Originally from Dorset, Ashley Palmer-Watts’s love of food began with his love of the countryside and his familiarity with the seasons and exceptional produce of the British Isles. An after-school washing up job in a local restaurant at thirteen ignited a passion for cooking that has resulted in a career spanning almost twenty years. After leaving school, he started to work at Le Petit Canard in Dorset where he learnt the fundamental disciplines of the kitchen whilst spending most of his free time visiting producers and suppliers.
Ashley joined Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in Bray in 1999 when it had just received its first star. Within two years, he was promoted to Sous Chef and he became Head Chef in 2003. Since 2008, he has been the Executive Head Chef for the Fat Duck group. Ashley currently heads up the kitchen at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park and in October 2015 opened, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Melbourne Australia, the first restaurant to take up a permanent home outside of the United Kingdom.
His creative eye for detail coupled with a great enthusiasm for research and British ingredients have enabled him to create the unique menu of historically inspired British dishes with Heston Blumenthal for the new restaurant. He continues to oversee development at The Fat Duck and The Hinds Head in Bray, The Crown Pub in Bray and The Perfectionists’ Café at London Heathrow Terminal 2.
“Hairdressing chose me from a very young age, it’s a vocation!”
Hairstylist Errol Douglas is among the cream of the hairdressing industry and a favourite among clients and industry peers alike. Renowned for his stunning photographic, session and event work, Errol has won several of the world’s most coveted awards, including most recently the “2015 Ambassador of London” award at the London Lifestyle Awards.
Errol has over 30 years’ experience in hairdressing, and was awarded an MBE in 2008 for his unprecedented skills and his unrivalled education and services for inspiring young hairdressers.
Highly esteemed by his peers, Errol is globally recognised for his fashion-forward collections and photographic work, with numerous prestigious awards. His international work allows him to travel the globe, providing ample inspiration to develop new styles and techniques allowing himself to be at the forefront of key hair trends.
Ambassador for the Fellowship of British Hairdressing, Errol mentors and nurtures young talent sharing his wealth of experience and his remarkable ability to create timeless looks and creations.
His hairstyling skills set the standards that others follow, while his collections preview hot new trends fused with classic styling – no surprise given that he first realised his dream of working in hairdressing when he was just eleven years old, taking a job in a local hair salon in East London.
In 1998 Errol launched Errol Douglas London, a luxury global destination salon in the heart of Knightsbridge. Attracting a discerning clientele of successful men and women, it’s widely recognised as a salon equipped to create stunning styles for all hair types, with a talented team of stylists and colourists at the forefront of modern hairdressing and innovative treatments.
Marcus Bicknell is a marketing executive in the television, leisure, internet and consumer products fields, and has been described as a serial entrepreneur.
Whilst possessing many classic business attributes and a wide experience of many European markets, his particular skill is in the product positioning and communication needed in the start-up phase of ambitious and complex consumer projects such as satellite television channels and mobile telephone applications.
After completing an Honours Degree MA in Physical Anthropology at Cambridge University, Marcus chose a career in the rock music industry. He managed Genesis, and worked for CBS and A&M Records in the 70’s. He was the founder Commercial Director of Luxembourg based satellite ASTRA (now called SES) from 1986 – 1990, where he is still a non-Exec Director. In the 90’s,he was MD Europe for TV Channels BBC World and BBC Prime, and President of CMGI Europe (AltaVista, Geocities, Engage Profiling, Lycos etc)
Marcus is a Board Director of SES in Luxembourg, one of the world’s largest satellite operating companies, serving Sky, BBC, ITV, Freesat and many broadcasters across the world. He is also Director of New Media Foundry Ltd, a founder partner in IPTV Beat Inc, and a member of the Development Board and Platinum Patron of RADA, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
He is a member of the Institute of Directors and of the Garrick Club, is a private pilot with instruments qualifications, holds a National A motor racing licence and undertakes speaking engagements.
Pauline has worked in the further education sector for 40 years, and is a passionate supporter of inclusion, and of helping people achieve their goals.
She retired as Principal/CEO in August 2013. She successfully led the transformational process of Aylesbury College from special measures with major financial, quality and property issues (outdated premises unfit for purpose) into a highly successful, growing, quality focussed organisation with outstanding financial health. She created and implemented an innovative, flexible Buckinghamshire Integrated Learning Campus for people of all ages and abilities.
She planned and delivered a new state of the art £32 million building for Further and Higher Education, on time and on budget, and lead a proposal to the Secretary of State for Education to create one of the first twelve University Technical Colleges in the country, which opened in 2013.
Pauline continues to work in the Education and Skills sector, as Chair and Trustee of Inspire; as Director of the Women’s Leadership Network; as a National Leader for Governance for the Association of Colleges; and as Director of Optima Business Consultancy.
She works as an executive coach specialising in leadership and project management of innovative curriculum development projects.
In 2013, Pauline was awarded and OBE for her services to Further Education.
“We’ll get what we deserve. No more, no less. No one’s interested in the shopping list of excuses of why it’s not going to happen for you. You’ve just got to go out and do it.”
A nine-time Grand Prix winner and FIA World Endurance Champion, Mark Webber is one of motorsport’s most popular and high-profile stars who despite the glamorous trappings and lifestyle of F1 has stayed true to his laid-back Aussie roots and traditions. His no-nonsense, straight-talking personality combined with his strong sense of sportsmanship and fair play have endeared him to fans the world over.
After a successful run in karting and Formula Ford in Australia, Mark moved to the UK, where he competed in British Formula Ford, Formula 3, Sports-cars and then Formula 3000, where his good results landed him a F1 test drive with Benetton.
Mark made his F1 debut with Minardi in 2002, where he managed to grab fifth place, scoring the team’s first points in three years.
His ability to push a car beyond its limits opened the door for him to sign with Jaguar Racing and subsequently Williams F1. After moving to Red Bull Racing in 2007, Mark took his first F1 win in the 2009 German Grand Prix.
During his 12 year F1 career, Mark notched up 215 races, nine victories and an impressive tally of 42 podium finishes, 13 pole positions and 19 fastest laps. He also helped Red Bull racing to four consecutive Constructors’ World Championships.
At the end of 2013, Mark retired from F1 and after re-joined sports-car racing as part of Porsche’s return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2014.
Mark and his teammates together amassed, over three seasons, 14 podiums, including 8 victories and helped Porsche win the World Manufacturers Title twice. They were the World Drivers’ Champions in 2015, making Mark the first Aussie FIA World Champion since 1980.
Mark is well known for his high level of physical fitness and as a true lover of the great outdoors environment, and can often be found cycling the French Alps, hiking or mountain biking in either the Chilterns countryside or in the rugged Colorado landscape, and enjoying the surf and national parks of Queensland, Australia. The more challenging the environment, the better!
One of Mark’s great passions is seeing people push their limits and setting goals outside of their comfort zones and in 2003 he launched the Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge. The seventh cycle of the gruelling charitable adventure race took place in the rugged Australian island state in December 2013 and is currently taking a sabbatical to develop the concept further. The Challenge is now recognised as one of the most premium multi-discipline adventure races in the world.
Mark entered the world of punditry in 2014 with Network Ten in Australia, and in 2016 joined the Channel 4 commentary team.
In January 2017, Mark was named as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day Honours list. The proud Aussie received his country’s highest national honour for ‘distinguished service to motor sport as a competitor and ambassador, and to the community through fundraising and patronage of a range of medical and youth support organisations.’