The Authors Pavilion 2019

The Authors Pavilion will again offer visitors the opportunity to meet leading authors and hear them talk about their exciting books, as well as going home with a signed souvenir. This year, there are also two book launches, as well as live interviews, films and celebratory events. The Authors Pavilion is always a fun destination at War and Peace!

Authors confirmed for this year include a contingent from the SAS: Rusty Firmin, the ‘Man with No Gloves’ from the Iranian Embassy Siege in London, and veteran and author Pete Winner. They will take you behind the scenes to show you what life in the SAS is really like. Meanwhile, Neil Barber, the renowned authority on Pegasus Bridge, will talk about his latest works in this, the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Historian Dr Penny Starns will reveal the story of Dame Margot Turner, who survived the real ‘Tenko’. 104-years-young WW2 RAMC veteran William Earl and his biographer Liz Coward will be interviewed by Authors Pavilion Hostess Penny Legg. Elizabeth Lockhart-Mure will delve into the lives of the Women’s Auxiliary Service Burma (WASB) and Joanna Foat will bring us the Lumberjills, an intrepid and forgotten female element of the WW2 war effort. Rupert Wieloch will talk about Churchill’s forgotten prisoners, WW1 soldiers in post-war Russia. Well-known actor Jason Salkey will tell us about his time as Rifleman Harris in the popular Sharpe films. Alan Barry will join forces with the charity PTSD Resolution to talk about the effect Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has had on his life. Ian Bayley and Penny Legg will explore the deeds of WW2 murderer Harry Dobkin. WW2 best-selling saga-writer Elaine Everest will be signing copies of her new book, Vivienne Endecott will be exploring what it means to be English and Tina Walford will be discussing her biography of Reinhard Heydrich, available in both English and German.

Sabrestorm Publishing will be offering their latest publications and, to remember the 80th anniversary of the decision to evacuate civilians at the start of WW2, will be launching Escaping the Blitz by Penny Starns and Penny Legg on Tuesday 23 July. This free event is open to everyone and is a chance to join in the fun of a book launch.

Alan Barry will be launching his new book, The Tan, on Thursday 25 July. This is the story of an Irish man who chose good over evil and went undercover in the fight against the IRA. Based on real events, using different names to protect the identity of those involved, it’s an insight into the covert war against the terrorists that eventually brought them their knees. This is a free event, open to all. Alan’s documentary on the decision to prosecute soldiers who served in Northern Ireland, The Great Betrayal, will be shown each morning in the Authors Pavilion.

Veterans: as the years pass, there are fewer and fewer of the veterans who helped keep Britain British. We warmly welcome military veterans of all conflicts to the Authors Pavilion. This year, we look forward to celebrating the 100th birthday of our favourite Military Medal winner, Jeff Haward, who will be in-conversation with Penny Legg on Saturday 27 July.

The Authors Pavilion is within the elegant Gentlemen’s Marquee. See you there!

Neil Barber

Neil Barber has been interviewing veterans and studying the actions of the 6th Airborne Division in Normandy for over 25 years, and this has resulted in the writing of various books.

The first of these is The Day the Devils Dropped In (Pen & Sword, 2002), deals with the 9th Parachute Battalion’s crucial D-Day assault on the Merville Gun Battery, which had to be silenced before the landings on SWORD Beach commenced. The subsequent week’s ferocious fighting by the Battalion on the Breville Ridge is also described. Their defence of this ridge at the Chateau St Come was absolutely vital in preventing the Germans capturing the all-important bridges across the Caen Canal (Pegasus Bridge) and River Orne.

Having been gripped by the achievements of the 6th Airborne Division in the area, the natural progression was to write about the capture, defence and relief of the Caen Canal and River Orne bridges themselves. This eventually led to the publication of The Pegasus and Orne Bridges (Pen & Sword, 2009). This is another description of the actions in unprecedented detail, again using the words of the men who actually took part.

These publications each took five years of research and consequently, they go further into their subjects than any other published information and are unique in their ability to put the reader ‘on the ground’ with the men themselves.

