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Christine Hamilton

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One of the country's most charismatic "battleaxes", Christine is in demand to speak at luncheons, dinners and events of all kinds. Equally at home with male, female or mixed audiences, she enlivens conferences and dinners with her charm and humour. Entertaining and effervescent, warm and witty, she speaks not only about her own life, but also lifts the veil on the discreet (or not) world of Westminster and enthuses about her great British battleaxes.

 
On the first-ever ITV I’m a Celebrity – Get me Out of Here! (2002) she enchanted viewers with her natural charm, sense of humour, common sense and kindness, emerging as Queen of the Jungle. She won a new legion of fans with her feisty performance in BBC TV’s Celebrity Masterchef 2010, in which she reached the final and narrowly missed winning the title.
 
Christine acquired media celebrity overnight for the forceful support she gave her husband Neil during his 1997 General Election campaign in the Tatton constituency. Descriptions of her ranged from the insultingly unflattering to the admiringly adulatory; from "The Wife from Hell" to "The Battling Lioness". Lampooned in countless articles and cartoons as a ferocious Battleaxe, she also garnered admiration in many quarters for her feisty spirit, and was described by Lynda Lee Potter as having "the valour of the early Christian martyrs”. Her first book, Christine Hamilton's Bumper Book of British Battleaxes (pub. 1997, reprinted 2003) is an entertaining cornucopia of the ladies who have enlivened the pages of history and the headlines of the popular press, ranging from Queens Boadicea to Victoria, from Nancy Astor to Margaret Thatcher, from Cynthia Payne to Edwina Currie and from Barbara Cartland to Barbara Woodhouse.
 
In 2000, her critically acclaimed BBC Choice series The Christine Hamilton Show proved that she is a natural and perceptive interviewer, chatting to household names who have survived stormy water of all kinds including James Hewitt, Jonathan Aitken, Lord Bath, Bernard Manning, Ivana Trump and John Fashanu. She presented on digital channel Simply Money a series of programmes interviewing women who have seized the financial reins in business. She also presented dozens of programmes on Destination Lunch for Sky Digital. Regularly on TV and radio, including Have I Got News for You, Any Questions, Loose Women and Newsnight, she has deputised for Gloria Hunniford and Fern Britton on Open House and The Morning. She writes a weekly column for the Western Daily Press, a column for gay magazine Refresh and for newspapers and periodicals.
 
In 2002 she received critical acclaim for her first pantomime role, and, in basque and fishnets, as the first woman in England to take the role of Narrator in the Rocky Horror Show during its 30th anniversary tour. Game for almost anything, Christine has parachuted, dressed as a drag queen on BBC, had cosmetic infill injections (years ago – “all effects gone!” she says) live on C5 & BBC. And who could forget her disarming Louis Theroux in their documentary?
 
She has filled both Oxford and Cambridge Unions. People identify with Christine as a warm-hearted, open, engaging person who has faced life’s battles head on – and won. Christine has very publicly been through the wringer and emerged brighter and sparkier than ever. She has faced scandal, ignominy, hounding by the media, epic battles in the High Court, bankruptcy and the enforced sale of her home. She talks frankly and movingly, but also in a highly entertaining way, about how she coped and managed to re-build her life into the successful media personality she is today
 
Christine graduated from the University of York and worked at the House of Commons for 26 years as research assistant and PA to MPs, starting with the flamboyant Sir Gerald Nabarro (MP for South Worcestershire until 1973).  She worked for her husband from 1983-1997. Her biography For Better for Worse was published in 2005 and reprinted in 2008
Battleaxe or pussycat? You decide!