Giles Cooper was elected Chairman of the Royal Variety Charity on 30 November 2010 and on 26 January 2016 re-elected by unanimous vote for a second 5 year term. The Constitution of the Royal Variety Charity dictates that it is the elected Chairman, together with the honorary Life-President, that organise and have overall responsibility for the annual Royal Variety Performance and as such they act as Executive Producers for the show.
The Royal Variety Performance was first staged in 1912 and in 2018 was viewed by over 152 million television viewers around the globe, making it the longest running and most successful entertainment show in the world.
Giles Cooper began his career in entertainment in the late 1980’s working on the weekly music papers Melody Maker and the New Musical Express (NME). He was also integral to the launch and management of music & movie magazines Uncut, Vox and Loaded.
In 1992, he joined advertising agency, Sold Out, as an Account Director where he marketed numerous tours for bands including U2, Oasis, Blur and the Rolling Stones, as well as dozens of music festivals such as Glastonbury, V-Festival, Womad, Creamfields and the Reading Festival.
In 1998, he founded the arts & entertainment agency, Media Junction, later developing it into the Soho Media Group of media and entertainment companies.
Some of Soho Media Group's most notable projects have included:-
> Sir Paul McCartney’s world tours in 2010, 2013-2015
> Sir Elton John’s UK tours in 2009 and 2010, 2015
> Take That’s record breaking UK stadium tours in 2009 and 2011
> Harry Hill’s triple BAFTA award-winning peak ITV1 show, ‘TV Burp’.
> West-End musicals: Jerry Springer the Opera and Blue Man Group
> Seasons at the Royal Opera House for the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets
> Launch of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
> Launch of the London O2 Arena
> UK comedy stand-up tours 2000-2015 for Bill Bailey, Russell Howard, Russell Kane, Jenny Éclair, Peter Kay, Ricky Gervais, Frank Skinner, Omid Djalili, Al Murray and Harry Hill.
Giles has frequently offered the services of Soho Media Group free of charge in support of numerous charities including: Children In Need, Comic Relief, the Royal Masonic Variety Show, the Forces Children’s Trust and, of course, the Royal Variety Charity.
In almost 30 years in the industry, Giles has produced dozens of theatre tours (resulting in over 600 regional theatre performances and countless performances in London's West-End), promoted dozens of UK music tours (in venues of all sizes) and promoted several of his own, outdoor music and comedy festivals. He is also known for promoting outdoor concerts in the grounds of English Heritage stately homes such as the 15,000 capacity Kenwood House on London's Hampstead Heath and the 20,000 capacity Audley End House in Saffron Walden. In recent year's, 'Heritage Live' has promoted concerts for Kris Kristofferson, Hacienda Classical, Van Morrison, Madness, Noel Gallagher, Jose Carreras, the Hives and the Jacksons, amongst many others.
Giles is also known for promoting substantial regional theatre spoken-word tours for BBC presenters such as Simon Reeve and Dan Snow.
In 2006, Giles Cooper was elected a fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts).
The following year, in December 2007, Giles volunteered his services to the Royal Variety Charity (formerly the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund - EABF) and after spending just shy of 3 years as a Member of the Executive Committee, Giles was voted Chairman of the charity in November 2010. The Royal Variety Charity assists thousands of sick, elderly or impoverished entertainers each year and also owns and runs its own nursing and residential care home, Brinsworth House in Twickenham, for people who have spent their lives working in the entertainment industry.
In partnership with Laurie Mansfield (Life-President of the Royal Variety Charity), Giles Cooper as Chairman, is responsible for the annual Royal Variety Performance and, as such, is one of the Executive Producers of the show. The Royal Variety Performance reaches over 152 million television viewers worldwide and is one of the most important events in the entertainment industry's global calendar.
In May 2012, Giles was invited to work as a permanent consultant to an All-Party Parliamentary Committee for the promotion of UK comedy and regularly visited the House of Commons to give advice and opinions on the industry. He served until June 2014
In July 2014, Giles Cooper was awarded Freedom of the City of London.
In Jan 2016, Giles was re-elected as Chairman of the Royal Variety Charity.