Ian Irving

Auctioneer, After Dinner Speaker & Comedian

One of the first black comedians on the UK circuit, Ian’s humour is as fresh, original and contemporary today as it was when he first came on the scene. Able to tailor his performance to suit any audience or occasion, Ian is the professional’s professional.

Rising to prominence as a stand-up comedian in the eighties, Ian first appeared on Cilla Black’s Surprise Surprise before going on to perform on talent show, New Faces. The resulting success catapulted him into his very own theatre tour where he captivated audiences nationwide. Since then he has never looked back.

He has been a warm up artist for TV shows including Blankety Blank, Fast Friends with Les Dawson, sitcom Brush Strokes with Carl Howman, In Sickness and in Health with Warren Mitchell and Carla Lane’s Bread. Ian has also performed live on Pebble Mill and Kilroy.

He is now one of the UK’s most in-demand after dinner comedians, specialising in corporate hospitality events, sporting functions, new product launches, awards ceremonies and charity fundraisers. Ian’s comedy has taken him all over the world and seen him work with sporting legends including, Seve Ballesteros, Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno MBE, Mo Farah and Usain Bolt.

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Born in Essex, Ian first came to prominence in 1987 on UK television as part of Cilla Black’s Surprise Surprise. This was shortly followed by him appearing in the finals of nationwide talent show, New Faces – the success of which saw him embark upon a nationwide theatre tour.

Experienced on both sides of the camera, Ian has been a warm up artist for TV shows including Blankety Blank, Fast Friends with Les Dawson, sitcom Brush Strokes with Carl Howman, In Sickness and in Health with Warren Mitchell and Bread. He has performed live on Pebble Mill and Kilroy, which led to a walk-on part in the TV series The Chief.

Ian’s appearance on Celebrity Squares with Bob Monkhouse led to his own half hour TV show called Stand and Deliver.

He has performed at many of the most prestigious venues in the UK supporting leading acts such as Lionel Richie, Simply Red, Elkie Brooks, Jim Davidson, Russ Abbott, Bonnie Tyler, Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, The Drifters and The Jersey Boys.

Ian now specialises as an after dinner speaker, charity auctioneer, host, comedian and compere at a wide range of events including corporate hospitality, sporting functions, company events, product launches, award ceremonies and golf days.

He has appeared with top showbiz stars at the world famous London Palladium, as well as Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. His work has taken him around the globe performing in Barbados, Cyprus, Dubai, Malta, Mauritius, Paris, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the USA.

Ian’s clients include, Nat West Bank, Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Abbey National, Barclays, Mercedes Benz, Ford UK, Vodafone, Carphone Warehouse, Aon, Sony (UK), The Belfry, Royal Lytham & St Annes, Hilton Hotels Group, Wentworth Club, Woburn, St Mellion, British Airways, Hitachi, Lloyds TSB, and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

He has also performed at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities, hosted Award Ceremonies such as the Comedy Awards, Television & Radio Industries Awards, British Insurance Brokers Association Awards, British Petroleum Awards, Construction Marketing Awards, National House Building Awards and many other private company events. He was also the top billing Cabaret for celebrating Lord Richard Attenborough’s 80th Birthday party.

Ian also regularly performs on a variety of cruise liners around the world, and was top billing for Cunard shipping line on the QE2’s last Atlantic crossing.

We have more than doubled our record takings on the auction due to you, will you come back next year please.

Karen New, Chairman, The Lady Taverners Guernsey

I am writing to you to thank you for the excellent after dinner speech you gave on our Valentines Dinner at Lancaster Great House, St James, Barbados.

I can tell you that we have had amazing feedback and the table of Bajan locals cannot wait for you to come back.

On behalf of the members of Royal Westmoreland Club many many thanks.

Tony Reid, Chairman Board of Governors

I first worked with Ian 16 years ago in my capacity as Deputy CEO of Wooden Spoon.

Ian is an excellent auctioneer and in this capacity he has helped to raise many many thousands of pounds initially for WS and latterly for Help for Heroes.

A good auctioneer makes a huge difference to the amount of money raised on these occasions and Ian is among the best.

Ian combines his talents as a natural comedian to command the audience and in doing so he is able to keep the bids flowing, his natural rapport encourages support for the cause whether it be disadvantaged children or injured service personnel.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Ian for your event.

