Latest News


March 2023: My play, Vladimir and Jerome, is now available as an e-book and paperback on Amazon KDP.  Just go to Amazon UK and search for the title.

July 2020:  Completed a first draft of a play, Vladimir and Jerome, and sent it to around a dozen friends to read.  we staged a reading of it in Paris with friends Justin (playwright) and Fae (art historian).  The play concerns a series of imagined meetings between Vladimir and Jerome K. Jerome, which occur between 1902-1908 in London.   The inspiration came from two adjacent plaques in Tavistock Place in Bloomsbury, indicating that both characters lived in that street, although not at the same time.  I began to imaginine what might have transpired had they run into each other.  Get in touch if you would like to read it.

February 2020: The 4-volume series, The Business and Culture of Sports, to which I contributed two chapters, won the 2020 PROSE Award from the Association of American Publishers, in its category of multi-volume reference works, and was also nominated for the Dartmouth Medal 2020 for excellence in reference.

January 2020:  Invited to be a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas at Austin, during the month of May.

January 2019: My article Double Acts has been translated into French and can be seen at

Thanks to my friend David Buxton for the translation.

December 2018: Contract signed with Routledge, by John Horne and myself for a third edition of Understanding the Olympics, which will be published in 2020 prior to the Tokyo Olympic Games

March 2018: my proposed paper  “Why Stand Up? Notes on the
archaeology of a cultural form” has been accepted by the Popular Culture
Working Group for presentation at the annual conference of the International
Association for Media and Communication Research, IAMCR 2018, in Eugene,
Oregon from 20-24 June, 2018.

January 2018: Invited to chair a session at a forthcoming conference on May 68,  Left fields and the quest for uncommon ground, to be held at the University of East London, on Saturday September 22nd

December 2017: commissioned to write two chapters for a forthcoming book, The Business and Culture of Sport, to be published by Macmillan USA.

June 2017: invited to speak at a conference at City University, to mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of  Cultural Populism by Jim McGuigan.  In doing some searches for material, I came across a book called Leave the Fighting to McGuigan.  I intend to take this sage advice.

April 2017: Visited Northwestern University to examine my father’s papers in the archives there, and made one exciting discovery – in the 1970s, my father taught Jim Jarmusch!  Clearly this helped inspire him to become a film-maker!

March 2017: Invited to be a keynote speaker at a conference on sport and communication in Chengdu, China in July 2017.

February 2017: Invited to be a Visiting Scholar, Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, during March.  Expect to be giving a couple of lectures and participating in a symposium on Sport and Politics.

January 2017: At my local Labour Party branch I was nominated for Deputy Chair and beaten by one vote!

December 2016: At the AGM of our residents Association, I am elected Newsletter Editor. Wait till I break it to them that my strategy is the full Murdoch – banner headlines, sensation, gossip and of course, Page Three.

December 2016:  Thrilled that after all these years I have got an “hon mensh” in the New Statesman Competition.  Gutted to read that the Competition is being suspended, apparently due to space problems.  Seems bizarre to save one single page by cutting one of the most popular items in the Staggers, and one that has been going for decades.   Merely getting an honourable mention does not mean getting your entry printed, so for all you who are keen to read it, here it is:

The task was to concoct a prose passage (maximum 140 words) containing the following words: Rawlplug; Motionless; Taser; Aspirin; Scene-stealer; Reductionist; Viscous; Cistercian; Braconid; Eleemonsynary;

My friend had a less sophisticated world view than mine.   I saw that social and cultural relations are complex; whereas he tended to explain everything with reference to economics – he was an old-fashioned reductionist. But what a scene stealer he was! There I was, motionless, on the point of inserting a rawlplug into a pre-drilled hole, filled with a viscous mix of putty and blu-tak, when I felt a sharp pain, which demanded an aspirin. I assumed I had been stung by a braconid (again!) until I realised he had shot me with his taser! He well knew I was an eleemosynary, dependent on charity, and had always resented it.   With his harsh views on the economy he did not believe in charity. And yet he was full of contradictions too. Did I tell you he was a Cistercian Monk?

October 2016: I will be giving a Professorial Lecture to mark my appointment as Emeritus Professor:

What does it mean to be “doing” media?  Biography, culture and structure in media analysis: Garry Whannel, writer, author and Emeritus Professor at the University of Bedfordshire

September 2016: Caricature Conference: I am giving a paper at an excellent conference on Caricature at the University of Brighton. The conference is Abusing Power: The Visual Politics of Satire, and takes place at the Brighton Pavilion and the University of Brighton on 23rd-24th September 2016. Speakers include political cartoonists Steve Bell and Martin Rowson, and Professor Ian Haywood, author of Romanticism and Caricature.   My own paper, Light and Shade: Wit and Despair in the work of Vicky, examines the work of political cartoonist Vicky, in the 1950s and 1960s.

conference webpage:
and on Twitter:

April 2016: I am now an Emeritus Professor at the University of Bedfordshire (where I was a Professor of Media Cultures from 1999-2015).

Deborah Philips (Professor of Literature at the University of Brighton; and my partner) has been awarded a Research Fellowship by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.


May 2016: The second edition of Understanding the Olympics, by John Horne and Garry Whannel will be published by Routledge in May 2016.

The Olympic Games is unquestionably the greatest sporting event in the world, with billions of viewers across the globe. How did the Olympics evolve into this multi-national phenomenon? How can the Olympics help us to understand the relationship between sport and society? What will be the impact and legacy of the 2016 Olympics in Rio? Now in a fully revised and updated new edition that places Rio 2016 in the foreground, Understanding the Olympics answers all these questions by exploring the social, cultural, political, historical and economic context of the Games.

This book presents the latest research on the Olympics, including new material on legacy, sustainability and corruption, and introduces the reader to all of the key themes of contemporary Olympic Studies including:

 the history of the Olympics, Olympic politics, access and equity, the Olympics and the media, festival and spectacle, the Olympic economy, urban development, Olympic futures.

The most up-to-date and authoritative introduction to the Olympic Games, this book contains a full Olympic history timeline as well as illustrations, information boxes and ‘Olympic Stories’ in every chapter. Understanding the Olympics is essential reading for anybody with an interest in the Olympics or the wider relationship between sport and society.


Paperback edition of The Trojan Horse: The Growth of Commercial Sponsorship, by Deborah Philips and Garry Whannel, Bloomsbury, published in 2015.