Ian is the mint of after dinner speakers

Let's Talk|June 2020

Ian is the mint of after dinner speakers
He’s the man who knows how to get the party started – and how to finish the evening with a laugh. Ian Richards tells David Clayton about his life as an after dinner speaker.
David Clayton

“I’ve been lucky, but I’ve worked hard,” is how Ian Richards sums up his showbusiness career so far.

You could be excused for not having heard of him. As he admits, “I’ve not got a huge media profile.” But Ian is in demand as one of the country’s top after-dinner speakers and unless you’ve been to one of the corporate events where his funny stories and big, booming voice command the liveliest of audiences, you might not know much about him. Yet Ian is at the top of his profession.

He was born in Diss and grew up in Norwich. His father hoped he’d be a solicitor, but at 15 Ian began helping a local mobile disco. This quickly moved on to him DJ-ing a few bookings himself and he realized the money was good. More importantly he had the skills to do it and do it well.

“I had two racing bikes but sold them and bought my own disco gear,” he remembers.

He got some bookings at the World’s End pub in Mulbarton, south Norfolk and – here comes the lucky bit – the manager of the Samson and Hercules nightclub in Norwich happened to be there and offered him a job straight away. There, he made a name for himself in the venue’s Flixton Rooms, where he packed them in with his Motown and Northern Soul.

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June 2020