Regional CBI dinner to hear from BBC security correspondent

October 25, 2012

The BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner is to be guest speaker at this year’s CBI South West annual dinner next month. He replaces fellow BBC journalist and world affairs correspondent John Simpson, who was originally booked to make the keynote speech to around 500 of the region’s most senior business figures.

Mr Gardner, a fluent Arabic speaker, spent nine years as an investment banker in New York, London and Bahrain before switching to journalism and becoming the BBC’s Middle East correspondent based in Cairo.

He has reported widely on the War on Terror from Guantanamo Bay, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. In 2004 he survived being shot six times at close range by Al Qaeda terrorists. After months in hospital he returned to the BBC to resume his job and was appointed an OBE in 2005 for his services to journalism.

Also speaking will be Alan Turner, global head of debt finance at Barclays, which is sponsoring the dinner, along with CBI South West chairman Graham Cole, chairman of AgustaWestland.

The evening will conclude with award-winning impressionist and comedian Jon Culshaw.

A small number of tickets are still available for the black tie dinner takes place at The Passenger Shed, Bristol, on Wednesday, November 7.  For information contact

Plymouth University is sponsoring the drinks reception for the third year. Elizabeth Shaw, Wyke Farms and Orchard Pig Cider are donating luxury chocolates, vintage cheese, local cider and a mulled cider stand.


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