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Star speakers are lined up for business show in Bury St Edmunds

Gerald Ratner (2409972)
Gerald Ratner (2409972)

A former jewellery chain boss who famously told a joke which led to the collapse of his multi-million pound empire will be among the star names at an annual business show.

Gerald Ratner will be the keynote speaker at the 10th MENTA Business Show on October 2 to discuss his rollercoaster journey, which has seen him bounce back with an online business.

Other speakers at the show include Jesse Quin, bass guitarist of rock band Keane and founder of the creative hub Old Jet based at former USAF base Bentwaters in Rendlesham.

He will be joined by Jason Carter, from Suffolk clothing brand HOAX of which singer Ed Sheeran is the ambassador and Peter Hampel, of new business Eden Lab, based at Old Jet.

Alex Till, chief executive of MENTA, said: "I'm pleased to announce Gerald Ratner will be our keynote speaker. It will be interesting to hear his thoughts on building a business brand."

The event at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds will host more than 70 businesses which will showcase their goods and services.

Gerald Ratner was CEO of the world’s largest jewellery retailer but was forced to sell the business following a gaffe in which he said his products were 'c#*p' and compared them to M&S prawn sandwiches. He now runs a successful online business.

During the show broadcaster Nick Pandolfi will host Talking Heads with Jesse Quin, Jason Carter and Peter Hampel.

Jesse Quin. Picture: Nick Ilot. (2409975)
Jesse Quin. Picture: Nick Ilot. (2409975)

Visiting the show is free and tickets can be bought for Gerald Ratner and Talking Heads at www.menta.org.uk or at The Apex box office.

The show will launch the 10-day West Suffolk Business Festival which includes the Bury Free Press Business Awards.

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