Neil is also the editor of three wartime biographies: Fighting with the Commandos by Stan Scott, Parachute Doctor by David Tibbs, and Fighting Hitler from Dunkirk to D-Day, by Jeff Haward MM.

Also, just published by Sabrestorm Publishing, are pocket guides, short walking tours that cover Pegasus Bridge and the Merville Battery.

Film-wise, Neil has recently been advising on the scripts for the forthcoming feature, Pegasus Bridge and also the Paratrooper series.

He is a Committee Member of both the 9th Parachute Battalion Reunion Club and a former member of the Merville Battery Museum.

Neil will be at the Authors Pavilion each day of the show, giving his new talk, ‘Pegasus Bridge – Truths, Myths and Mysteries’.

Rupert Wieloch

Rupert Wieloch joined the Army in 1978 and was commissioned into the 17th/21st Lancers in the same month that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.  During a full and varied career, he deployed on many of the UK’s overseas operations ending up as the Senior British Military Commander in Libya 2011-12.  Since leaving the Army, he has run a dangerous sport in Switzerland and now writes books in Hampshire.

Rupert will be telling the story of Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners: The British Soldiers Deceived in the Russian Civil War, each day of the show except Thursday.

In November 1919, fifteen British soldiers were ordered to “remain to the last” in Siberia when the White Government collapsed.  Among them was the future corps commander, Brian Horrocks who served in the Anglo-Russian Brigade in Ekaterinburg.  They saved the lives of thousands of refugees by organising the evacuation from Omsk and departed on the last train out of the city before it was captured by the Red Army.

After many incredible adventures, they were caught near to Krasnoyarsk and held with many other Allied soldiers by the Bolshevik authorities.  The abandoned group became an embarrassment to the British Government and in particular to Prime Minister David Lloyd George and War Secretary Winston Churchill.  They brought in a Labour MP to negotiate with Lenin’s envoy in secret meetings at Copenhagen, but the efforts to secure the soldiers’ freedom were constantly thwarted.  The British prisoners were escorted east to Irkutsk, where they believed they would be released with their civilian companions.  However, they were deceived and sent 3,500 miles to Moscow, where they were imprisoned in the notorious Lubjanka, Ivanovsky and Andronovsky jails.

Rupert draws on unpublished letters, diaries and memoires, and says of the book, ‘It is one amazing adventure; two incredible love stories; three terrible torments; four secret spy stories; fourteen true heroes and Teddy, the saviour dog.’

Liz Coward & William Earl 

Liz Coward graduated with a BA Hons in History and Classical Studies at the University of Surrey in 1987. In 1994, she qualified as a Solicitor and practised in London and the South East.

In 2006, she embarked on an MA in screenwriting at the London College of Communication from which she graduated in 2008. Since then, she has written numerous articles, developed scripts and written a blog. In 2013, Liz’s piece for the BBC series, ‘What makes us human?’ (co-written with Alison Lapper MBE) was broadcast on Radio Two.

Liz’s first book, Blood and Bandages – fighting for life in the RAMC Field Ambulance 1940 -1946 was launched in April 2017 and has been featured on TV, radio and in the press. Liz is now researching ideas for her second book and adapting Blood and Bandages for the screen. Liz lives in Singapore with her husband and their teenage son. We are delighted that she has flown in for the War and Peace Revival to speak about her work on Friday and Saturday.

104-years-young veteran William Earl will be visiting the Author Pavilion to chat to War and Peace visitors about his WW2 experiences. Blood and Bandages is the unique story of Private William Earl, a nursing orderly, who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Second World War.

He was part of the collecting and evacuating team of the 214th Field Ambulance and saw action on the brutal frontlines at Enfidaville, Salerno, Anzio and the Gothic Line. For three years, he fought to save life before he finally returned home to his beloved wife and their young son.

William will be joining author Liz Coward to sign copies of their book on Saturday, when they will be in-conversation with Penny Legg.

Alan Barry 

Author and public speaker Alan Barry was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1964 and grew up in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Alan Barry published his first book “Salesman with an AK-47” in September 2015. It is an autobiographical account of the life of a young Irish Catholic immigrant who grew up in the UK in the 1970s, during the height of the IRA (Irish Republican Army)’s campaigns in mainland Great Britain.

