An insider’s eye on the murky, surprising, funny and sometimes shocking history of the fame industry

Fame Formula Events

Battle of ideas 2012

Mark Borkowski will be speaking at Battle of Ideas 2012, 20 & 21 October, London. Two days of high-level, thought-provoking, public debate organised by the Institute of Ideas with the Barbican. Read more here

Risky Business

Mark Borkowski will be discussing risk and reputation management at the Cass Business School on Thursday, February 11th at 8 am alongside other speakers, including: Lord Levene, Philip Booth, Tommy Helsby and John Cridland CBE.

Each speaker will be asked by the Chair to give – in absolutely no longer than a pithy 5 minutes please – their ‘take’ on the subject Risky Business: Risk and Reputation, which will then be discussed by the panel and audience.

Past events

Mark Borkowski at The Hay Festival

Saturday, May 30th
At 11.30 a.m., Mark will be talking about celebrity, fame, hype and The Fame Formula at the Guardian Hay Festival alongside The Guardian’s Marina Hyde.

Click here to book tickets.

Thursday, April 2nd
At 7.40 p.m. Mark will be discussing The Fame Formula live on Talk Radio Europe.

Friday, April 3rd
Mark will be discussing The Fame Formula on BBC Radio Gloucestershire with John Rockley (time TBA).

Saturday, April 4th
At 11am, Mark will be appearing on BBC London’s Vanessa show, giving a live interview about The Fame Formula.

Sunday, April 5th
At 8.15am, Mark will be appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House in a live interview.

Monday, April 6th
At 8.40am, Mark will be being interviewed live about The Fame Formula on BBC Breakfast.

Tuesday, April 7th
Between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Mark will be interviewed about The Fame Formula on LBC’s Nick Ferrari Breakfast Show

Between 9.30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Mark is on BBC Radio Northampton being interviewed for The Bernie Keith Show

Between 10 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. Mark is discussing The Fame Formula on BBC Radio Jersey

Between 11.30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Mark will be discussing the book on BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire

At 12 p.m. Mark will appear on BBC Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show.

The Fame Formula Paperback launch
including a showing of Nothing Sacred (U)
Wednesday, 29th April, 7.30 p.m.

Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith, London

PhotobucketMark Borkowski celebrates the life and work of legendary Hollywood publicist Russell Birdwell at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith on April 29th to launch the paperback of his book, The Fame Formula.

A talk at 7.30 p.m. will be followed by a showing of the long-unseen Carole Lombard screwball comedy Nothing Sacred (U), which Birdwell promoted, at 7.45 p.m.

Nothing Sacred is one of the great screwball comedies. Journalist Wallace Cook (Frederick March) brings Hazel Flagg (Lombard) to New York, believing that she is dying of radium poisoning, so that the paper can use her to boost circulation. The screenplay, co-written by Ben Hecht, glitters with the gleeful cynicism that marked out his later films, The Front Page and His Girl Friday.

To buy tickets or for more information, click here.

Tuesday, May 5th
6pm Mark takes part in a head-to-head talk with Max Clifford at the London College of Communications.


Ken Campbell Tribute hosted by Mark Borkowski
A showing of Antic Visionary: The World of Ken Campbell (PG)
Wednesday, 11th February at 7 p.m.

Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith, London

Ken Campbell’s impact on theatre of recent decades was unique: his sudden death last August left a hole in the British fringe. Award-winning performers, from Jim Broadbent to Nina Conti, queued up by his coffin to tell how he had literally changed their lives. His marathon science fiction shows made the Guinness Book of Records. Millions beyond the fringe knew him as Fred Johnson, long-suffereing neighbour of Alf Garnett. This screening of Antic Visionary is a rare opportunity to observe close up the modus operandi of the fabled comedian, director and monologist extraordinaire.

The evening will be hosted by Mark Borkowski and introduced by special guests.

To buy tickets or for more information, click here.

To see some of the press about the event, click here.


2008 Events

The Fame Game

Wednesday, October 8th 6.30 p.m.
Cineworld, Shaftesbury Avenue, London

For the Raindance Festival, Mark Borkowski, publicist and author of the Fame Formula, described as “the Obi-Wan Kenobi of PR” in conversation with Peter Dunne, former Head of International Publicity at DreamWorks together provide a unique insight into the global publicity tactics of the film industry.

Are the new digital social networking tools so far removed from the guerrilla tactics of the old Hollywood stuntsters? From viral stunts to word of mouth via the devices of the suppress agents, a fun hour for all interested in the underbelly of film hype.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.


Cheltenham Festival of Literature
Saturday, October 11th 5 p.m.
Cheltenham Town Hall

Mark Borkowski will be reading from The Fame Formula and answering questions on everything from the early days of the stuntsters to how PR affects the modern world in a high speed, net driven communications age.

To buy tickets, priced £6, call 0844 576 8970 or click here to order online.


The Battle of Big Thinking
Thursday, November 6th at 7 p.m.
The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London

APG and Campaign bring you the biggest thinkers in marketing, planning, creative, research, communications planning, PR and (for the first time) publishing. They wrestle it out, 15 minutes each, and you choose the winner.

Combatants include: Dave Trott (CST) ~ Tim Britton (YouGov) ~ Jason Gonsalves (BBH) ~ David Bain (BMB) ~ Nikki Crumpton (McCanns) ~ Mark Borkowski (Borkowski) ~ Simon Waldman (Guardian Media Group) ~ Claire Harrison-Church (Boots) ~ Graham Fink (M&C Saatchi) ~ Nigel Newton (the publishing brains behind Harry Potter) ~ Mandy Pooler (Kantar) ~ Fernanda Romano (JWT) ~ Ian Armstrong (Honda) ~ Les Binet (DDB Matrix) ~ Paul Melody (Freud Communications) ~ Tim Allnut (CHI) ~ Mike Hoban (Scottish Widows) ~ Jez Groom (Edwards Groom Saunders) ~ David Hepworth (Development Hell) ~ David Hackworthy (The Red Brick Road) ~ Angie Moxham (3 Monkeys Communications).
Phone Celia Miranda on 020 8267 4919 for tickets or more information. Book well in advance for seats.