Candidate Profile

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Astronomy & Space Science
Travel & Destinations
An experienced High Performance Manager – with a passion for space travel!

After graduating, Ken worked as a teacher and lecturer in Mathematics in the UK and Malaysia. Whilst working in Kuala Lumpur he was appointed as a National Athletics Coach for the MAAU Centres of Excellence Programme. Widely travelled across five continents, he found time and travelled extensively throughout SE Asia and India.

He came back to the UK overland through Hong Kong, China and Russia on the trans-Siberian Express – and arrived in Berlin the day the wall came down (not his fault!).

Returning to the UK, Ken swapped teaching for High Performance Sport, taking management roles with a number of the UK’s leading sports bodies including UK Athletics, the British Paralympic Association and the England & Wales Cricket Board. On the GB staff at four Paralympic Games and head athletics coach in Sydney and Athens, in 1992 he was awarded an Olympic Coach Scholarship.

For 15 years, as a counter-point to his professional work, Ken has studied the US and Soviet space programmes extensively from Mercury to the Space Shuttle, Vostok to Soyuz. Having visited Mission Control Centre in Houston and corresponded with astronauts from that period, he is now working on a book to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first landing.

Favouring a multi-media style, Ken is an experienced, innovative and engaging presenter having spoken extensively at UK conferences and overseas.

Ken is now an adviser/consultant to a number of national sports organisations. He keeps a rowing machine in the garage – but is mindful to avoid over-training!

Never before considered against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, these talks chart the remarkable and unsurpassed achievement of the US manned space programme. With the 50th anniversary, in 2019 of the first landing on the moon, they combine the well-known scientific accomplishments of the programme with the lesser-known human back-stories, which together made the space programme the success it became.

1. Project Mercury The Magnificent 7

Meet the gladiators from what was to be the new battleground of the Cold War – Outer Space! Battled hardened test Pilots selected – but with nothing to fly. But heroes who would eventually fly up into the heavens on top of a bomb, as the superpowers took part in the Race – that they say never was!

2. Project Gemini NASA’s Forgotten Child

Afforded neither the interest Project Mercury enjoyed nor the kudos of the Apollo Programme, Gemini was the glue that held together America’s race to the moon. The unsung hero of the space programme that ultimately paved the way for man to walk on the moon.

3. Project Apollo Fifty Years and Counting

Considered technologically as man’s crowning achievement. From the most tragic of beginnings, through numerous close calls – to that ‘… small step….’ Twelve men walked on the moon and their lives changed for ever – and not always for the better.

4. Soviet Space Programme Where Did It All Go Wrong?

From the triumph of Gagarin to the humiliation of Apollo. With so many stellar ‘firsts’ in the early years of the space race, how is it that the Soviet Union eventually lost out on the ultimate prize? Was the Soviet Union even serious about landing on the moon – to show everyone that the 20th century belonged to Communism?

5. US Shuttle Programme From Triumph to Disaster

A technological masterpiece – still yet to be equalled. But how after the Challenger disaster of 1986, did the Shuttle programme get back on its feet again – only to suffer a second and equally catastrophic set back in 2003? Why was this iconic programme cancelled in 2011 with nothing left to take its place?

6. Women in Space Meet Wally Funk and Her Friends!

Meet the Mercury 13 America’s first female astronauts, made of the Right Stuff but the Wrong Sex. Learn about why Valentina Tereshkova – might not have been – the first women to fly in space. They say behind every great man there is a great woman, and nowhere was this more true than in the space programme – this is THEIR story too!


Reborn in 1896, this series of talks examine how the Olympic Games movement grew spectacularly in the early part of the 20th century, absorbed with high ideals and aspirations. They trace in detail how later xenophobia and rampant nationalism tainted what the Games stood for and go on to explore if the Olympic ideal of sportsmanship and fair play still have meaning today.

