For this term’s King’s Lecture, we were delighted to welcome Old Guildfordian Simon Lazenby back to the RGS. Simon attended the RGS as a student from 1988 to 1993 – still proud to this day of being a member of Valpy House during one of the less successful periods of the House’s history! – and then went to Durham University where he read Biological Sciences. After an early career covering rugby union and cricket for Sky Sports from 2002, Simon became the main anchor for Sky Sports Formula 1 coverage. Fresh from the USA and Mexico, Simon’s infectious knowledge, love and passion for all things F1 were very much in evidence. Now broadcast to 83 countries to an audience of over 30 million people globally, the popularity and profile of the sport have grown exponentially. Simon told the story of his early experiences of public speaking when he was given a Saturday Detention at the RGS for delivering a rugby dinner speech which was too racey [pun intended], to the moment when, wearing his father’s suit, the camera light went red and he broadcast live for the first time, with little preparation and a sink or swim mentality. Simon provided a fascinating insight into the controversy of last season’s finale and then in an honest and candid Q&A provided his reflections on many aspects of the sport from sustainability to gender equality, from finances to social media. At its root, however, Simon kept returning to the fact that the RGS had instilled in him core values: loyalty, honesty, and an ability to work as a team, all elements which are so translatable and transferable to all walks of life. As he concluded, to an appreciative audience: “Friendship and teamwork – that’s what I learned here – we are only as good as the sum of our parts.”
To view images from the King’s Lecture, please click here.