Introducing: High Life Live
High Life’s first virtual get-together featured an illustrious travel panel including BBC world affairs editor John Simpson, pilot, TV presenter and podcast host Kellee Edwards, blind adventurer and Celebrity MasterChef star Amar Latif and top chef Toni Toivanen. British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle introduced the hour-long panel before Sandi Toksvig kicked things off.
Watch High Life Live below
Meet the travel panel
The host: Sandi Toksvig
Sandi Toksvig is a British–Danish presenter, comedian, actor, author and political activist best known for her presenting stints on QI and The Great British Bake Off. Her knack for comedy was honed during her time in the Cambridge Footlights troupe (producer of many a household name, including Hugh Laurie, David Mitchell, Olivia Colman, Emma Thompson et al), before going on to embark on a successful career in TV. Travel credentials include hosting the recently broadcasted Extraordinary Escapes on Channel 4 and Excess Baggage, the BBC Radio 4 travel show she co-hosted with John McCarthy.
Having joined the BBC as a sub-editor aged 25, John Simpson is now one of its leading and most long-standing foreign correspondents. World affairs editor at the broadcasting giant since 1988, John has reported from more than 140 countries and interviewed more than 200 world leaders (including every British Prime Minister since Harold Wilson). Luckily for us, John is particularly fond of writing his monthly column in British Airways’ High Life magazine, which he has penned for the past 20 years.
Host of the Travel Channel’s Mysterious Islands, Kellee Edwards has been hailed by Condé Nast as ‘One of the Most Powerful Women in Travel’ – and we couldn’t agree more. Starting out as a YouTube vlogger with her series Kellee Set Go!, Kellee is a revered travel polymath, with journalism accolades, TV presenting and podcasting (Kellee hosts the Let’s Go Together podcast for Travel + Leisure) under her belt. She is also a certified pilot, intrepid adventurer and qualified scuba diver.
Adventurer, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and the first ever blind contestant to appear on Celebrity MasterChef, Amar Latif has not let an incurable eye condition dampen his lust for far-flung adventure. He first made waves in the industry doing what he does best – helping others with his remarkable travel agency, Traveleyes, for blind, visually impaired and sighted holidaymakers. From there, Amar’s TV career took flight in form of various BBC and Channel 4 travel documentaries, starting with TV hit Beyond Boundaries, which saw him trek more than 200 miles across Central America, and, most recently, Travelling Blind, co-hosted with comedian Sara Pascoe.
Since rising through the ranks at two-Michelin-starred Chez Dominique in his hometown of Helsinki, Toni Toivanen has long been ‘the one to watch’. And now, everyone is. Shortly after his stint as head chef at Chez Dominique, Toni was snapped up by Noma, Copenhagen – frequently hailed as the world’s best restaurant – before earning a coveted spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 of emerging talent. Soon, you’ll find Toni in the UK capital as he takes up residency at Carousel [link: https://carousel-london.com/whatson/toni-toivanen/], the Marylebone supper club known for spotlighting the best and brightest culinary stars in its kitchen.