By Peter Elman - Copyright Tribute Inspirations Limited

Tony has over 30 years of experience working with companies, governments and foundations at the intersection of communications, media and popular culture. His credits range from, conceiving and producing the global media campaign that reached 600m and re-positioned Nelson Mandela from “black terrorist leader” to “black leader” to, consulting for the US White House on a public campaign in a response to 9/11.

His campaigns have repositioned brands, profiled important issues, and raised over $21m for causes (Amnesty International, Red Cross, the Anti-Apartheid Movement and children’s charities). He has worked with most of the world’s major broadcasters from the BBC to RTVE, from ABC and Fox to Globo, from SABC to NHK and his work has been supported by governments, major corporations and UN agencies.

Tony has taken the roles of consultant, entrepreneur, CEO/Director, Executive producer/Producer and run project companies in the UK, USA, Japan, Spain, Germany, Russia and South Africa through which he has financed and produced nine global cross-media projects. Some are considered historic (e.g. “Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute” and “The Wall - Live in Berlin”). All achieved their communication and marketing objectives, produced creatively-successful global broadcasts, CSR/sponsorship opportunities, merchandising and sell-through products, and assembled an incredible array of talent able to punch a hole in media schedules. Tony has worked with well over 200 of the world’s top creative artists from Stevie Wonder to Ravi Shankar, from Denzel Washington to Natalie Portman, from Samuel L Jackson to Keith Haring.

Tony has a comprehensive knowledge and experience of the international media industry and its varied business cultures and practices covering; strategic communications, sponsorship, CSR, entertainment and cause related marketing, promotions, PR, online, mobile and content production (film, television, global broadcasts, documentaries, events). His skills run from creative vision to detailed execution and exploitation of intellectual property rights.

He has business and financial acumen, political skill, strong communication skills and is experienced in raising finance, recruiting boards, contract negotiations, team motivation, intellectual property rights, int’l financial and legal structures, tax and government incentives and content production. His work demonstrates a unique ability to inspire, persuade, negotiate and sell directly into major corporations and governments at the highest levels. Much of his work has required a great deal of diplomacy, in-depth understanding of cultural and political issues, and an ability to think outside of the box.

In addition to his global media projects Tony has consulted on communication solutions to the White House, Moscow, UNESCO and the South African Government, plus charities foundations and companies. He has worked extensively in many countries, travelled to over 60 and sold into over 100.


“Tony stands out as one of the most doggedly dynamic people I have ever encountered. He makes good causes happen by sheer persistence and determination… (he) is almost unique in harnessing an entrepreneurial business acumen to promote human rights causes.” Lord Peter Hain (Three times UK cabinet minister).

“Tony has an endearingly calm way of pleasantly and calmly persuading people” Jim Clifford OBE (Director of Advisory/Impact, Bates Wells Braithwaite).

“Through his broadcasting and other work, Tony has played an important role in furthering the relationship between Britain and South Africa and fostering a better understanding of their people.” Dame Judith Macgregor (High Commission to South Africa).

“Tribute’s CEO, Tony Hollingsworth has the vision and abilities to pull together large and complex global media projects to the highest professional standards.” Olivier Robert-Murphy (Global head of New Business at Universal Music Group).

“I write as the defence attorney of Nelson Mandela and his co accused in the 1963-4 Rivonia trial. Tony has made a really important contribution to the struggle for freedom in South Africa and continues to encourage humanity to learn from the lessons of history.” Lord Joel Joffe CBE (founder of Hambro/Abbey Life and former Chair of Oxfam).

“He is a man who time and again has achieved the near impossible against daunting odds.” Bruce Mauleverer QC (former Vice Chair of the International Law Association and Deputy High Court Judge).

“I have the deepest appreciation for his vision, tenacity and commitment in the field of human rights. His vision goes back nearly 30 years but is as alive today as ever.” Annie Lennox OBE (Musician, Eurythmics).

Career History

2015 – 2018 Executive Producer: Developed a global media campaign for vulnerable and disadvantaged children to be run by a media company in tandem with a charity and to provide the whole of the children’s charity sector with a global media campaign that could celebrate solutions to children’s problems, develop a global online community and raise donations for grants to projects.

2013 – 2015 Executive Producer: One Humanity a campaign created for their 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa for the South African government, including a 2hr feature documentary now regularly shown on SABC, which premiered at BAFTA and in Pretoria, was shown at the UN for Mandela’s birthday, the Palace of Westminster, SA embassies, Durban and Cannes film festivals. (Film, TV, PR, promotion and sponsorship).

2003 Executive Producer: Digitally remastered “The Wall - Live in Berlin” and added a behind the scenes documentary which became the second most successful music-based DVD, distributed by Universal Music.

2000 – 2012 Communications and Media Consultant: Occasional consultancy services to governments, companies, foundations and charities including the Points of Light Foundation and the White House who were looking for US campaign in response to 9/11.

