John Mair Wins Cecil Angel Cup

John Mair. Picture Source:

Senior Lecturer in Broadcasting and the master-mind behind the Coventry Conversation, John Mair will be awarded the Cecil Angel Cup at the Graduation Ceremony, which will be held on 24 November.

The Cecil Angel Cup is one the most prestigious awards at the University. It is awarded by the Academic Board and the University Prizes Committee to those who have done a significant amount of work for the development and well-being of the university. 

John Mair won it last year as well as a part of the 2009China exchange group. This year he will be awarded with it individually for the Coventry Conversation,  which has take Coventry University to all media platforms– locally, nationally and internationally – and generated over £1 Million in free coverage.  Writes Natasha De Silva…

Having won this award for the second time consecutively, John Mair said: “I am deeply honoured and flattered to have won this Award for the second time. My small Coventry Conversations team has been superb over the last five years”

All the speakers who are famous practitioners in their fields have never been paid a fee: “I thank all of the Conversationalists whom, however famous and busy, have never been paid a fee. They do it out of professional duty and the Old Pals Act.”

Although the Coventry Conversations are so famous now, it did also have some stumbling blocks on the way: “Local management has been ambivalent and worse. One senior person called them ‘the cuckoo conversations’, because they are the practical industry cuckoo in the theoreticians nest”, recalled John Mair. 

He invented the ‘Coventry Conversations’ with a “vision of a weekly packed ETG34 (Ellen Terry, Room G34):   “You have to keep that vision and avoid those who try to detract from it”, he said.

From the many people he thanks for his success, he especially mentioned the Vice Chancellor who “has been simply superb from day one”.

Each year the Coventry Conversations see at least 5000 people attending live.  There were more than 300 guests at the Jon Snow conversation with Evan Davis and Murray Walker following closely. It has also been recorded that more than 600,000 people worldwide have downloaded the podcasts on iTunes U.

It is the only event in the university that attracts real people week after week live and on podcast, John Mair proudly said: “Coventry Media and Coventry University now has a name and a profile. It did not before.”

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