Tony Richards, Help For Heroes

Thank you for your performance at the Wentworth Men’s Club Dinner.
This was the first major event of my captaincy year and you were instrumental in making the evening a huge success.
All the feedback I have received from those in attendance has been extremely positive.

As you know there were more than 230 people at the event and at times I thought the laughter was going to lift the roof off the building, it was truly a memorable evening.

Chris Robbins, Captain Wentworth

On behalf of my team and myself, thank you so much for entertaining us and our guests. As usual, you were on top form and everyone enjoyed your brilliant performance.

Satish Kanabar, Corporate Director, Barclays,

Thank you so much for acting as our MC and auctioneer at the Sir Harry Secombe golf day it was a really enjoyable occasion and a great atmosphere thanks to you generating so much laughter in the room.

Thanks largely to your entertainment and persuasion we managed to raise a significant amount of money to help give children a better life, especially those with special needs.

From me the lords Taverners and the children-Thank you.

Ken New, Chairman of Golf

A superb demonstration of a professional artist knowing his audience, I have received messages ranging from brilliant, hilarious, side splitting, star of the show. I would have absolutely have no hesitation in recommending you for future events.

Roger Cruttenden, Kent Law Society,

The variety club golf Society is called upon the services of Ian many times.
He is a fantastic supporter of the charity with Ian as your auctioneer you get double value, you get the comedian and you get the man to raise the maximum amount for your event.
I would have no hesitation in recommending him as an auctioneer.

I have used him in the past and will certainly use him again.

Peter Stovold, Executive Director (former)

TOP COMIC is definitely an apt title. Amazing – Fantastic – Brilliant and more adjectives came forth after this event. You played a major part to create so many happy memories of a very enjoyable event.

Stuart Hopwood, Regional Director, Sirius Buying Group,

I thought you were absolutely fantastic and would recommend you to anyone looking for an after dinner speaker or host. I have had overwhelming positive feed back from everyone I have spoken to since and you really made ‘my night’.

John Whitehead, Woburn Golf Club Captain,

Anyone who needs a speaker suitable for any audience need look no further than IAN IRVING. Ian`s original and engaging wit together with his charming personality ensures that everyone goes home happy. In addition he is a brilliant auctioneer; Ian brings his comedy into the bidding process and at our event probably doubled the amount we would have normally raised due to his skill as an auctioneer. The Lords Taverners in Devon & Cornwall have been holding Charity Lunches for many years, Ian made sure that our lunch was by far the most enjoyable yet.

Keith Hollingshead, The Lord’s Taverners,

I would like to thank you on behalf of everyone from The Worcestershire Union of Golf Clubs for your superb performance.

In addition to many comments I on the night I also received numerous emails text and telephone calls all saying that they thought you were the best after dinner speaker they had ever heard, given that the majority of the audience have been to many of these events over the years, this is high praise indeed.

Your professionalism shone through on the night and I would have no hesitation recommending you to anyone who wanted their evening to end on a high note.

Mr Bill Thompson, County President

Thank you so much for your brilliant performance at the boxing writers club Dinner, with a room full of 300 journalists and celebrities must be the toughest audience in the world but you must be thrilled to know that you were a smash hit.

I was also delighted to see our guests going home from the event with smiles on their faces, I am going to recommend to the committee that we have you back for an encore at next years dinner.

Colin Hart, Boxing Writers Club

On behalf of the men’s captain, Steve Warlow, and members of Parkstone golf club I would like to thank you for making last Friday’s event such a success. I have received both written and verbal compliments from many members who said your after dinner routine was brilliant you captured the mood of the evening perfectly.

I would have no hesitation in recommending you to all the golf club managers or indeed any function that was looking for a professional after dinner act.

Gary Peddie, General Manager

I wanted to record our thanks for the outstanding entertainment that you have provided for us at our General Managers Conference and at our corporate Golf Day.

It says an awful lot that we chose to have you back and yet again you did a fantastic job of entertaining our guests, on every occasion you do a brilliant job gauging the reaction form the audience to certain topics and adapting your material to suit.

Nigel McMinn, Managing Director lookers Plc

I write to thank you for your superb after-dinner speech at our corporate golf event last week you are a truly talented comedian who pitched your material at the perfect level.

I have received fantastic feedback from all the attendees at the event thank you.