1. Olympic Games (1896 – 1936) The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part

From the high ideals and the innocent aspirations of the first Olympic Games of the modern era in Athens – through to the shameless exploitation by the Nazi regime in Berlin. How did pure sporting endeavour fail to triumph? Despite protestations to the contrary, sport and politics became joined at the hip – for good.

2. Olympic Games (1948 – 1988) The emergence of the Communist Sporting Juggernaut

Why – and how – did the Soviet Union and East Germany rise so quickly to become sporting superpowers? Such success came at a great personal cost to those selected – and exploited – when championing the cause of Communism in sports arenas around the world.

3. Olympic Games (1992 – 2016) The Olympic Ideal – Alive & Well or Dead & Buried?

With the increasing tolerance globally of what now passes for acceptable behaviour in politics, business and commerce, the hopes of the founding fathers of the modern Olympics have become tainted and compromised. Will they survive, or has the point of no return already come and gone?


The following titles each take you through the sights, the smells and the sounds of Asia. Visiting some of the most exotic and exciting places on earth, they take you on a trip through 1000's of years of history, an experience that is sure excite the senses.

1. Nagasaki A City Born Again!

Forever linked to its apocalyptic experience in WW II, Nagasaki retains a warmth and a dignity that is palpable to all who are lucky enough to visit this truly remarkable place. The city and its people choose not to be defined solely by its oh so tragic past, memorialised by its stunning Peace Park, but choose also to celebrate its strong historical links particularly with Europe and witnessed on the man-made island of Dejima in the heart of Nagasaki.

2. Busan A Secret Hidden in Asia

Busan is a frenetic, high-flying and high-tech 21st Century metropolis. Yet, the city balances a respect for the past with its aspirations for the future. Some of its most popular and interesting attractions span the centuries, from the beautiful and magnificent temples such as Haedong Yonggungsa and Beomeosa through to the fascinating Gamcheon Cultural Village, Jalgaichi Fish Market and the Shinsegae Centrum City – the world’s LARGEST shopping centre.

3. Hong Kong No1 City!

Regularly featuring amongst the most popular cities in the world, Hong Kong is certainly a place that, once visited, is never forgotten. The ancient and the modern co-exist, literally, side by side in this frenetic metropolis. Delight in the atmosphere of the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon, the stunning views from the Peak or take a ride on the iconic Star Ferry. Or, if it takes your fancy, shop until you drop in the world-famous Hong Kong markets of the modern-day shopping malls.

4. Ho Chi Minh City A City on the Move

The city, formally known as Saigon, is famous for its colonial style architecture and, for good reason, was once known as the Paris of the Orient. Much of the fun in HCMC derives from absorbing the flurry of activity experienced in this city of hustle and bustle, which is home to some 8 million people. Learn of its fascinating and significant history, both ancient and modern, perhaps take in a show at the utterly charming water puppet theatre or simply immerse yourself in the HCMC café culture.

5. Angkor One of the Most Spectacular Religious Sites in the World

This 12th Century complex houses a myriad quite extraordinary temples that have to be seen to be believed. Built over 35 years by 300, 000 labourers, the architecture and craftsmanship, at times, defy description. Quite uniquely you can see at the Ta Phrom temple where man and nature have over the centuries become one, in amazingly spectacular fashion.

6. Bangkok Majestic and Manic – All At the Same Time

Like so many other major cities in Asia Bangkok is very much a blend of the old and the new. Yet even given its immense size, it still has the capacity to excite & enthral. Take in the majesty of the Grand Palace, relax in a slow open boat along the quiet canals of Thornburi or stand and try and work out how the architecturally unusual Mahanakhon Tower doesn’t fall down!

7. Koh Samui A Delight of Sun, Sea and Sand

The island offers the chance to relax on one of its world-famous beaches such as Chaweng or Bophut. As well as gorgeous beaches, Koh Samui also offers nature trails that, if less well known, are no less a wonder to behold. A trip to the Purple Water Falls is particularly enjoyable. Interesting history is never far away and the island boasts a number of interestingly designed temples such as Wat Plai Laem and Wat Phra Yai – both are vibrant and intriguing at the same time.