The book recounts his personal experience of life serving in the Grenadier Guards, one of the British Army’s most elite regiments.

After five years of military service, the former soldier became a highly successful sales executive at the height of the telecommunications boom. He rode “the rollercoaster of the 1990s, the Filofax era of the yuppies.”

Later, business failure led to personal desperation and the break-up of Alan’s marriage.

Salvation appeared in an unlikely place, during his five year assignment to Afghanistan.

In “Salesman with an AK-47,” Alan tells of his love and respect for Afghanistan, a misrepresented country, and its people. Unexpectedly, an incident in Alan’s military past unravelled him. The sudden and unexpected diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD from past military service leads the author to “the darkest hole I’ve ever been in in my life.”

“Salesman with an AK-47” has received overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon. On the back of the book’s popularity, Alan Barry is now a public speaker in the UK. At the War and Peace Revival 2019, Alan will be talking about his battle with PTSD. On Saturday, he will be joined by a therapist from the charity PTSD Resolution, the group which has supported him, and both will be interviewed by Author Pavilion Hostess, Penny Legg.

“If I have one wish, it would be that my book will help others to come to grips with their own demons, and bring closure to events that maybe need addressing in their own lives.”

Alan Barry will also be launching his new book, The Tan, at the show, on Thursday 25 July at 5 pm. Everyone is welcome to this free event.

Alan’s documentary ‘The Great Betrayal’ which tells the story of the prosecution of Northern Ireland army veterans, will be shown each morning in the Authors Pavilion.

Elizabeth Lockhart-Mure

Elizabeth is the granddaughter of a pioneer family who emigrated to East Africa after the First World War under the auspices of the Soldier Settlement Scheme.
She is not a historian – she was an outdoor girl who grew up on a farm in Kenya, with a love of horses and a deep affection for the country of her birth and its wealth of flora and fauna.

Circumstances in post-independent Kenya led Elizabeth’s move to England. In the early 80s, she formed her own specialist Freight Forwarding business – the only woman to do so at the time – which she ran successfully until her retirement.

Elizabeth then took up writing with a view to publishing the relatively unknown story of a feisty young girl who joined the Women’s Auxiliary Service (Burma) during World War Two.

This unique memoir, Frontline and Fortitude, is based on the wartime diaries of Maria Pilbrow, MBE, who, as a young newlywed, followed her army husband to India in 1943. There she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Services (Burma), an intrepid band of women who provided canteen services for the men of the Fourteenth Army during the Burma Campaign. This is the first full-length book to acknowledge the Wasbies, as they were called, who worked tirelessly in appalling jungle conditions, but who today have all but disappeared from history: they have become the forgotten women of the Forgotten Army.

Elizabeth is fundraising for The Burma Star Association Registered Charity through sales of her book.

Website. Http://
Twitter. @wasbiememoir
Facebook. @frontlineandfortitude

Vivienne Endecott

Vivienne Endecott moved from south-east London to rural Dorset when she was seven years old and was the first non-white child in her village school. Vivienne studied Environmental Economics and Environmental Management at The University of York and founded the Dorset Scrapstore, a recycling charity.

Vivienne then founded the Ginger Pop Shop in Corfe Castle, dedicated to Enid Blyton and her era, which was the mid-twentieth century. “What I learnt about Enid Blyton, the range of her writing, sheer output, and how she inspired the nation’s children during WW2, has deeply impressed me.”

Vivienne is a conservation volunteer, a bell ringer and a supporter of the North Dorset Railway at Shillingstone Station. “All of these activities have helped me to build a relationship with the country, looking forward as well as back. I know firsthand that it is possible for an outsider to belong.”

Vivienne’s Exploring Englishness is an ideal gift book for a citizenship ceremony. She says, ‘It gives our new British Citizens that little bit of confidence to explore their new country in a way that is fun, affordable and family friendly. Last year, a BBC survey found that over half of young adults who live in England rejected an English identity. However, I believe good patriots care about other people and the planet too! Exploring Englishness is also for anyone who feels battered by Brexit and wants to press the reset button! It would make an interesting retirement project.’

