THIS year he is working with the likes of Ryan Giggs and Shaun Ryder and in his contacts book are Tyson Fury, Jamie Carragher and even an SAS icon.

You would be forgiven for thinking that Chris Hodgkinson is a stalwart of the entertainment industry but the Chapelford resident has only been booking events with sports personalities and celebrities for four years.

Chris’s business, HC Promotions, has become a fast growing success story so we asked the 39-year-old how he went from working for CPM, a sales agency in Causeway Park, to being his own boss and rubbing shoulders with the stars.

It is all thanks to Frank Bruno in a way.

When the boxing legend was due to give a talk in Warrington, Chris ended up helping to promote the show and he loved it so much that he got the bug for it and wanted to host his own events.

Chris, a former Woolston High student, said: “I was not in the industry at all but I had a massive interest in sport. If something is your passion it makes it a little easier to do. I’ve been to quite a few sports dinners and things like that and I’ve often thought whether I could do it or not.”

It is safe to say that Chris can do it because he now has 28 events under his belt.

They have been mostly in Warrington, as well as Wigan, Southport and Wirral, and this year he already has 14 shows in the diary.

Chris added: “It’s grown steadily and if you look at the timeline we’ve done a few boxers and a few footballers, throwing in the odd big name, and now we’ve got the likes of Jamie Carragher and Ryan Giggs coming to Warrington.

Warrington Guardian:

“For a lot of them I can now go direct by working my different contacts. How it works is that if I do a show with one celebrity it often opens a door to another one whereas otherwise if you do it through a firm it costs a lot in agent fees and booking fees and that sort of thing.

“So it’s just a case of working your market and working your contacts and now my phone book is pretty good and I can get to a lot of different people.

“It’s a bit like stepping stones as you build your contacts and your name and brand gets out there.

“That’s the reason I’m diversifying now so it’s not just sports stars – we had Colin MacLachlan who is ex SAS, we’ve got Shaun Ryder coming and there are other things in the pipeline.

“I’ve recently been in talks with a TV personality so we’ll see where that goes.”

For Chris, the show comes first but it is not always trying to keep his composure in front of some of his sporting heroes.

He said: “With a lot of the sports personalities, these are people who I’ve grown up watching .

“And when we had Tyson Fury in Warrington it was only months before that when I was watching him at 6am on pay-per-view TV fighting Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas. I was thinking: ‘Wow, I’m going to be meeting him in Warrington’. When he walked into the room it was madness really but I have to be professional and can’t really get starstruck because it would hamper the evening and it wouldn’t run as well.

‘When you’re in a room full of people who are with their idol, that’s the special point for me’

“But you do look back and think: ‘That was fantastic’.

“Tyson was a really nice bloke who was up for a laugh. He got everyone singing at the end and when I was showing him it out he said: ‘That was the best one we’ve done, I loved that. We rocked Warrington didn’t we?’

“I try and treat the celebrities like I would anybody and I think they quite like that.

“You’ve got to be professional at all times but still remember you’re working with some of the biggest names that there are.”

The first show that Chris hosted himself was with Irish former professional boxer Steve Collins and his biggest was with former Liverpool FC vice captain Jamie Carragher at the Parr Hall in front of more than 700 fans.

Chris said: “It’s like spinning plates. It takes a long time as you’ve got to negotiate contracts and venues and sort out artwork and ticket prices and all that sort of thing.

“And it doesn’t stop once you’ve released it for sale. You’ve got to keeping promoting the show, you’re answering your phone all the time, you could be in meetings in London at 9am.”

When the day comes after months of preparation, Chris finds the most satisfaction in the little moments.

He added: “When you’re in a room full of people who are with their idol, that’s the special point for me. It’s absolutely manic some days and unfortunately I don’t get to enjoy the event. I don’t get to hear the speaker talk about their life stories as I’m too busy but when I go into the room and the guests are hanging on their every word, that’s my reward really.”


GETTING celebrities to visit his hometown is a dream job for Chris Hodgkinson and he even reckons it helped him battle blood cancer. Chris, who has lived in Warrington since he was eight, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in December 2017.

He said: “I’ve just been to the hospital for a check up and I got the ok again.

“I’m about a year and a half in remission now but I was doing some of these events at the same time that I was having chemo.

“It was tough but in a way running the events was good as it kept my mind off things and kept me busy. I think one of the reasons I got through it so well was that I had something to focus on.”

As a thank you to those who looked after him, there is a charitable aspect to all of Chris’s shows with money going towards the Lymphoma Association. Chris was also behind Punching for Papyrus – Warrington’s first open air boxing match in aid of the suicide prevention charity.

He hopes to do a charity event on a similar scale every year.

Chris added: “It’s nice doing the hometown shows and with Punching for Papyrus it was really good to do something new in the town centre.

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“The feedback from that was fantastic. It was raising awareness and money for a great cause and it brought the town together.

“I hope it leads to bigger stuff. I’ve got a meeting with the Golden Square team so hopefully something can be pencilled in the diary. I’ve got plans for the likes of celebrity football matches.”

Chris is not the only one to be hosting talks with sports personalities, music stars, adventurers and media figures. The ‘An Evening With...’ format is becoming increasingly popular in UK showbiz so why does Chris think that is?

He said: “In the past you might not have been able to see some games on TV or get the results instantly but now we live in a world where everything is at the click of a button.

“You’ve got channels devoted to sport and I think people have got a lot more interest because this sort of thing is in front of them all the time.

“People form a bond with some of these stars because they are seeing their daily lives on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. So I think that’s what creates the interest around our events and others like it.”

HC Promotions has two events coming up at the Parr Hall including An Evening with Carl Fogarty on February 20 and An Evening with Ryan Giggs on March 6. Visit