Russ Pettifer, Director & Head of Technology Solutions, BNP Paribus

After a superb day at Woburn, thank you for your fantastically amusing set after the dinner, and for rounding of the day in such a wonderful way, everyone at the event thought you were by far the best entertainer that we have had.

Marcus Deakin, Corporate Events Manager, Vodaphone

The annual dinner is our “flagship” event and it is therefore extremely important to us. we have had nothing but great feedback on your performance! Whilst the dinner is a professional event we wanted to balance that with entertainment so that people went away having had a thoroughly good time. Having seen you on two previous occasions I knew what to expect and so knew you were exactly what we were looking for.

Your delivery, style and brand of humor (without Crudity) I feel is a definite positive in your favour as it is not necessary to do this in order to make people laugh, you rounded off the evening and went down a treat. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending you to any function organiser that wants to bring their dinner into the 21st century by balancing the formal and entertainment elements.

Clive Bevan ACII, President, Nottingham Insurance Institute.

I would like to thank you most sincerely for your ‘Star Performance’ at the SCAGC Jubilee Dinner and also for your friendship and at-ease nature at the dining table you were a great help to me.

Although I have seen you perform a number of times you manage to refresh your material and gags to suit all audiences and occasions, you are a credit to your Profession and I will be recommending you to many others.

Mr Malcolm Coe, Captain of The Society of Cambridgeshire Golf Captains

A big thank you for entertaining us, you certainly read the audience very well and were really appreciated by all. I have had a lot of good feedback on your show, which went some way in making the dinner very enjoyable for everyone and therefore the whole event more of a success, Thanks again Ian, not only for being a great entertainer but also easy to work with.

Christine Pandole, PA to the FA Chairman

We made a brilliant decision to invite Ian to be our Guest Speaker at our Centenary Year Men’s Dinner he was perfect for such a prestigious event. We did not want crudeness or bad language, we wanted humour and wit which he provided in a very professional manner, he skillfully adapted his humour to the audience with great ease, I would recommend him for your event.

Fred Mercer, Captain of Aspley Guise Golf Club.

Your pre-dinner comedy spot was hilarious you made a big impression!
You then kindly agreed to manage our auction your professionalism and friendly control of the audience led to our most successful auction ever.

I would not hesitate in recommending you for a similar event!
Thanks again and enjoy your golf Ian, it certainly was a pleasure meeting you.

Paul Housego, Buying Manager Homebase

Thank you for entertaining us so superbly at our Men’s Dinner your style and humour fitted the occassion perfectly, I have heard nothing but universal praise on your performance which I think is a first given the wide cross section of members some of whom are often difficult to please!

Many thanks again for making our evening so successful.

Martin Hubbard, Hayward Heath Golf Club Captain

I cannot thank you enough for your superb performance I have never in the past eighteen years of the function have I ever had so many compliments about any other performer that I have booked. Please don’t be surprised when I get in touch with you when we decide next seasons date for the Star Man Awards.

Simon Fellman, Leyton Orient Football Club

I wanted to write and say thank you for making our golf day absolutely superb, the chaps loved the fact that you were able to play golf with them and then your after dinner speech was absolutely outstanding.

Lella Bates, BNP Paribus

The feedback we had from your performance was absolutely excellent, guests commented that you had the whole room in stitches and so many people said to me afterwards that you were the best comedian we have ever had at our dinner.
I am definitely happy to recommend you to other event organisers and indeed other associations.

Ray Parry, Chief Executive NPA

Thank you so much for your fabulous performance at my Captains Dinner.
The Whole room was laughing until they cried and people are still seeking me out to thank me for the night saying it was the best Captains Dinner in 30 years with no small part played by you to its success.

I thoroughly enjoyed your company during golf and dinner and you proved to be a consummate performer, in fact an out and out professional.

Peter Self, Captain BSGC

I am writing to thank you for speaking at our dinner, to be frank you are simply superb, I did not want crude or toilet jokes of any type and you were very funny with not a crude word or innuendo, thank you again I wish you the best of luck in your career.

Stuart Wallace, Worthing Golf Club Club Captain

Many many thanks for your wonderful contribution at our dinner, without doubt you were the funniest comedian/speaker we have ever had at the club, the feedback from the members was extremely positive with the overriding message saying when can we get him back again.

As usual are you pitched it just right for the audience on the day and your timing was spot on the true professional quite outstanding.

Mark Elliott, Herts RFUVice President’s secretary


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