currently working on a television drama script. She has written for magazines such as Women & Home, Good Housekeeping, Tatler, You Magazine, Hello! and OK! and has a regular column in Women & Golf Magazine. She has written one book, a biography of the actress Jodie Foster, published by Macmillan in 1995.
Philippa is currently the Ombudsman for The Sun, dealing with Independent Press Standards Organisation complaints, which gives her a front-line view of post-Leveson tabloid journalism. With 40 years of experience of Fleet Street ‘warts and all’ she is an inspiring motivational speaker for young and old alike, always looking for her next challenge and making light of the gaffes and bruising encounters that shaped her professional life.
She is a keen golfer, captaining both The Press Golfing Society and The Stage Golfing Society and has been a frequent guest speaker at women’s section lunches and dinners at golf clubs. Philippa supports the Journalists’ Charity and is on the board of a charity called Urban Champions that helps care-leavers establish themselves in the workplace. Throughout her life she has made a point of mentoring and encouraging younger journalists and has given many talks on training to be a journalist to schools, colleges and universities. She has also sat on numerous awards judging panels.