Giles Cooper - biography

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).

In 1992, he joined advertising agency, Sold Out, as an Account Director where he marketed numerous tours for bands including U2, Oasis and the Rolling Stones, as well as music festivals such as Glastonbury, V-Festival and Reading.

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 the company's most notable projects included:-
> Sir Paul McCartney’s  world tours in 2010, 2013-2015, 2017
> Sir Elton John’s  UK tours in 2009 and 2010, 2015, 2019
> 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
> Launch of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
> Launch of the London O2 Arena
> UK comedy stand-up tours for Bill Bailey, Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard, Peter Kay, Ricky Gervais, Frank Skinner, Micky Flanagan, Jack Whitehall, Al Murray  and Harry Hill.

Giles Cooper is today CEO of Giles Cooper Entertainment Ltd t/a GCE Live and with almost 30 years in the industry, has produced numerous theatre tours (resulting in over 600 regional theatre performances and countless performances in London's West-End) together with numerous UK rock/pop concerts and tours.

GCE Live is also well-known for promoting outdoor concerts, under the brand Heritage Live, in the grounds of stately homes such as Kenwood House on London's Hampstead Heath, Audley End House in Saffron Walden, the Englefield Estate in Berkshire and the Royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, with concert capacities ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 people per night. 

In recent year's, GCE Live has promoted concerts for Robbie Williams, The Who, Noel Gallagher, Kris Kristofferson, Sir Tom Jones, Sir Van Morrison, Madness, Jose Carreras, Soft Cell, Hozier and The Jacksons, amongst many others

In 2006, Giles Cooper was elected a fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts). 

In 2007, Giles volunteered his services to the Royal Variety Charity and after spending just shy of 3 years as a Member of the Executive Committee, 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.

The Constitution of the Royal Variety Charity dictates that it is the elected Chairman, together with the honorary Life-President, who organise and have overall responsibility for the annual Royal Variety Performance and as such they act as Executive Producers for the annual fundraising show.

The Royal Variety Performance was first staged in 1912 to just 1,200 people, but today is viewed by over 150 million television viewers around the globe, making it the longest running and most successful entertainment show in the world. The show is seen as very much a British Institution, celebrating both new and established talent from around the world each Christmas, with the support of the Royal Family and in aid of the Royal Variety Charity.

In 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 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 and again in October 2020 by unanimous vote.

Published annual accounts on the Charity Commission website reveal that since Giles became Chairman of the charity at the end of 2010, in excess of £16M has been raised from fundraising and appeals over a ten year period. This marks an incredible threefold increase on the previous period!

In 2020, Giles instigated a complete modernisation and refurbishment programme of Brinsworth House which was completed in 2023 at a cost of £4M. In 2023, the Executive Committee of the Royal Variety Charity voted unanimously to name the new wing, The Giles Cooper Wing, in recognition of his vision and work on the project. The new wing contains sixteen ensuite bedrooms over two floors (all with high-speed internet, providing satellite screens with the latest technology), an eight person passenger lift sevicing three floors (including a basement area), two assisted bathrooms, offices and a laundry room. The interior was designed by celebrated interior designer, Mikhail Pietranek, giving the feel of a five star boutique hotel, with a theatrical twist.