Business Background

Bob had a highly successful business career before becoming an entertainer.

His views and expertise remain highly regarded and he was recently appointed an Ambassador for the County of Kent.

Leaving Wilson’s Grammar School in Camberwell, South London (Michael Caine went there too – not a lot people know that) with just the one “O” level, Bob started life as a trainee salesman in builders’ merchants, Nicholls & Clarke, in the East End of London.

But his English Language “O” level would come in handy when he landed a job as a sub-editor on the world’s oldest daily newspaper Lloyd’s List & Shipping Gazette.

As he worked on the paper afternoons and evenings he earned extra money in the mornings selling Kleen-e-ze Brushes door-to-door. “I made more money than I did from the proper job but eventually I was so knackered by the time I got to work I had to give it up.”

Soon he was promoted to Assistant Chief Reporter and started travelling the world.  “It broadened my mind and my stomach” he says. His writing career coincided with the growth in drive-on, drive-off ferries on which subject he became something of an expert.

After a brief period in agriculture, where he edited six editions of the Dairy Shorthorn Journal – “I’ll show them to you if you’re not careful” – he was headhunted to join Hertford PR Ltd to launch the new brand name Townsend Thoresen Car Ferries.

During the next 14 years his career went into fast-track as he became the joint owner of HPR before selling out to become PR Director of TT’s parent company European Ferries Plc.

During this time he organised countless major events – 16 ship launchings for a start – and added event management to his skills.

On the political front he successfully led the campaign against the building of the Channel Tunnel in the late 1970s and the nationalisation of the Port of Felixstowe which EF had created.

He also had the trauma of handling the aftermath of an air crash involving another of EF’s companies. 

By 1983 he had started earning money as an entertainer and when EF’s Chairman was killed in a small ‘plane crash he decided to leave.

He was immediately head-hunted to become PR Director of ASDA but having made his decision to go out on his own he declined the offer but earned a fee by providing a blueprint for the company’s future press relations.

Even so, as a safety net he started his own PR company which soon attracted major clients such as KLM, Sheraton Hotels and Harcros Builders’ Merchants among others. At one point it was the 70th largest consultancy in the country. He also acquired two commercial buildings to house the operation.

It survived the recession in the late 1980s but as companies cut back on PR he decided to offload the company and concentrate full-time on his entertaining career which, by then, was well established.   


Grumpy old goalies


Bob 'The Cat' Bevan