The Man in the
Red Coat®

Toastmaster

“Dress Code – Smart, Red

Weddings & Family Celebrations

“As a Toastmaster or as sometimes described, Master of Ceremonies, to run a celebration successfully requires much preparation, communication and quite often diplomacy.”

As an experienced and award-winning wedding and family celebrations toastmaster supporting all faiths, cultures (especially Asian, Jewish, African and traditional British) and the LGBTQIA+ community, James will ensure any celebration whether it’s a wedding, an anniversary or other milestone, runs without a hitch.

Prior to the celebration, James will arrange a video call to find out more, the needs of the bride and groom for example. James will also outline, discuss and agree on any specific needs, no stone is left unturned.

On the big day, James’ primary focus will guiding the guests through the various parts of the celebration enabling the bride and groom to fully relax and enjoy the experience.

Behind the scenes, he will be busy working with planner(s) and/or venue manager(s) to coordinate with all the suppliers, taking the weight off to ensure the smoothest experience possible.

So, take the pressure off, focus on having fun and making the most of the celebration. Let James ensure it runs like clockwork!

“We had James as a Toastmaster for our multi-faith (Hindu/Jewish) wedding and he was absolutely brilliant. In the lead up to the wedding, our meeting with James helped us plan the order of the day and his reassuring manner put our minds at ease that everything would run smoothly. James had really good tips on how to effectively organise the reception and helped to ensure our vision became a reality.

On the day, James helped handle some delays with our other suppliers and was always a calm presence (which was much needed!) He worked really well with everyone and managed to get our event back on track while simultaneously keeping all of our guests updated of the changing plans.

James' knowledge of both Hindu and Jewish weddings is second to none and his explanations of the ceremonies during the day were really detailed and helped to keep our guests informed and engaged with all the different traditions and customs from both cultures.

James was invaluable on the day and is the ideal Toastmaster. All of our guests commented on how brilliant he was and we would 100% recommend him for any event. Thank you again James!"

Sejal Sthankya, Bride

Gala Events

“High profile gala events call for unique skills and deep experience, luckily James has been sharpening these for over 30 years to deliver only the top level of professionalism.”

One of the keys to success as a gala events’ toastmaster is preparation along with a profound respect for the formalities and processes required (including receiving lines and pre-nominals). For example, if needed, James can run gala dinners, lunches and fundraisers including themed events such as Burns Night Suppers and Christmas Dinners/Lunches.

Want to involve a fundraising aspect to your gala event? James can also assist with running fundraising games, quizzes and auctions. James has been known to lead events as a themed host (eg Dumbledore, Lumiere, Gandalf), and can also appear in character as your host adding a splash of fun to the proceedings.

I have worked with James on several Gala Dinner events in some of the finest hotels in London. Every time his input has been invaluable. These events often have multiple speakers and entertainers. Keeping everything running on time is not only an art, it is crucial to the success of the evening. James does this with aplomb! His effortless charm and humour really help him engage with any audience. James's wealth of experience allows him to give his clients the very best of advice. I cannot recommend him enough!

Ed Rising, Sothebys

Award Ceremonies

“The lights come down and everyone is dressed to the nines. Award ceremonies are epic events to celebrate achievements and talent.”

There are many moving parts to Award ceremonies including guests to welcome, winners to announce, celebrities to manage and awards to present to name but a few. Having James at the helm as the host ensures everything runs smoothly, enabling guests and hosts alike to focus on what truly matters – Who takes the golden statue home?

“Over several years James confidently and competently managed a somewhat noisy room of over 1000 mortgage industry professionals and made sure that he had everyone's attention when necessary. The events always began on, and were run to time in very difficult circumstances, with a mixture of warmth and authority. I look forward to working with James again.”

Agi Donovan, Senior Events Organiser, UK Finance

Formal and Ceremonial Events - City of London and beyond

James has the true pleasure and privilege to work in some of the most wonderful Livery Halls, City Institutions (including Mansion House and Guildhall) and venues, not only in the City of London but further afield such as the colleges of Cambridge and Oxford as a Toastmaster and Beadle.

He has also worked with a distinguished range of individuals such as members of the British Royal Family (including the late Queen Elizabeth), the Lord Mayors and Sheriffs of the City of London, Diplomats and A list celebrities.

As part of his work, James is also the Beadle to a number of City Livery Companies representing them at many Grand City Events. His role includes dressing up in a gown with pompoms on (it’s quite the look and some of them are even red!) as well as incorporating many of the vital skills of a Toastmaster. As a result, he is highly experienced in guiding on etiquette for formal and ceremonial occasions and often consults on this basis.

“James has been our Beadle and Toastmaster at the Worshipful Company of Marketors since before I joined the company in 2013. He ensures every one of our ceremonial courts, banquets and dinners runs smoothly and efficiently. With these kinds of events, there's always the possibility that they will over run (e.g. the guest speaker is delayed, so we have to start late) but James makes sure we adhere to the strict timetable, so that we always finish bang on time.

When I worked at the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers, I hired James for our Installation Court and Dinner because I wanted the peace of mind that he would run the evening like clockwork. Now that I am at the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, I have done just the same. He always does a great job. Thank you, James!"

Carole Seawert, Clerk to the Worshipful Company of International Bankers.

Ready to find out more? Get in touch with James today.