Jonathan Knott

Former British ambassador to Hungary, Budapest

Part of Speakers' Corner

10th August 2012 Budapest, Hungary

Sziget: Second impressions

Guest blog by chargé d’affaires Theresa Bubbear

Day 2 of Sziget brought a surprising number of double events. For the second consecutive day Hungary won two Olympic gold medals – congratulations to Danuta Kozák and Éva Risztov. I gave my second speech in Hungarian and two media interviews. We dodged two American footballers, sat two people on one huge chair, and had two crosses painted on our legs.

The crosses were part of a water fight against a Norwegian Embassy team, with whom we are jointly sponsoring the Transparency International tent at the Festival.

Sziget Festival

We have worked closely with TI on a number of anti-corruption projects, including a design competition and a seminar on the UK Bribery Act last year. We love their creative and fun approach to publicising a very serious message and are delighted to be part of the Big Splash (Time to Wake Up) campaign. I spoke at a press conference with Noémi Alexa, Director of TI Hungary, who has received an honorary MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her work, the Norwegian Ambassador, and Károly Gerendai, Managing Director of the Sziget Festival – and then the fight began.

Sziget Festival

The aim was to use water pistols to wash the crosses off the legs of the other team, although we all ended up soaked from head to toe. It was a friendly fight, though, and it seemed fair that the audience declared it a draw – a gold medal for Norway and another for Team GB.

Sziget Festival

Our second stop of the day was the US Embassy tent, where Levi and I had a go at the quiz based on a tour of US cities. As we have both studied in the US we did pretty well on that, and Levi also did extremely well on a difficult quiz about this year’s Presidential election. I had a chat with the US Ambassador, who was also visiting the Festival, and stayed as far away as possible from two giant American footballers who were charging up and down a very small strip of grass.

Sziget Festival

Sziget Festival

From the US we returned to Hungary with a visit to the Hungarikum village. I had an unsuccessful go at a game of skittles using a soft ball which had lost all its momentum by the time it reached the pins. Levi and I shared a giant chair for a brief rest before he and Lajos dressed up as giant Unicum bottles for a fight.

Sziget Festival

We also spotted the two British “bobbies” who are visiting this year’s Festival and, like hundreds of other Festival-goers, had our photos taken wearing their very distinctive helmets. We’ll have more time to spend with them on day 3, which also brings a wheelchair challenge, money, and another speech in Hungarian. The island is filling up and the atmosphere is fantastic. The weekend promises to be second to none.

About Jonathan Knott

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take up his post. He left this post on April…

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to
Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take
up his post. He left this post on April 2015.
He has previously held a variety of diplomatic posts at home and
abroad, several with a particular focus on commercial and corporate
finance issues. Jonathan has served in a number of positions in the
British Diplomatic Service since joining in 1988:
Before his appointment was Deputy Head of Mission and Director for Trade and Investment in South Korea from 2008 to 2011.Between 2005 and 2008 he held the post of Deputy Finance Director in the FCO.From 2000 to 2005 he served as First Secretary (Trade, Corporate Affairs and Finance Negotiator) in UKDel OECD Paris.From 1996 to 2000 he was First Secretary (Head of Political/Economic/Aid Section) in Mexico.From 1995 to 1996 he worked in the FCO as Deputy European Correspondent at the EU Directorate.Between 1991 and 1995 he served as Third later Second Secretary (Political / Press and Public Affairs) in Havana.From 1990 to 1991 he was Desk Officer in the FCO’s First Gulf War Emergency Unit.Between 1988 and 1990 he worked as Desk Officer in the FCO in the Anti Drugs Cooperation Department.
Jonathan holds an MA in law from Oxford University, and he is a
member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He speaks
English, French, Spanish and Hungarian. He is married to Angela Susan
Knott and has one daughter and two sons.

Follow Jonathan