8. Singapore A Little Place with Big Ambition

When you arrive in Singapore you can never mistake the impression the skyline leaves you with. It is a city of many colours and is rich mixture of history, beliefs & heritage and a melting pot of culture & custom, boasting a population of 5 ½ million. The word shopping was created with this city-state in mind - stroll along the world famous Orchard Road and you’ll see why. Yet it has masses more to offer, from the iconic Raffles Hotel to the world famous Singapore Zoo.


Stunning scenery seemingly untouched by human hand, combines effortlessly with history both old and new – and not to mention the Northern Lights. A land offering breath-taking fjords

1. Bergen Gateway to the Fjords and So Much More!

Bergen sits surrounded by 7 beautiful mountains. Sitting at the head of Byfjorden, the city’s diverse mix of art, history and culture make it a great place to visit. The city, Norway’s second largest, is well served by a number of museums that chronicle the area’s contribution to the worlds of music, commerce, medicine and art. Enjoy the music of Edvard Greig, the wonderful views from Mt Floyen or a walk through Bergen’s world famous fish market. Lots to do – whatever your tastes and interests!

2. Alesund The Prettiest Town in Norway

Architecturally quite unique and with an intriguing history all of its own, Alesund is a must see destination when visiting this part of the world. Get to admire the rich Art Nouveau buildings when strolling along the famous Korsegata or enjoy the fabulous picture postcards views of the town from atop Mt Aksla. Alesund really is a town like no other and one not to be missed.

3. Geirangerfjord A Little Bit of Heaven – Here on Earth

Geirangerfjord is one of the world’s great natural features. Once there, it is easy to see why in 2005, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its serene beauty is at times breath-taking. Once you arrive at the chocolate-box village of Geiranger, you can disembark and either visit the world-renowned Norwegian Fjord Centre or travel a little way out of the village to vantage points that words cannot adequately describe.

4. Oslo Scenery, History Art and Culture – It’s got the Lot

Home to the world famous annual Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, the city is as inviting to visitors both in winter and summer. Oslo is set between the waters of Oslofjord and a lush green forested interior. The Nobel Peace Centre or the National Gallery, along with the museums devoted to its sea-faring heritage offer an insight into Oslo both past and present. Alternatively enjoy a coffee and some retail therapy in the quirky streets of Aker Brygge downtown.

5. Copenhagen Break Out the HYGEE

The city has successfully resisted the appearance of concrete & glass monoliths that define the skyline of so many other capital cities today. Rich in architecture, Copenhagen regularly features amongst the happiest places to live – in the world. Whether strolling through the quaint riverside district of Nyhavn, the picturesque Tivoli Gardens or the splendour of the Christiansborg Palace you cannot fail to be touched by warmth of the local people you meet.

6. Alta Land of the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun

See the world famous for its rock carvings at the Alta Museum. A place of simple raw beauty, where else can you spend a night in a hotel made of ice – or go hiking under the midnight sun. Here you can see the northern lights dance across the polar sky. Alta really does offer experiences out of the ordinary.


Throughout ages the Mediterranean has been the locations of many cultures both young and old, both ancient and modern. It is the place where Africa, Europe and Asia all have a connection here. Whether North, South East or West places of interest and beauty are never far away. A literal kaleidoscope of colour, history, architecture and beauty.

1. Gibraltar Location Location Location

Its unique position at the tip of mainland Spain, has meant that the ‘Rock’ has, at one time or another, been important either militarily, commercially or politically. Seemingly, brimming with history at every turn it is also, famously, the home to a population of Barbary Macaque monkeys who are, be warned, amongst the world’s most skilful and nimble thieves!