Elaine Everest

Elaine Everest is the author of the bestselling novels The Woolworths Girls, The Butlins Girls & Christmas at Woolworths. She was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written widely for women’s magazines and national newspapers, with both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four-legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy looms.

When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school at The Howard Venue in Hextable, Kent and has a long list of published students.

Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors as well as Slimming World, where she can often be found sitting in the naughty corner. Elaine will be signing copies of her books, including her latest novel, The Tea Shop Girls, on Thursday and Friday.

Dr Penny Starns

Penny Starns was awarded her doctorate in history at the University of Bristol and specialises in the relationship between medicine, war and modernity, and oral history. She has researched and taught at Cambridge, London and Bristol universities, and has written award-winning history programmes for BBC Radio 4.
Penny will talk about Margot Turner. She says, ‘The dramatic role of Margot Turner’s survival as a prisoner of war during the Pacific conflict of the Second World War inspired the 1980s series Tenko. The cargo ship on which Margot was evacuated from Singapore in 1942 was shelled, leaving her on a makeshift raft with sixteen other survivors. One by one they perished, leaving her alone, burnt black from the sun, and suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration. Discovered by a Japanese destroyer after four days and nights on the raft; her nightmare was only just beginning.’

Penny will also be launching her latest book, Escaping the Blitz, co-written with Penny Legg, on Tuesday at 5 pm. This fun, free event is open to all. Penny Starns and Penny Legg will be speaking about some of the myths of WW2 civilian evacuation on Saturday.

Web: Twitter: @StarnsPenny
Facebook: @PennyStarnsAuthor
Instagram: pennystarnsauthor

Jeff Haward MM

Jeff Haward MM will be celebrating his 100th birthday at the War and Peace Revival 2019! He was a Vickers machine gunner and served with the 1/7th Middlesex Battalion throughout the war. He was at Dunkirk, El Alamein and Sicily, took part in D-Day, was in Normandy and NW Europe. Each day of the show, Jeff will be signing copies of Fighting Hitler from Dunkirk to D-Day, his own story, which he wrote with Neil Barber. He is happy to chat to show visitors about his wartime exploits. He will also be in conversation with Penny Legg on Saturday.

Joanna Foat 

Joanna grew up in Surrey, the most wooded county in England, she loved to climb trees as a girl and was often outside working on things with her father. She studied BSc. Psychology at Hull and Msc. at Surrey University. Inbetween her studies and work, she lived in France in one of the largest pine forests in Europe, Les Landes.

Joanna discovered the story of the Women’s Timber Corps while working for the Forestry Commission. With a wild, adventurous spirit and passion for forests, she felt a connection with their story. Few people had heard of the women affectionately called the Lumberjills, so Joanna travelled the country to meet them. She worked with Countryfile, Wartime Farm, BBC’s How we won the war and Great British Menu to raise their profile.

Joanna then concentrated on writing her book – Lumberjills: Britain’s Forgotten Army: On the eve of the Second World War, Britain was the world’s largest timber importer with only seven months of timber stockpiled. Timber was critical to the war effort: it was needed for everything from aircraft and shipbuilding to communications, construction and coal mining.

With men away fighting, reluctantly the government opened lumber work for women to apply. The Women’s Timber Corps had thousands of members who would prove themselves as strong as any man: they felled and crosscut trees by hand, operated sawmills, drove tractors and hauled timber trucks to meet wartime timber targets.

Lumberjills: Britain’s Forgotten Army has been featured in The Express, Daily Mail, Mirror, I paper, Scotsman, Sunday Post, Yorkshire Post among others. Her book is launching in the US in July.


Twitter: @jofoat

Pete (Snapper) Winner 

Pete (Snapper) Winner will be joining the Authors Pavilion on Thursday, when he will be talking about his life in the SAS, where he was codenamed Soldier ‘I’. Of his long career, he says, ’I was bodyguard to Sir David Stirling, Founder of the SAS, for his appearance on the TV series, SAS: Rogue Warriors. I was technical advisor on the film 6 Days, about the Iranian Embassy siege. I served 26 years in the Army, 18 years in the SAS serving in ‘B’ Sqn. Land Rover Troop and Boat Troop. I finished my SAS Service in the Counter Revolutionary Warfare Wing training SAS soldiers in anti-aircraft hijack techniques. I was at the Battle of Mirbat in 1972, where 9 SAS soldiers took on hundreds of Communist shock troops.

