Media pioneers Lord Waheed Alli and Lawson Muncaster were speakers at the KPMG Asian Festivals Dinner on Tuesday 24th October 2017 in London. Lord Alli spoke about his media career and campaigning work for gay rights. It was during a heated exchange with conservative opponents, that he informed his fellow peers that he was gay, and ‘was called sinful and dirty. And that was in a Lords debate‘! Mr Muncaster related his media career and the chance encounter with Dutch entrepreneur Boudewyn Poelmann which led to the formation of the Postcode Lottery in the UK and eventually the creation of City AM, London’s free business newspaper.
Guests at the KPMG Annual Festivals Dinner included some of the wealthiest Asians in the UK including: Gopichand Hinduja of the Hinduja Group; Vijay & Bhikhu Patel of Waymade, leading exporter Dr Rami Ranger MBE of Sunmark Ltd and a host of well-known Asian business people. The dinner was hosted by Bill Michael, UK Chairman, and Nina Amin, Head of Asian Markets at KPMG, one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy and audit firms in the UK.
About Lord Waheed Alli
Lord Waheed Alli is a British multimillionaire media entrepreneur and politician. He was co-founder and managing director of Planet 24, a TV production company, and managing director at Carlton Television Productions. He was, until November 2012, chairman of ASOS.com. He was the Chief Executive of Silvergate Media, which purchased two of the media rights previously held by Chorion Ltd, where Alli was former chairman. He is a Labour life peer and is described as one of only a few openly gay Muslim politicians in the world.
Lord Alli grew up in humble surroundings in South London, starting work as a junior researcher for a finance magazine, before pursuing a career in investment banking. Along with his partner Charlie Parsons, Lord Ali set up a TV production company responsible for genre-breaking programmes such as Big Breakfast and Survivor. He owned part of Shine Limited, a media production company he co-founded in March 2001 with Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of media magnate Rupert Murdoch. Shine Group was sold to 21st Century Fox, her father’s media conglomerate, in 2011 for £415m.
He was made a life peer as Baron Alli, of Norbury in the London Borough of Croydon, on 18 July 1998 at the age of 34, becoming the youngest and the first openly-gay peer in Parliament . He launched a campaign to repeal Section 28; advocated lowering the age of consent for homosexuals from 18 to 16, equal to heterosexuals which eventually became law as the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000. He spearheaded an effort to repeal clauses in the Civil Partnership Act 2004 which prohibited religious institutions from conducting the ceremonies on their premises. This campaign culminated in a bipartisan amendment, which became part of the Equality Act 2010.
Lord Alli is a patron of Oxford Pride, the annual Pride event in Oxfordshire, and of Pride London. He is a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and a he is a patron of Skillset, the Sector Skills Council supporting skills and training within the creative media industries.
About Lawson Muncaster
Lawson Muncaster is co-founder and managing director of City A.M., a position he has held since 2005. Mr. Muncaster served as Vice President of Global Sales for Metro International S.A. since 2002. Mr. Muncaster joined Metro International S.A. in 2002 and had established relationships with leading corporate advertising accounts and media agencies around the world. He served as Sales Director for Eurosport and Vice President of Sales for CNN (Scandinavia, the UK and Holland) since 2000. He also served as Sales Director of Mills & Allen since 1998, as a Joint Sales Director of Eurosport since 1995 and as a Sales Manager of Scottish Television since 1998.