Television star and legendary producer David Gest will enter the history books next month when he is accompanied, for the first time ever, by an all-star line-up of soul and Motown artists who will perform live during his address to the Oxford Union.
Christopher Starkey, Vice-President of the Oxford Union Society, who will host the event alongside Mr Gest says: “This is the first time in the history of the Union, the world’s most prestigious debating society, that an invited guest speaker has included as part of their speech live music on stage from multiple world-renowned performers each singing a respective hit from their large repertoire in front of an audience at the Hall at Oxford University. We were thrilled that Mr Gest has accepted our invitation and his surprise of having live performances of this calibre in front of the Union is just the icing on the cake!”
Gest, a well known personality in the USA and the UK follows in the footsteps of his pop star friend Michael Jackson and a host of other luminaries including: Dalai Lama; Sir Winston Churchill; Mother Teresa; actors Johnny Depp, Pierce Brosnan, Martin Sheen, Clint Eastwood; former US Presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan; rock star Jon Bon Jovi; puppet Kermit the Frog; comedian and writer Stephen Fry; singer Shakira and actress Dame Judi Dench, to name just a few, with an address to the union in the form of a personal debate around a topic of his choice.
Gest says he will make an insightful speech based around the history of Rhythm & Blues music and how it affected his life, which will contain a host of never-before-told personal anecdotes from his multi-award-winning career spanning five decades. Gest produced the highest-rated television musical special in history, “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years” which was Jackson’s last US concert in 2001 as wells as the last reunion of he and his brothers. Most recently Gest produced the widely acclaimed film “Michael Jackson: The Life Of An Icon” which was released by Universal Pictures in November 2011. Since 2006, David Gest has performed four national tours of the UK with his hit show ‘David Gest…My Life!’
To help illustrate his debate, Gest had assembled a stellar line-up of legendary singers who will add to the occasion by performing live at Oxford. Including Percy Sledge, Peabo Bryson, Deniece Williams, Eddie Floyd and Brenda Holloway. Gest will also have a live band onstage at the Union.
According to David Gest: “I am extremely privileged to have been invited to take part in such a prestigious event and follow in the footsteps of my closest childhood friend Michael Jackson. I was with Michael Jackson the evening prior to his address of the Oxford Union and had dinner with him the evening after. I know what that day meant to him and how special it was and I feel very humbled that the Union has asked me to be their guest.”
Gest continues: “I did a segment of my ITV1 show ‘This Is David Gest’ where I snuck into the canteen and walked the grounds at Oxford University and it will truly be an honour to come back and not have to break in like last time!”
The Oxford Union attracts figures from all walks of life and continues to maintain its unparalleled reputation for international guests and speakers. David Gest will appear on Saturday 9th of February 2013 at 5.00pm.