JLA in the Press

After-Dinner Speakers Face Slashed Fees
Posted on December 1, 2008

Leading after-dinner speakers, including John Prescott, Alastair Campbell and William Hague, face having their fees slashed to reflect the economic downturn.

John Prescott may face lower fees for after-dinner speeches due to the credit crisis.

Mr Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Campbell, who was Tony Blair’s chief spin doctor, and Mr Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, are all among the high-paid roster of big name speakers boasted by the JLA agency.

Jeremy Lee, the chief executive of the agency, which also represents the actor Kevin Spacey, has signalled that the days when star speakers could command £25,000 for one appearance are over.

He told The Independent: “We are keen that everybody wakes up – and that we are seen to be doing so … our budget is tightening and almost every speaker will be more flexible.”

Mr Lee said that his agency would be conducting a pay review at the end of the month.

The news comes days after it emerged that Mr Prescott had been promoted to “A-grade” by the agency following praise for his BBC2 documentary Prescott: The Class System And Me.

The elevation from the agency’s second tier put Mr Prescott alongside Mr Campbell and Mr Hague in the £25,000 price bracket. Mr Lee said: “We have absolutely had an increase in demand [for John]. People loved it.”

Michael Portillo, the former Tory cabinet minister and Ken Livingstone, the former London Mayor, remain in the agency’s “B-grade”, in which the maximum fee is £5,000.

Original article appears here

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