Writer, Strategist, Campaigner
To book Alastair Campbell please contact your JLA Agent.
Alastair ran Labour’s communications for ten years, in and out of government. He now advises on both political and organisational strategy, as well as working extensively with charities and campaigning around mental health. He’s written a slew of books including Winners, drawing inspiration from high achievers in sport, business and politics. In presentations Alastair explains what to do when you come under pressure: “Challenge your basic assumptions, put yourselves in your opponent’s shoes, devise a tight plan from the centre... and then pursue it with aggression.”
For ten years Alastair Campbell was Tony Blair's right-hand man as communications strategist and chief spokesman, often witnessing history in the making. Whilst he remains an influential voice and commentator on the political stage, he's now well-known as a writer and campaigner, particularly on mental health awareness. He is the Editor At Large of The New European.
In the years running up to Labour's 1997 landslide win, and throughout their time in power, Alastair led communications strategy and was also no stranger to controversy. He is one of four figures credited with creating the New Labour project, fighting numerous battles in their pursuit of modernisation, including with how the media portrayed the party. He was reviled by some parts of the media but still respected for his commitment, creativity, loyalty, and work rate.
After leaving frontline politics Alastair has written seventeen books, including ten volumes of diaries, four novels, a number one best-selling analysis of what it takes to win in politics, business, and sport, and two personal memoirs on depression and the pursuit of happiness.
He has been candid about his personal experiences of depression, alcoholism, and mental illness, frequently examining the links between work, stress, and mental health. It's a subject he's tackled in numerous interviews, documentaries, and podcasts, and in his books Living Better: How I Learned to Survive Depression, The Happy Depressive: In Pursuit of Personal and Political Happiness, and Living Better: How I learned to survive depression.
Alastair co-hosts the podcast The Rest is Politics with Rory Stewart, where they tackle the latest developments in global politics and share their insights into the complex relationships within Parliament.
He works with many charities, as an advisor and often as a fund-raiser, including Leukaemia Research, Bloodwise, and a number of mental health charities, including the Time to Change campaign and Alcohol Concern. Alastair believes we should be as open about our mental health as we are about our physical health, and that every business should have first Mental Health First Aid training.
He frequently contributes articles in the media including The Guardian, and the Telegraph. For several years, Alastair wrote a monthly interview for GQ magazine, and has covered figures as varied as Prince William and Jose Mourinho, Al Gore and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Nicola Sturgeon, and Nicola Adams.
With humour and insight Alastair takes an insider’s look at politics at home and abroad, as well as what it takes to be a successful leader (a subject he tackled in his book Winners: And How They Succeed). He also tackles reputation, his own and how others manage theirs, the media, mental health, and why people still ask him about The Thick of It so much.
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I love how Alastair balances humour, gossip and serious messages. The story about the Deputy PM punching an egg-throwing voter is typical: Alastair gets a call from Prezza (in pantomime Yorkshire): "Hello… Errr… I've just thumped someone." After telling us what happened, he gives the audience a genuine insight into how to manage a potential PR disaster. It's a fantastic listen. JLA Agent Allan Grant