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News - 1 July 2005
Polly Toynbee

Polly Toynbee to join Brighton Festival and Brighton Dome

Journalist and social commentator, Polly Toynbee is to become Chair of Brighton Festival and Brighton Dome when Sir David Watson stands down in November 2005.

She was invited and appointed to the post after a search process conducted by leading headhunters Odgers Ray & Berndtson, the UK’s largest privately owned executive search firm.

Polly Toynbee, who lives in London and in Lewes, East Sussex, is currently political and social commentator for the Guardian newspaper. A well-known author, she brings to this post a breadth of understanding and connections between the worlds of arts, culture, politics and the wider society. She was also one of the founders of the Orange Prize and is a contributor to Radio Four’s arts programme Front Row. She makes frequent appearances at arts festivals across the UK, including this year’s hugely successful Brighton Festival in May.

Polly Toynbee said, ”I am absolutely thrilled to have been invited to chair the board of Brighton Dome and Festival. It’s an organisation and an event that is very close to my heart, and I look forward to playing my own part in its continuing and growing success.”

Nick Dodds, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Festival, said, “We have just completed another very successful Festival this year, and it’s fantastic that Polly, with her substantial arts experience, has agreed to help us take the organisation into its next exciting phase. Her wide media knowledge will also be invaluable in promoting our message to a wider audience.”

“The influence and the appeal of Brighton Festival are growing year by year,” said Nicky Oppenheimer, partner and leader of the arts practice at Odgers. “It was important that we found not only someone with the requisite interests to take it forward, but someone with the management and people skills, the presence, and the public profile. We found all these things in Polly, and her local interest as a resident of nearby Lewes is of course most welcome, too.”

Read related items on:
Tourism, entertainment and hospitality
Brighton Festival
Dodds, Nick
Toynbee, Polly

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