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Welcome to the University of Portsmouth Alumni Association blog.

Chancellor's Dinner

Chancellor's Dinner

BOOKINGS FOR THIS EVENT HAVE NOW CLOSED. Please email us at alumni@port.ac.uk to be added to a cancellation list. 

Join current students, staff and alumni at the annual Chancellor’s Dinner to be held at the Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday 4 March 2016. Joining Chancellor Sandi Toksvig as guest speaker at this black tie event will be personal friend, journalist and broadcaster John McCarthy.

John McCarthy CBE worked as a journalist after leaving university. His life dramatically changed when in 1986 he was abducted on his first foreign assignment by Islamic Fundamentalists and held hostage for 1,943 days. During this time his family and friends fought to keep his plight in the public eye. John managed to overcome physical and mental torture, self-doubt and despair.

Take a look back at last years event

This terrifying experience was subsequently explored in the film Blind Flight and in John’s best-selling book Some Other Rainbow (co-written with Jill Morrell).  

Alongside his writing John has pursued a broadcast career, with many of his programmes reflecting his knowledge of and interest in travel, religion and history. He’s worked for the BBC, ITV, Sky Arts and Al Jazeera.  In radio he has presented on the World Service and as with much of his TV, John’s radio work is often personal and authored.

Totally enjoyable from start to finish, - brilliant “performance” by Sandi, great venue, superb company and good food!
— Heather Short

Booking details

  • Tickets are priced at £25 to University of Portsmouth students and £45 to alumni and guests. The price includes a welcome drink and canapés, followed by a two-course meal with coffee and wine.
  • Alumni and students may purchase a ticket for one guest who does not need to be a student or alumni of the University of Portsmouth.
  • Up to 6 tickets may be purchased in one transaction.
  • Tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
  • Once you have booked your place, you will be sent a formal ticket in the post in February 2016.  Please let us know if you have not received this by Monday 22 February 2016.


Doors will open at 7pm. It is expected that the event will end at approximately 10.30pm with the Guildhall bar remaining open until midnight.

Dress Code

  • Gentlemen – Black tie

  • Ladies – Formal evening wear /cocktail dress.

Getting Here

  • By train – Portsmouth’s city centre train station Portsmouth and Southsea is a two minute walk from The Guildhall.

  • By coach – National Express coaches to Portsmouth arrive at Cambridge Road, a five minute walk from The Guildhall.

  • By road – Exit the M27 at Junction 12 and follow signs for M275 into the city.


  • Dorothy Dymond Car Park – PO1 2SA
  • Isambard Brunel Car Park – PO1 2BX


Portsmouth has a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets. visitportsmouth provides information on getting around, places to stay, services and what's on.

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