John Tempest

PR consultant and Founder/Director of the award winning, The Bradford Soup Run, John Tempest attended Bradford College in 1967.

John Tempest John arrived at Bradford College fresh from Bradford Grammar School. Despite the best efforts of tutors to retain his interest, other attractions beckoned.

"The course would have been a general catch-all (but not in my case) GCE. I remember my best times at Bradford College were with Chris Norman - who later went on to form the band Smokie. The music we played together was good, but I don't think we got much work done. The Rag Week gave us enough leeway to raise funds for charity as well as have some fun. And some of the girls who attended seemed pretty fit, too, if I remember rightly."

John went into sales, then marketing and public relations. He has worked with William Hague, Tony Benn, Paddy Ashdown, among many others. He was Campaign Director and PR Advisor to the late Screaming Lord Sutch, and was responsible for many Loony policies including, locally, the renaming of Five Lane Ends to Six. He had his own daily 3 hour radio show which taught him how to interview all sorts of people, which means he often has fun when being interviewed.

He founded The Bradford Soup Run 25 years ago as a result of a bet in a pub. The charity has provided a hot meal, blankets and clothes for thousands of rough sleepers and John regularly speaks to schools and business people about the grim realities of homelessness. In 1999 TBSR was voted the Best Community Group in the Millennium Awards; in 2006 they were finalists in the BBC sponsored Best of British Food & Farming Awards. "It was good to meet Ainsley Harriott, Marcus Wareing, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey - who swore at me (I swore back and after that we got on fine) and they applauded our stance that because people are homeless they shouldn't have to eat crap."

In 2007 his play with music: Homeless! was widely acclaimed at its premiere in Bradford and he is now working on another play. John enjoys ruffling feathers and is not afraid to ask embarrassing questions of pompous politicians. "If the political will was there, homelessness could be eradicated. But most politicians are more interested in their own gravy trains rather than helping those at the foot of the heap." He is currently campaigning to save the Odeon.

Photograph by Trevor Griffiths