Christopher Silvester is a freelance journalist, author and consultant who writes for several UK newspaper and magazine publications.
He currently writes obituaries for The Times (of London), book reviews for the Financial Times and Spear’s, and features for Newsweek and Spear’s. Since 1996 he has probably written more obituaries for The Times than any other person (close to 60, many of which remain unpublished to date).
Since May 2013 he has been media relations adviser to Olyvia Kwok, the London-based art dealer and art-investment adviser.
From 2004 to 2007, he wrote the weekly “Diary” column for the Independent on Sunday. Also, his by-line was familiar to readers of the books pages of the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Mail on Sunday, the Financial Times, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Express, the Express on Sunday, and Spectator Business. From 2005 to 2012 he had more book reviews published in British publications than any other journalist, covering history, politics, film, showbusiness, Americana, and general biography. Since 2006 has been deputy editor of Spear’s Wealth Management Survey, a quarterly magazine sent directly to 40,000 of the world’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals, since it launch. In this capacity, he has been responsible for commissioning writers and illustrators, copy editing, production editing, and working with designers, as well as writing articles. For much of 2009, he was also responsible for editing the content for the familybhive.com, a web 2.0 site intended to facilitate relations between the private-client industry and members of the high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth communities. He has also written business intelligence reports for Risk Advisory Group and KPMG Forensic. Throughout 2008 he was chief UK researcher to Vanity Fair media columnist Michael Wolff for his biography of Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Owns the News. He has also contributed specialist articles about wine investment to the business pages of the Evening Standard, the Daily Express, and the Spectator.
In addition to his editing, writing and broadcasting, he is an experienced public speaker.
His career in journalism started at The House Magazine, the weekly magazine of the Houses of Parliament, where he was assistant editor. This was followed by a brief spell with the Conservative Research Department. From 1983 to 1995 he was on the reporting staff of Private Eye, writing the “New Boys” profiles of MPs, contributing to the “Grovel” and “Street of Shame” columns, and writing investigative stories about political and business matters. Over the years, he has written and edited diary columns for various publications: as deputy editor of “Londoner’s Diary” on the Evening Standard (1993-4); as “The Rake” columnist for the Independent Magazine; as editor of “The Old Un’s Diary” in The Oldie in the mid-1990s; as editor of the daily “Brutus” column on the Daily Express (1998-2001); and as editor of the Independent on Sunday diary (2004-2007). He has regularly attended both Conservative and Labour annual party conferences since 1982. At the same time, Christopher Silvester has been a contributing editor to both GQ and Esquire. He is an experienced writer of profiles for these magazines as well as for Tatler, Harpers & Queen, and the Sunday Correspondent Magazine.
In the UK, he has written for the following newspapers and magazines: the Guardian, the Observer, the Evening Standard, the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Telegraph, the Independent Magazine, ES Magazine, Punch, the Spectator, Spectator Business, Square Mile, and Another Man. He has also contributed to several US publications including Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, SPY, Fame, and the New York Observer. In the field of broadcasting, he worked as a presenter for Channel 4’s Diverse Reports in the early 1980s. In the mid-1990s, he was a weekly guest commentator on LBC’s Richard Littlejohn and Simon Bates shows and in the late 1990s he was a frequent presenter of Granada’s What the Papers Say. He also researched, wrote, and presented the BBC Radio 4 series Strictly Speaking, about the craft of political speechwriting in the UK and US. He read History at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and has had various historical books published. He edited The Penguin Book of Interviews (published in the US as The Norton Book of Interviews); The Literary Companion to Parliament; The Penguin Book of Columnists; and The Penguin Book of Hollywood (published in the US as The Grove Book of Hollywood). He is currently writing a three-volume social history of Hollywood for Pantheon Books (Random House, Inc.), the first volume of which will be entitled Playground of the Gods: Inventing Hollywood Society, 1910-1959. He was born in London and has lived there throughout his adult life, apart from a couple of years in the late 1990s when he was living in New York. During this time he was researching two books, but also reported on the trial of Mob boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante.