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Sunday, July 3, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Anthony Joshua, Alan Sugar, and Bear Grylls to speak at Oxford Union

Estelle Atkinson and Maurício Alencar reveal the Union’s upcoming Trinity Term features.

In anticipation of the upcoming release of the Oxford Union’s termcard, Cherwell can exclusively reveal the line-up of speakers and debates that will be held in the chamber this term.  

Next Monday, on the 25th of April, the Union will welcome former Heavyweight Champion of the World, Anthony Joshua OBE. Joshua is also an Olympic gold medalist and has been credited with renewing public interest in boxing in the UK, demonstrated by his own high viewing figures. He is due to fight a rematch against the Ukrainian champion Oleksandr Usyk after Joshua suffered a loss at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

On May 10th, American hedge fund manager and anti-corruption campaigner Bill Browder will also appear in the Union chambers. Browder is best known for his shareholder rights activism by means of Russian investments, and he was later denied entry into Russia and accused of three murders by none other than Vladimir Putin himself in the aftermath of the Magnitsky Affair.

The Apprentice host and business magnate Lord Alan Sugar will speak on May 24th. In addition to his career as a media personality, Sugar founded electronics company Armstrad when he was just 21, and served a ten year stint as chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Bear Grylls OBE, British adventurer and television presenter, will appear at the Union on June 6th. Grylls hosted the survival programme Man vs Wild, in which he was dropped into supposedly inhospitable locations around the globe. In 2009, he was appointed the UK’s youngest ever Chief Scout of the United Kingdom and Overseas Territories.

In terms of politics, the Union has turned its attention to Kosovo, with His Excellency Albin Kurti The Prime Minister due to speak on the 6th of June.

Other notable speakers include fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, UK Ambassador to the US Dame Karen Pierce, British television personality Mark Labbett, Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer, and American rapper Denzel Curry, who is best known for his track “Ultimate”.

In addition to its speaker lineup, the Union is hosting a number of debates, including “This House would repatriate contested artefacts”, which will feature Stephen Fry. Other debates include “This House believes Stormzy is more relevant than Boris,” “This House would live in the Metaverse”, which will feature the President of Sony and ex-Executive Vice President of Microsoft, and “This House would cap Oxbridge private school admissions at 7%.”

To mark 50 years since the Watergate scandal first broke out in the US, the Union will be hosting an online panel with John Dean, Nixon’s lawyer, speaking. A second panel will be presented on the topic of education, with British studytuber Unjaded Jade appearing.

Union members can look forward to a May Day Gala, Trinity Term ball with the theme ‘Royal Extravaganza’, a Champions League final watch party, an arts festival, and a drag show. The Union will also be hosting Open Forums for access, women, disabled, BAME, and LGBTQIA+ members to attend. 

New this term is the revival of DEBATE magazine, a journal dedicated to “domestic politics and international affairs,” which members are able to contribute to. 

A Union spokesperson told Cherwell: “‘From Alan Sugar to Natalie Dormer, from the Prime Minister of Kosovo to the UK’s ambassador to the USA and everyone in-between, the Union’s Trinity Termcard had something for everyone. There’s balls, a Champions League final watch party, and even a drag show with everyone’s favourite teacher Miss Take. And with open access forums throughout the term, you too can have your say. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve got planned for this exciting summer term. What you read here is a small fraction of what we’ve got lined up. Stay tuned for the full termcard release later this week!”

Image Credit: NATO/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr

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