Monday, 23 April 2012

Speaking at the Cambridge Union Society

I'VE BEEN invited to speak to the Cambridge Union on May 9th.
Below is the press release sent out today which outlines the topics I will cover.

NEVILLE Thurlbeck, the former news editor and chief reporter at the News of the World, is to address the Cambridge Union on corporate espionage and phone hacking at News International.
Thurlbeck, who worked for News International for 23 years, will speak on May 9 prior to taking the talk on a nationwide tour of universities and colleges.
He will also tackle:
·         His role as an agent for the National Criminal Intelligence Service.
·         His role in breaking award winning scoops which jailed Jeffrey Archer and exposed David Beckham’s extra marital affairs.
·         His role in the controversial expose of Max Mosley.
·         Tabloid journalism in crisis and the urgent need for reform.
·         The vital role of tabloid newspapers.
·         The Leveson Inquiry and consequences.
·         The need for trade union recognition at News International.
·         A route map for gaining entry into journalism.

Thurlbeck, a newspaper veteran and winner of numerous industry awards, will also lace his talk with anecdotes of life on the road as a tabloid journalist and his 20 year working relationship with Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks.
His press spokeswoman Hayley Barlow said: “Neville is known to be a frank and straight talking journalist and his university and college lectures have been very well received in the past.
“However, I expect this one to be of major interest, coming as it does hot on the heels of MP Tom Watson’s book in which he reveals how Neville gave him a confidential briefing on News International’s plot to put MPs under 24 hour surveillance.
“He will take the opportunity to set the record straight on this incendiary matter.”
Guests only speak at the Cambridge Union Society by invitation.
Founded in 1815, the Cambridge Union Society is the oldest debating society of its kind.
Other speakers this term include Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Trevor McDonald and Albanian President Bamir Topi.

In the past two years, it has hosted Dame Judi Dench, Miss World 2010, Sir Ian McKellen, former BP chief executive Tony Hayward, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, former head of the IMF Dominic Strauss Khan, Sir Roger Moore, Jerry Springer, Richard Dawkins, John Major, Dara Ó Briain, Lord Coe and David Miliband.

Prominent past speakers include US Presidents Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt, British Prime Ministers Sir Winston Churchill, the Right Hon Earl Clement Attlee and Sir John Major.

Thurlbeck, 50, who is now public relations director for the forces charity Talking2Minds, said: “The Cambridge Union is one of the most fertile debating fields in the world and the best institution to launch a debate on the future of tabloid journalism in Britain.”
Press enquiries to Hayley Barlow on
To book this talk for your university or school, email Neville Thurlbeck on

The debating chamber at the Cambridge Union


  1. See you at the bar for a cider drinking contest!

    1. No, that's for people who are young and daft like you. When you're middle aged and daft like me, you gravitate to scotch and water. Much easier to down in one and none of that nasty spluttering and burping business afterwards. I'm really looking forward to being there and meeting you all on the 9th!