2. Valletta The Golden City

Your experience of this beautiful city starts with your arrival in the magnificent Grand Harbour. Imposing battle-scarred fortifications, magnificent steeples and impressive baroque architecture altogether offer a quite unique and unforgettable welcome. You will find the beautiful Baroque St John’s Co-Cathedral at the heart of the city, whilst the impressive Grand Master’s Palace and the intriguing Casa Rocco Piccolo offer insight into Malta’s history through the ages.

3. Rome One of the World’s Most Beautiful Cities

Whether, for you, it is the magnificence of the Colosseum or the serene beauty of St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, the elegance of the Spanish Steps or the stunning sculptures of the Trevi Fountain, there is much to savour and enjoy in The Eternal City. In Rome, you can absorb its rich culture and history, or simply enjoy a coffee in a chic café in the world famous Piazza Navona and watch the world go by.

4. Barcelona Culture Vultures and Shopaholics – All Are Welcome!

This seaside city where the locals – for sure – work to live NOT live to work! Add to this vibrancy the wealth of stunning architecture that can be found across the city and you can be sure time in Barcelona is time well spent! It is the location of the world-famous and iconic Sagrada Familia, a church that has to be seen to be believed. Construction began in 1882 and, though consecrated in 2010, the building is STILL not yet finished – over 100 years later! A true labour of love.

5. Dubrovnik A City Who’s Beauty – Even Wars Could Not Destroy!

Described by George Bernard Shaw as the ‘pearl of the Adriatic’, the Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient city walls present a truly impressive façade and have, for centuries, protected the city in time of war, most recently in the 1990s during the Croatian War of Independence. Today all are welcome to visit and stroll along one of Europe’s most picturesque pedestrian streets the Stradun or sample the life in the heart of the city in the delightful Loggia Square.

6. Venice A Lattice of Small Islands & Home to Countless Treasures

Famous for its unique network of waterways, the city is, on the one hand, an encyclopaedia of history and, on the other, a tapestry of beauty. Visitors can enjoy the splendour of St Mark’s Cathedral and its famous Piazza, the Doge’s Palace or the Rialto Bridge, seen in all its glory from a gondola ride on the Grand Canal. Also other delights, awaiting your pleasure close by, are the smaller islands of Murano and Burano – famous for their glassware and picturesque fishermen’s homes.


1. Panama Canal Atlantic and Pacific - United

First thought about as early as the 1500s, when Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovered the thin land bridge separating the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The story of this monumental waterway, used by 15000 ships every year, is a truly fascinating one. One of the finest-ever feats of civil engineering, it would take almost a lifetime to build.

2. The Cold War Armageddon – The Unthinkable!

The Cold War touched all four corners of the globe. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall was that where it all ended - really? From the Berlin airlift to the Korean War, Vietnam to the Cuban missile crisis, the Space Race to the Olympics. ALL part of the war that never happened!

3. History of the Nobel Prize Constraining or Liberating – A Blessing or A Curse?

Created at the turn of the 20th Century the award is amongst the world’s most prestigious. Numbered amongst its laureates are some of the greatest and most inspiring individuals ever to walk the planet. But – is the recognition all good news?

4. The Orkneys Scarpa Flow & The Battle of Jutland

For many the North Sea is a busy shipping lane. To others, it is a place of history, a witness to duty, honour and ultimately sacrifice. The final resting place of many brave men who saw battle in the greatest-ever naval engagement known to man.

SAGA Saga Pearl II - December 2018 (Europe - Scandinavia) Port & Destination

PRINCESS Sapphire Princess - January 2019 (Asia) Port & Destination

SAGA Saga Sapphire - July 2019 (Europe - Scandinavia) Port & Destination & Enrichment

ROYAL CARIBBEAN Rhapsody of the Seas - November 2019 (Canary Islands & Transatlantic) Enrichment
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Sapphire Princess H902 Grand Asia Cruise 15 Shanghai Saturday, January 5, 2019