Me, In Brief

I’m a writer, mostly, and a performer and illustrator.

Left-handed. Tall enough to bang my head in doorways occasionally.

Based in London.


I’ve published seven books in 16 languages.

Worked for 15 years as writer and associate editor on some of the best newspapers and magazines in English. At The Financial Times I was staff feature writer, closely involved in setting up the current Saturday magazine. Moved from there to a contract at The Sunday Times.

I interviewed many fascinating people, incl heads of state, film and TV stars, authors, and other famous people – but also many supposedly “ordinary” people who were not ordinary at all.

Journalism included many kinds of stories. Particularly enjoyed immersive storytelling, about working as bin man, executive PA, scuba diver, poet, taxi driver, tailor, gardener, ice-cream salesman, hairdresser, assistant undertaker, bit-part player in pantomime, waiter, illustrator, high-wire window cleaner, photographer, very amateur boxer, karaoke singer, rat catcher, and more.

I wrote about my breakdown, including eight weeks in psychiatric hospital.

Harold Pinter
Very good, very funny.
In fact... it made me laugh.
Harold Pinter, Nobel-winner

Back to top


Public speaking is something anybody can do, with a bit of thought and practice. I wrote a book about it having delivered speeches and workshops on four continents, to as many as 5,000 people at once.

I got into speaking in the first place because I was invited to talk about other books I’d written.

To complement my text-based approach to speaking, I trained with Keith Johnstone, the great pioneer of theatrical improvisation.

Now I teach others, using that same combination of rhetoric and impro.

Jane Garvey, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour
It's not often we have
a paragon on the show... very funny.
Jane Garvey, BBC Radio 4

Back to top

Making art

Art helps me to make sense of what is difficult, and to find beauty in the everyday. I particularly enjoy making pictures of people and places with stories.

Portrait of the Booker Prize winner Shehan Karunatilaka, drawn while he typed.

When I was 14, I submitted a painting to an adult competition in London and won a special award. It was a seascape, but also about people: a couple stood on one side, and a solitary figure on the other. I’ve never stopped being interested in connection / exclusion.

Philippa Perry
John-Paul Flintoff is the most
practical dreamer I know.
Philippa Perry, BBC Television

Back to top

Talks, Workshops and Other Engagements

I’ve delivered talks and workshops at many events, festivals, companies and other organisations.

Some companies and organisations I’ve worked with:
Royal College of Art, University of the Arts London, The Idler Academy, The School of Life, London Business School, University of Edinburgh, Accenture, EY, D&AD, Ogilvy, Stella McCartney, American Express, Experian, Triodos, Innocent, Moet Hennessy, Unilever, The Office of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Bupa, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Healthwatch, Monitor, Rocco Forte Hotels, Octavia, Aviva, FieldFisher, FTI, Slaughter and May, Linklaters, Freshfields, Mishcon de Reya, Macfarlanes, Birketts, Clyde & Co, Norton Rose Fulbright, Weil, SpaceNK, HarperCollins, BBC, Channel 4, United Nations, Department Store for the Mind, Selfridges, White Stuff, Saracens, Google, Microsoft, O2, The Phone Co-op, Vodafone.

For examples, see the archive here.

Learn, as I have, from John-Paul Flintoff.
Highly recommend.
Terry Szuplat, speechwriter to US President Barack Obama

Back to top

If you would like me to speak at your event / company / conference / please click the blue button on this page to book a short conversation with me.