Lord Watson of Richmond
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Lord Watson of Richmond

The Lord Watson of Richmond

Official portrait of Lord Watson of Richmond crop 2.jpg
The Lord Watson of Richmond CBE
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal

23 July 1999
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1941-02-03) 3 February 1941 (age 78)
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
RelativesStephen Watson (son)
ResidenceRichmond, London, England
EducationUniversity of Cambridge
OccupationChairman, CTN

Chairman, Havas Media UK
Chairman, Nexus Strategic Partnerships

High Steward, Cambridge University

Alan John Watson, Baron Watson of Richmond CBE (born 3 February 1941)[1] is a UK-based broadcaster, Liberal Democrat politician and leadership communications consultant.[2]

Early life and education

Lord Watson of Richmond is the son of the Rev. John William Watson and Edna Mary Peters. He was educated at the Diocesan College, Cape Town in South Africa and Kingswood School in Bath. He was an Open Scholar in history at Jesus College, Cambridge 1959, a State Scholar 1959 and was awarded an MA in 1963. He was the Vice-President of the Cambridge Union.

Watson's German-born wife Karen is an artist: they have two sons, Stephen and Martin.[3]



Watson joined the BBC after graduating from Cambridge University in 1963, and later became a regular presenter for The Money Programme on BBC Two and Panorama on BBC One. He also reported on London Weekend Television, Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, and wrote and presented award-winning documentaries over many years.

He is a Fellow and Former Chairman of the Royal Television Society. From 1976 to 1980 he was responsible for media at the European Commission.


In politics, Watson's notable role was as President of the Liberal Party. He was appointed CBE in 1985 and, in 1999, was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Watson of Richmond, of Richmond in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. He is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union.

He stood for election four times: as the Liberal candidate for Richmond in the general elections of October 1974 and 1979,[4] and as the Liberal candidate (SDP-Liberal Alliance) for Richmond and Barnes in the general elections of 1983 and 1987. On all four occasions, he came in second place, losing to the Conservatives.[5][6]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Geoff Tordoff
President of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
David Penhaligon

Outside of the United Kingdom, Lord Watson is Chair of the Albanian British Chamber of Commerce and is a Member of the European Parliament's High Level Group on Romania. His political interests are the "worldwide use of English, EU enlargement and transatlantic relationship".[7]

Leadership communications

Lord Watson is Chairman of CTN Communications, a creative communications agency based on St Martin's Lane in central London. He advises the leaders of major UK and international companies on their communications, with clients including BP, BAE Systems and Tesco.[7]

Board memberships



Positions at educational institutions

Lord Watson holds a range of visiting and honorary posts at universities in the United Kingdom and abroad.

United Kingdom



Europe at Risk

Europe at Risk was Lord Waton's first publication, released in 1972.[11]

The Germans: Who Are They Now?

The Germans: Who Are They Now? is a non-fiction book, first published in 1992.[12]

Eminent Europeans: personalities who shaped contemporary Europe

Eminent Europeans: personalities who shaped contemporary Europe is a collection of 17 essays on the personalities who have shaped modern Europe, for which Lord Watson contributed the essay entitled Thatcher and Kohl: Old Rivalries Revisited. The book was published in 1996, and edited by Martyn Bond, Julie Smith and William Wallace.[13]

Jamestown: The Voyage of English

Published in 2007, Jamestown: The Voyage of English is an exploration of the global significance of the arrival of the Godspeed, the Susan Constant and the Discovery on America's East Coast in 1607.[14] These three ships carried the ideas and the language which would shape the modern world. Lord Watson tells the story of a precarious venture that nearly failed. But it succeeded against the odds, planting the seeds of representative government, capitalism and the rule of law. These ideas were expressed in a language which had just reached a peak of power and vitality - the English of Shakespeare, Tyndale and Cranmer's Prayer Book. The year 1607 marks the start of the voyage of English from the language of 4 million inhabitants of the British Isles to its role as today's working language of the global village used by almost 2 billion people world-wide.

The Queen and the USA

The Queen and the USA is a non-fiction book published in March 2012 by Dementi Milestone Publishing.[15][16] During 2012, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 60th anniversary of her role as Queen of the United Kingdom. This book explores and celebrates the special relationship between the American and British people during this period, and honours Queen Elizabeth II for her role and contribution to a friendship recognised throughout the world. Co-authored by Horace Edward "Chip" Mann,[17] the book is highly visual, and includes photographs of the Queen with twelve US Presidents.

Churchill's Legacy, Two Speeches to Save the World

Published in 2016, Churchill's Legacy, Two Speeches to Save the World is a non-fiction book published in September 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc to mark the 70th anniversary of Churchill's speeches in 1946, first in March in Fulton, Missouri, often known as the Iron Curtain speech, and then in September in Zurich, Switzerland, often known as the United States of Europe speech.

Honours and awards

Below is a list of Lord Watson's most notable awards. For educational honours, please see the above section, Positions at Educational Institutions.

External links


  1. ^ "Biography". The Rt. Hon Lord Watson of Richmond CBE. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ "Alan Watson". Liberal Democrats. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "Lady Karen Watson". Lady Karen Watson. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "Some votes are more equal than others". The Reality Gap. 4 November 2013. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Labour's Total Collapse in South Underlines Regional Divisions". Glasgow Herald. 11 June 1983. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ "British Universities Film and Video Council - Alan Watson". British Universities Film and Video Council. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "Lord Watson of Richmond". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ "Welcome to Sir Trevor McDonald OBE who joins our distinguished group of Patrons: Lord Attenborough of Richmond, Rachel Dickson MBE, Bamber Gascoigne and Lord Watson of Richmond upon Thames CBE" (PDF). The Richmond Society Quarterly Newsletter (236). Winter 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2013.
  9. ^ "The History of the Founding of the Museum of Richmond". Museum of Richmond. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ "Lord Watson of Richmond". Lords. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ Watson, Alan (1 March 1972). Europe at Risk. George G.Harrap & Co Ltd. ISBN 9780245506581.
  12. ^ Watson, Alan (1992). The Germans: Who are They Now?. Edition Q. ISBN 9780867152685.
  13. ^ Wallace, William (1996). Eminent Europeans: personalities who shaped contemporary Europe. Greycoat Press. ISBN 9781899908004.
  14. ^ Watson, Alan (11 June 2007). Jamestown: The Voyage of English. U.K.: Artesian Publishing LLP. ISBN 9780955116414.
  15. ^ Richmond, Lord Watson Of; Mann, Horace Edward (1 April 2012). The Queen and the USA. Dementi Milestone Publishing. ISBN 9780983834892.
  16. ^ "The Lord Watson of Richmond, CBE". The Queen and the U.S.A. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Queen-and-the-USA/110470705750550?sk=info

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