Ian McMillan Douglas Kurn

Fee Band

Affectionately known as ‘the Bard of Barnsley’, Ian turns performance poetry into pure entertainment. Now living down south, he turns his hand to people and places in the news (and assembled guests) - with what one critic describes as the verbal gymnastics of Spike Milligan and the timing of Eric Morecombe.


Born in Barnsley, Ian has been a drummer, a builder, a tennis-ball factory worker and the poet in residence at Humberside Police.

Ian wrote constantly as a child without an idea of how to go about actually becoming a writer. After joining a band he realised how much he also loved performing and he soon formed Barnsley’s first folk/poetry duo. A grant from Yorkshire Arts eventually came to the rescue and he began work with Circus of Poets and Versewagon, the world’s first mobile writing workshop.

Described as the “Shirley Bassey of performance poetry” by the Times Educational Supplement, Ian has columns in the Yorkshire Post and the Barnsley Chronicle and can be heard regularly on Newsnight Review and Radio 4.


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JLA Presents

Event - 30/04/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Understanding AI Now

Priya Lakhani and Anne-Marie Imafidon

We were joined at 87 Barts Close by three brilliant speakers on a panel that delved into the complex world of Artificial Intelligence. Over the hour our panellists de-mystified AI, speaking about AI’s immense promise for enhancing our lives, alongside the apprehension it has generated regarding job security, privacy infringement, and ethical considerations.


87 Barts Close, 87 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7EB


Event - 06/02/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Looking Ahead to International Women’s Day

Samira Ahmed, Eniola Aluko, Julia Gillard, and Alex Mahon

We were joined by four fantastic speakers to look ahead at International Women’s Day. With the theme of this year’s event being #InspireInclusion, we were lucky enough to hear from four women who have each blazed a trail in their respective fields: CEO of Channel 4, Alex Mahon; the former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of Kings’ Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard; one of the leading voices in football, Eniola Aluko MBE; and broadcaster and journalist, Samira Ahmed.


Bishopsgate Institute, London