An Evening With...
Plymouth College


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Last updated: 04.01.21

An Evening With...

As part of our extra-curricular provision during lockdown we are launching a new Q & A series with a range of guests from a variety of backgrounds. The aim is to enrich our student experience and to empower them to pursue careers or areas of interest further. The 'An Evening With...' programme will see us interview an eclectic mix of people from a variety of professions. The events will run online with access codes being shared with parents. All members of the Plymouth College community (parents, pupils and staff) are invited to join us for what promises to be an interesting and engaging series of interviews.

Episode 1: 'An Evening With...' Tom Daley - Monday 18th January 2021

Episode 1 features one of the most recognisable faces in world sport. Tom Daley is a 2 time FINA World Diving Champion and an Olympic bronze medalist from London 2012 as well as one of the College's most famous OPMs. Tom has also become a household name on our television screens and on YouTube and is a huge supporter of a range of charitable organisations. After marrying his now husband, screenwriter, producer and film director Dustin Lance Black, Tom became a father to his first child, Robbie in June 2018.

Thank you to all those of you that were able to join us for this event.  I am sure you will agree it was a great evening and we thank Tom for his generous support and time.


Episode 2: 'An Evening With...' Christophe Ridley - Thursday 28th January 2021

Christophe Ridley is one of the most recognisable faces in the world of English Rugby Union Refereeing, regularly featuring on our TV screens taking charge of Gallagher Premiership fixtures and European Club Rugby appointments at the age of just 27. Prior to taking up the whistle, Christophe enjoyed a career in professional rugby as an accomplished scrum-half with Leicester Tigers. Away from Rugby, he also works as a high-performance consultant for the University of Gloucestershire.

We had a great turnout for this event and our thanks go to Christophe for his time and for providing such a fascinating insight into the world of Rugby Union from his very unique perspective.


Episode 3:  "An Evening With..."  Heather Knight OBE - Friday 29th January 2021

We are thrilled to be welcoming Heather Knight, Captain of the England Women's Cricket Team for the third in our series of "An Evening With.."

Heather started her career by attending colts training at Plymstock Cricket Club when she was just 8 years old and progressed through the club's youth system.  She is a prolific batsman at county level, representing both Devon and Berkshire during her career as well as playing for the Diamonds, Sapphires and Emeralds in the Super Fours. Heather made her international debut against India in 2010. In 2016, Knight was appointed captain of the England women's cricket team. She led the England team in her first Women's Cricket World Cup as captain, and they won the tournament despite losing to India in the opening match. Following the team's success, she was awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2018 New Year Honours list.  In April 2018 she was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year for her part in the 2017 World Cup victory.  

Heather continues to lead the England Women's Cricket Team and will be joining us from New Zealand where she is currently in quarantine prior to the start of the one day international series against the White Ferns.

We thank Heather for her generous time for this event as well as joining us so early on a Saturday morning from New Zealand!  We wish her and the rest of the team well for their next match.


Episode 4: 'An Evening With...' John Hannah - Wednesday 3rd February 2021

Actor John Hannah has appeared in many theatre, film and television productions in his career.  He came to prominence in his role as Matthew in the 1994 film, "Four Weddings and a Funeral" for which he was nominated for a BAFTA for 'Best Actor in a Supporting Role'.  Since then he has appeared in major Hollywood films such as 'The Mummy' series as well as being a regular fixture on our television screens in many TV series including McCallum, Rebus, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and most recently Canadian TV Drama 'Transplant' (which is available on Sky Witness).

John gave us a fascinating insight into the world of acting and we thank him most sincerely for a wonderfully entertaining evening.


Episode 5: 'An Evening With...' Tom Pursglove MP - Thursday 11th February 2021

Tom Pursglove is the Member of Parliament for Corby and East Northamptonshire.  In 2007, at the age of 18, he became the youngest councillor in the country when he was elected for Croyland Ward on Wellingborough Council.  He was re-elected in 2011 but did not stand again as he then went on to stand as the Conservative candidate for Parliament.  Tom was duly elected in 2015 and took his seat as the youngest Conservative MP aged just 27.  He was re-elected with an increased majority at the 2017 election and retained his seat in 2019, further increasing his majority in the process.  Now a Government Whip, Tom has been a firm supporter of Brexit since before the referendum campaign.

We thank Tom for his generous time this evening and for his insight into the world of government and politics but more importantly how his commitment to service played such a large part in how his career developed.

Episode 5: 'An Evening With...' Commodore David Pond, CEO, GB Wheelchair Rugby - Thursday 25th February 2021

David has been Chief Executive of GB Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) since 2009. He sees his role as enthusing all in GBWR and enabling them to develop the sport and to enjoy the opportunities it provides.

A former Commodore in the Royal Navy, David held senior appointments in the UK and overseas and moved through the ranks from Lieutenant to Commodore and to hold Command, Chief Executive and NATO appointments. Operational duties included a world deployment aboard the aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious, and he spent time spent in Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Canada.

He left the service in 2006 to start his own interim management and consultancy business specialising in leadership, organisational development and business transformation. He retains a stake in this business, which works with clients in the private and public sectors.

David is a Non Executive Director of Plymouth Hospital’s NHS Trust; Chair of the Diocese of Plymouth Independent Child Safeguarding Commission and part of the UK Sport International Leadership Programme.

A lifelong sportsman, he is a sports graduate from Loughborough University and played rugby at county level and for the Royal Navy, though he now realises this was a breeze compared with his efforts to play wheelchair rugby!

David gave us a great insight into how having a breadth of experience has been fundamental to the success of his career, in whatever direction that has taken and he is still looking forward to new challenges.  Thank you David, for your generous time.

Episode 6: 'An Evening With...' Jacquie Bird, ITV Westcountry News Reporter - Friday 5th March 2021

Jacquie Bird is a television news reporter for ITV Westcountry and has been for the past 25 years!

She has reported on stories from high profile court cases, royal visits, floods, fires and tragedies to sporting events, shaggy dog stories, weddings and funerals.

Jacquie started her journalism career as a reporter on what was then called the Evening Herald in Plymouth. She was the first female Crime Correspondent for them, given the job despite her editor telling her that the police would never speak to her! It was her work as a crime reporter that brought her to the attention of Westcountry TV who asked her to join them and she's been there ever since.

Jacquie's career has taken her across the world, reporting from the USA and France among others and we are delighted to be able to welcome her.

The link for this event. along with details about how you can send your questions to Jacquie will be sent to all pupils, parents and staff individually.