‘Eight years after the Battle of Mirbat, having survived 6 operational tours of duty to include driving over a TM46 Russian anti-tank mine, I found myself at the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980. I have the record for being the first man into the embassy after a bit of breaking and entering, undercover of darkness, a couple of days before the final, explosive assault, as seen on TV!’

Pete will be signing copies of his book Soldier ‘I’ The Story of an SAS Hero, which showcases some of his exploits: surviving the Battle of Mirbat, parachuting into the icy depths of the South Atlantic during the Falklands Conflict, storming the Iranian Embassy and his close protection work around the world.


Tina Walford 

Born in London Westminster in 1960 and now living in the countryside of Oxfordshire. Tina has a Post Graduate Diploma from the University of Westminster in Health & Social Care, is an accredited Trainer of Cognitive Reasoning Skills (Lateral Thinking), and was personally trained by the Philosopher, Edward de Bono.
She currently writes articles for businesses and owns a Bookshop specialising in out of print historical books and documents, while continuing to research the evidence behind historical inaccuracy in our history books.

Tina will be reading from her book HEYDRICH Nine months Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia on Tuesday and Wednesday. Since his assassination in June 1942, the former Reich Protector, Chief of the Secret State Police and Security Service has been responsible for every outrage. In the so-called war crimes trials, the defendants blamed him for anything and everything. The man could not fight back.

Tina has made extensive trips to the sites of Heydrich’s activities for this brilliantly written biography. She spoke to surviving contemporary witnesses in Prague and Germany, conducted historical fieldwork and has viewed and interpreted hitherto unpublished British secret documents as well as private records of Heydrich. Due to her extensive research, she draws a completely new picture of this mysterious man.

Website address:

Twitter name: @KonigBooksUK
Facebook address: KonigBooks

Rusty Firmin 

Rusty’s CV lists endless credits: SAS Blue Team – back door Assault Team Leader, Iranian Embassy Siege, SAS B Squadron; HQ Squadron 23 SAS permanent staff instructor; 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery; security consultant; close protection operative; security manager and advisor; author; speaker and consultant. Rusty joined the 49 Field Regiment Royal Artillery at the age of 17, completed several tours in Northern Ireland and played football for the Royal Artillery and the British Army. He volunteered for the 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery and earned the green beret. In 1977, he joined the SAS and the beige beret and winged dagger joined his collection. Rusty has seen service in most corners of the world, including Afghanistan, Belize, the Falklands Conflict and the Middle East. Rusty will be talking on Friday and Saturday about his life and his books, one of which was the basis of the film 6 Nights, starring Jamie Bell as Rusty.

Facebook: @rustyfirminsas

Penny Legg

Penny Legg, award-winning writer, university and cruise ship lecturer and the Authors Pavilion Hostess, will discuss the ground-breaking, dreadful deeds of World War Two murderer Harry Dobkin with Ian Bayley this year. The Dobkin case broke new ground in forensic science and was a tough case to crack. Penny will also be joining her co-author, Dr Penny Starns, in launching Escaping the Blitz, the story of WW2 civilian evacuation, in this, the 80th anniversary of the decision to evacuate the vulnerable during WW2. Penny is a member of the National Union of Journalists, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers Association and the Society of Young Publishers. In 2018, Penny went back to university to gain an MA in Publishing from Kingston University, London. In 2019, she launched Sabrestorm Stories, with business partner Ian Bayley, to try to fill a gap in ethical publishing for those who cannot find a traditional publisher for their book. Penny will be speaking at the show all week and, on Saturday, will also be interviewing WW2 war heroes Jeff Haward MM and William Earl, and William’s biographer Liz Coward.

