TV’s Ross Kemp finds himself in another extreme situation - in Harrogate

On-screen hardman and TV journalist Ross Kemp held 570 of the region’s businesspeople spellbound when he was guest speaker at the 75th Harrogate Business Luncheon on Friday.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 4:43 pm
Guest speaker Ross Kemp (centre) with Heather Parry of the Yorkshire Agricultural Association, Paul Varley of Lloyds Bank, sponsor Graham Wilson, Howard Matthews and Duncan Williams. PHOTO: Gerard Binks.

Kemp became a household name in the 1990s when he played the role of the thuggish Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap opera Eastenders.

Since then he has carved out a second career, making documentaries in often dangerous situations, interviewing gang members, prisoners, tribesmen and even pirates.

“We had high hopes and we certainly weren’t disappointed,” said organiser Howard Matthews.

“Ross was an extremely good speaker and the feedback since has been amazing. He was charming too, and stayed for an hour afterwards for selfies and another couple of hours after that, chatting to guests.

“He was up there with the top speakers we’ve had.”

The event, which filled the Pavilions of Harrogate to capacity, was the first of the year’s three Harrogate Business Luncheons, which are organised by Howard Matthews Partnership, with support from Williams Investment Management LLP, Lloyds Bank Plc and the Harrogate Advertiser Series.

The sponsor of the event was Harrogate police officer Graham Wilson, who plans to complete 120 marathons in 120 days in the British Isles, France and Spain from next month. He was seeking sponsorship of his own, and got it, from dozens of guests.

The next Harrogate Business Luncheon will take place on Friday, May 22; the speaker is yet to be confirmed.