Michael Dobbs is unique in his insight into the workings of recent British politics. No-one matches his experience. Today as Lord Dobbs of Wylye he is a law-maker in the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the United Kingdom parliament. He is also a renowned multi-award winning author and witty raconteur
In his political past Michael Dobbs was with Margaret Thatcher when she took her first steps into Downing Street as Prime Minister. He was there again with John Major upon his dramatic departure from Number 10. In between those tumultuous times he was bombed at Brighton, banished from Chequers after a blazing row with Margaret Thatcher. After the debacle he went on write the best-selling novel House of Cards, which later became the extraordinary television series that launched Netflix. The series received 14 BAFTA nominations and two BAFTA wins and was voted one of The Best One Hundred Television Drama Series of All Time. Netflix then produced a US version based upon Michael’s first novel and its BBC adaptation. He was an executive producer of the American series. Two more political thrillers followed – To Play the King and Final Cut.
Born on the same day as Prince Charles, Michael was Chief of Staff and later Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party where the media described him as the party’s ‘baby-faced hit man’. And somewhere along the way he picked up a doctorate in nuclear defence studies. Michael has also been Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, he presented the BBC TV political current affairs programme Despatch Box, he was a columnist for The Mail on Sunday and for the Express, and, of course, writes screenplays for both TV and radio.
After creating the iconic figure of Francis Urquhart for House of Cards, he went on to write works about Prime Ministers, Kings, conspiracies and the Dalai Lama too. He also completed a series of novels about Winston Churchill which have been best-sellers in the United States. The Hollywood Reporter has announced that two studios are working on different Dobbs books. He has also completed a commissioned theatre play about Churchill and the notorious Soviet spy, Guy Burgess. He has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Political Book Awards and been appointed a judge of the Whitbread Book of the Year Award
Michael Dobbs has always lived a Transatlantic life and knows America very well. He lived in Boston for five years, where he earned a doctorate and two Masters degrees from Tufts and Harvard Universities in US security studies.
Michael was also an editor for the Boston Globe throughout Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War, and put together the Globe’s front page on the night President Nixon resigned. ‘The rest of the newsroom was drinking champagne while I was sweating over the American Constitution. I never got to find out whether they were celebrating or drowning their sorrows.’
Michael Dobbs has extensive international speaking experience, and especially in the United States, and he has undertaken two sponsored tours for the English-Speaking Union on the East Coast and through the Mid West. The E-SU described his tours as ‘a triumph’, while the Churchill Society sponsored him on a nationwide tour.
Michael was created Baron Dobbs, of Wylye in December 2010 despite having been described as ‘a man who in Latin America would have been shot’.
Michael Dobbs is the rarest of things, a raconteur and storyteller whose life has orbited around so many of the great events that have shaped our lives. He has observed politics from within the corridors of power and has the ability to relate his experiences with humour and wit. He works not from a script, but from a lifetime of experience. Feedback includes, “superb and amusing speech” James Green, writer and non-executive director.