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Toby Young is one of Britain’s most controversial broadcasters and journalists. He is an associate editor of the Spectator, where he has written a weekly column since 1998, and the editor of Spectator LIFE. He co-founded the West London Free School, the first free school in England to sign a Funding Agreement with the then Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove. His group has subsequently opened three more establishments.
Toby’s career has included co-founding and editing the Modern Review with Julie Burchill, writing for Vanity Fair and working as a regular judge on Top Chef, an Emmy Award-winning food reality show in New York and Las Vegas. He claims that his greatest claim to fame is writing How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, a memoir about his failure to take Manhattan which was turned into a film starring Simon Pegg. He is also the author of How to Set Up A Free School and What Every Parent Needs to Know: How to Help Your Child Get the Most Out of Primary School.
Toby is a regular guest on TV and radio programmes including Question Time, the Today programme, Any Questions and the Daily Politics where his areas of expertise include education, the media and contemporary politics. He is a Fulbright Commissioner, a Visiting Fellow of Buckingham University and a versatile, informed and erudite speaker.
Recently Toby has argued the pro-Brexit side of Remain and Leave in Specialist Speakers sponsored debate up against former Europe Minister, Denis MacShane.
In January 2018, in a controversial move, Toby Young was appointed by Government to sit on the board of the Office for Students (OfS), a new oversight body for universities and higher education. On January 9th Toby Young resigned from the OfS saying that controversy over his past statements and tweets had ‘become a distraction from the vital work of the organisation’.
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