Once again, the hugely popular Seminar Theatre was open to all visitors to the show, with a cracking line-up of top celebrity expert speakers.
So, who did you get the chance to listen to in 2016?
11.15am: Eric Knowles – My Favourite Historic Properties and more
Eric Knowles is a well-known face in the world of antiques, particularly to viewers of Antiques Roadshow and Antiques Master which he co-presented. He appears to be one of those rare individuals who is able to share his considerable knowledge in a way that is exciting and easy to understand.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a leading authority in European and Oriental ceramics, the glass of Tiffany and Lalique, as well as and decorative arts. Today he looks after museum liaison and several of his finds can now be seen in national museums.
Eric is a regular face on TV and has also filmed a historical renovation series for Discovery Home & Leisure called The House That Mackintosh Built, a property series Period Property and several series of Put your money where your mouth is on BBC1.
Previously The Sunday Times’ antiques expert, he remains a frequent contributor to the BBC Homes and Antiques magazine as well as writing for a variety of other publications. Eric has lectured extensively in the UK at such renowned museums as the Victoria and Albert and the British Museum and around the world. He is a patron of several charities and is an Ambassador for the Princes Trust.
12.15pm: Julie Peasgood – Britain’s Best Places To Visit & Hidden Gems
Julie has a multi-faceted career as an accomplished actress and TV presenter, an award-winning author, travel writer and columnist, a leading voice-over artist and a popular public speaker and events host.
Honoured by the Royal Television Society with the Television Personality of the Year Award, Julie’s professionalism, engaging personality and dynamic approach means she is in constant demand. She has worked extensively for the Travel Channel presenting Cruise Today, and she regularly writes about travel and lifestyle for the Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Femail and Best magazine. With long-running columns in The Sunday Mirror, Now and Yours magazines to her credit, she currently has a double-page spread about crafts in Simply Homemade, a travel column in Magnet magazine (which she co-writes with her husband, actor Patrick Pearson) and she is Contributing Editor for Cruise International magazine.
Julie brought her warmth and humour to The Alan Titchmarsh Show as resident relationships expert for three years. She has been a guest presenter on Loose Women and The Wright Stuff with other presenting credits including This Morning where she was guest co-presenter and gardening series Turf Wars.
As an actress, Julie’s career has spanned over 40 years of prestigious theatre and television. She has worked in the West End, spent five years with The Royal Shakespeare Company (in Stratford and London) and recently returned to her home town of Grimsby to do star in panto. Her long list of TV credits includes Casualty, Taggart, Holby City and The Bill.
1.15pm: Martin Roberts – Ask Me A Question About Travel
Martin Roberts is one of the UK’s most respected property, travel and lifestyle TV presenters and journalists. Over the past 25 years he has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITV, CNN and SKY TV.
He was a regular presenter on ITV’s top rated travel show Wish You Were Here? for eight years and the travel editor for Woman magazine for 15 years.
He has written and presented the hit BBC property auction show Homes under the Hammer for over ten years and is a UK and overseas property expert, appearing on BBC Breakfast, SKY News, The Jeremy Vine Show, The Alan Titchmarsh Show and BBC Radios 2, 4 and 5Live.
He is the former chairman of the British Guild of Travel Writers and a board member of the Institute of Travel & Tourism.
2.15pm: Alexis Conran – Avoiding Scams and Staying Protected
Star of the BBC’s popular show The Real Hustle, Alexis Conran has turned the world of scamming into an entertaining art form and is acknowledged both as a uniquely talented performer and someone you do not want to be playing cards with.
Alexis graduated from LAMDA and pursued a career in acting before following a curious desire to study the art of magic. Within three years he was working as a professional magician specialising in card cheating. He started performing at exotic, celebrity-fuelled private parties worldwide.
This year Alexis took part in and eventually won Celebrity MasterChef, which was broadcast on the BBC, and in the process proved that he’s definitely versatile!
In 2003, he was part of a team asked to advise the writers and actors on the hit TV series Hustle for the BBC. His extensive knowledge of hustling, pickpockets and con artists gave the show an authenticity that didn’t go unnoticed. Following this, Alexis was asked to star in a new TV show for the BBC, The Real Hustle.
In 2007 he was part of a magic special for BBC1 called Don’t Miss A Trick and since 2010 he has been extensively involved as a consultant producer from the very early stages on both series of The Magicians (BBC1), Derren Brown: The Great Art Robbery (Channel 4), Breaking Magic (Discovery) And Troy (Channel 4 / E4).
Alexis is a charismatic and experienced speaker on security and risk. He also speaks candidly on the threats posed to businesses and the cleverest ways to protect ourselves against potential fraudsters, both in the real and the ‘virtual’ world.
The Group Leisure & Travel Show takes place on Thursday 12th October 2017 at the NEC, Birmingham.
For information about exhibiting click here
Celebrity appearances subject to change and availability.