1997 Executive Producer: Saint George, The Bell & The Dragon: Moscow’s 850th Anniversary. A campaign for Moscow ending in a spectacular show set in Red Square and broadcast to 25 target countries. (TV, radio, event, merchandising, PR, promotion and sponsorship).

1997 Executive Producer: Songs & Visions. A brand positioning campaign for the 150th anniversary of Carlsberg beer with a broadcast in 61 countries featuring 40 classic hits from 1957 to 97. (TV, radio, event, merchandising, PR, promotion and sponsorship).

1995 Executive Producer: The Greatest Music Party In The World. A brand positioning campaign for Mars corporation recorded over five nights, featuring 27 top bands/artists and broadcast to 36 countries. (TV, radio, event, merchandising, PR, promotion and sponsorship).

1994 Executive Producer: The Great Music Experience. A flagship for UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage Decade including documentaries and a broadcast event to 50 countries from Todai Buddhist temple in Japan which brought together top international and Japanese stars with Japanese traditional musicians. (TV, radio, event, merchandising, PR, promotion and sponsorship).

1991 Executive Producer: Guitar Legends. A destination event campaign for Expo recorded over five nights in Seville, Spain featuring 26 of the world’s greatest guitarists and broadcast in 90 countries as a six part series. (TV, radio, event merchandising, PR, promotion and sponsorship).

1991 Producer: The Simple Truth: A Concert for Kurdish Refugees a global broadcast requested by the BBC and the British Government and broadcast in 36 countries raising $15m for Red Cross work with Kurdish refugees after the first gulf war. (TV, radio, event, PR, promotion).

1990 Executive Producer: Nelson Mandela: An International Tribute for a Free South Africa a global broadcast requested by Mandela for him to remind the world that his release was not the end of Apartheid and ask that sanctions and political pressure be kept up until universal democracy was achieved. Broadcast in 60 countries to 500m, the broadcast event also celebrated the release of Nelson Mandela and featured the world’s longest-lasting-furthest-reaching speech of all time. (TV, radio, event merchandising, PR, promotion and sponsorship).

1990 Executive Producer of The Wall - Live in Berlin. This global broadcast event celebrated the fall of the wall and the integration of East and West Berlin. 350,000 watched live and 500m in over 100 countries on TV. (TV, radio, event merchandising, PR, promotion and sponsorship).

1989 – 1990 Executive Producer of two industry conferences bringing together entertainment executives of the “West” together with their “Communist Bloc” counterparts. The first held in Berlin on the weekend the Berlin wall was opened up.

1987 – 1988 Executive Producer: Nelson Mandela: 70th Birthday Tribute. A campaign and global broadcast created by Tony to stop the world’s news reporting Mandela as a “black terrorist leader”. In the run up to the global broadcast across 100 countries Mandela became a “black leader”. The global broadcast (11.5hrs) called for Mandela’s release and was watched by 600m, a world record audience for an entertainment broadcast to this day. (TV, radio, event merchandising, PR, promotion and sponsorship)

Early Career (1981 – 1987) Producer: Three arts documentaries for BBC’s Arena in conjunction with Peter Gabriel, The Secret Policeman’s Third Ball for Amnesty International, many large-scale live events, exhibitions, concerts and festivals for the Greater London Council and helped structure and manage “Glastonbury Festival” with his second cousin Michael Eavis.

Education (1975 – 1980) MSc from Imperial College in Social and Economic Studies of Science and Technology in Industry
Bachelor Honours from Bradford University in Industrial Technology and Management

Bumps in the road

Hollingsworth and the companies he has run, have only been in court twice since he started producing in 1981. This is surprising given the enormous number of contracts involved in each project. The first case, in a UK court in 1992, was initiated by a Polish Company. The judge threw the case out after a few days and later the Polish Company was found to have been involved in a major banking corruption case in its home country. The second case was far more difficult and costly for Hollingsworth. It was a case initiated by the CEO of the Singapore Tourism Board Major General Neo Lim Chian (Chief of the Singapore Army 1992-95) and was under Singapore Law and in the Singapore Courts. Singapore is a small country of approximately five million and is not a democracy. Hollingsworth lost the case in Singapore in 2007 but later a review of the matter by a leading UK lawyer and Queens Counsel, Bruce Mauleverer, said:

“In overall summary my view is that there were such serious errors in the Judgment that it should have been set aside. It is unfortunate that the Court of Appeal uncritically adopted the Judge’s findings of fact, apparently without any independent analysis or any consideration of the flaws highlighted in this Opinion and convincingly deployed in the Appellants’ written Case. In my view the right Order would have been for the Court of Appeal to order a new trial before a different Judge”.

Bruce Mauleverer QC was recorder of the Crown Court 1985-2004, Deputy Judge of the High Court 1992-2004, Head of Chambers 1992-2000; Vice-President of International Social Science Council (UNESCO)1998-2000), Honorary Secretary General International Law Association 1986-93 (Vice-Chairman 1993 - present).

In 2008 Hollingsworth was diagnosed with cancer which knocked him out of play for over a year. He is now clear of this last “bump in the road”.