Social media:


Twitter: @PennyLegg

Facebook: @PennyLegg

Instagram: @pennyleggauthor


Photo Credit: Brandon BishopPhoto Credit: D Nicholson

Jason Salkey

Jason Salkey is an actor and a regular on screens over the last thirty years. His first big job was a huge commercial campaign for Miller Lite beer UK that made his face instantly recognisable. The advert went on to win a Clio award, which is the Oscars for commercials.

Roles in countless TV shows, commercials and theatre followed. In the summer of 1992, Jason Salkey was cast in a role that would change his life forever. Sharpe’s Rifles, a Napoleonic war drama, was to be shot in the Crimean Peninsula. However, little did they know that the producers had unwittingly sent the crew to film in the rapidly disintegrating Soviet Union! There, Jason and the crew faced near starvation and danger hovering just over every horizon as they went on to create one of Britain’s most successful and critically acclaimed television programmes. Jason’s modest part, as Rifleman Harris, in one of British television’s most cherished shows took up the next five years, a show that eventually reached most of the globe. Down the line, it has paved the way to appearances at toy-soldier/ war-gaming / military modelling / living history Re-enactment festivals in both the US and UK.

That’s probably how you know Jason best, but he has appeared in many films including Memphis Belle, The Russia House, Fifth Element, Turn of the Screw, Fairy Tale: A True Story, About a Boy, Road to Guantanamo, The Infidel and Shadowdancer.

Jason is now the unofficial, go-to source for questions concerning the TV production and cast of Sharpe. While on location he shot a huge amount of video which has become a series of films documenting life on Sharpe

From Crimea with Love is Jason’s memoir documenting the mishaps, blunders, incompetence and downright corruption that made Sharpe’s Rifles go down in British television and film production folklore for its tales of hardship, disaster and chaos only rivalled by Ukraine itself.

Follow Jason and the cast of Sharpe through intense deprivation, hardship and impending catastrophe until they become every bit of the jaded, battle-hardened soldiers we saw on screen. Tapping into his written diaries, photo journal and video log, Jason Salkey brings you an eye-opening, jaw-dropping insider’s account of one of the best-loved shows ever made. Join Jason on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


Photo Credit:

Top Picture: Brandon Bishop

Bottom Picture: D Nicholson

Photo Credit: Brandon Bishop

Ian Bayley

Ian Bayley started his career as a commercial photographer in London’s Covent Garden and has continued working in the creative industries ever since. His love of history, with a particular interest in the Second World War, led to the formation of his publishing company Sabrestorm Publishing, which produces books covering many aspects of military history and fashion. In 2019, Ian opened Sabrestorm Fiction and published a centenary work on the life of the novelist and thinker Iris Murdoch. 2019 also saw the creation, with Penny Legg, of Sabrestorm Stories, a hybrid publishing company, to help authors into publication.

In addition to writing and publishing books, Ian’s love of history led him to play the WW2 murderer, Harry Dobkin, in an episode of the documentary series, London’s Scariest Mysteries. We will be showing The Talking Skull each day of the show and Ian will be speaking about the role with Penny Legg, who has researched the ground-breaking Dobkin case for her book Crime in the Second World War: Spivs, Scoundrels, Rogues and Worse, published by Sabrestorm.



Facebook: @sabrestormpublishing

Twitter: @SabrestormBooks


Photo Credit: Brandon Bishop

Andrew Robertshaw

Andrew Robertshaw is curator/manager of The Royal Logistic Corps Museum in Deepcut, Surrey. For the past fourteen years, he has been coordinating a group conducting an archaeological dig of British trenches and other sites on the Somme. He frequently appears on television as a commentator on battlefield archaeology and the soldier in history including Time TeamThe Trench Detectives and Who Do You Think You Are. He was lead historical consultant for Spielberg’s film adaptation of War Horse. He is an Honorary Lecturer at University College London and regularly acts as a consultant for the British Army on historical matters. He has also served as a Forensic Trauma specialist for the Norwegian Army. We are delighted that Andrew will be speaking and book signing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday about the First World War trenches. His talk will answer burning questions: Was it always muddy? What food was eaten? Was every minute spent under fire? How did they build them? Andrew is a charismatic speaker and always draws a crowd.