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You’ll usually find Oli Bell, microphone in hand, surrounded by gleaming thoroughbred horses at one of the country’s most prestigious race meets. The sports pundit and television presenter has made his name fronting ITV’s racing coverage over the past decade. More recently, he’s presented the FA Cup for ITV Sport. We speak shortly after Nicholson announced Oli as our first brand ambassador. He’s driving to Cheltenham for the racing. There’s a production meeting to fit in too. Life is busy. Busy, but exciting.

“The introduction to Nicholson came about through my twin passions, cricket and racing,” explains Oli. “I think Nicholson’s story is fascinating – it’s the original London Dry Gin. A bit like racing, it has this deep-rooted history.

“When I met Alex and Steve, the guys behind Nicholson, it felt like a perfect fit. We were very aligned in our thoughts, in our passions – in our approaches, really. And then I tried the gin itself. And it’s delicious.

”Oli is Somerset born and bred, so gin hasn’t been his go-to drink. “I was originally a cider man,” he says. But has Nicholson converted him? “Absolutely, it’s really tasty. The Blood Orange flavour is so good. I can’t stop raving about it.”


With his love of the gin itself, his passion for sport and a clear appreciation for the good things in life, Oli is made for his role as Nicholson ambassador. Similarly, the heady, fun atmosphere of the racecourse and the conviviality of Nicholson are a natural fit. “Goodwood in particular is like an awesome summer garden party – and there’s no better accompaniment to it than a nice G&T,” says Oli.

Oli will once again be supporting Nicolson at Goodwood in the 2023 season. “At last year’s festival, I helped at a little Nicholson event and marked the card for a few friends of the brand. It was great fun and we managed to pick some winners.” More firsts for Nicholson.

“There's definitely a synergy in terms of the atmosphere at the racing, the weather, the great sport – and a great drink to go with. I think it’s a match made in heaven. Likewise with cricket – watching great cricket with gin and tonic in hand, in the sunshine, in the English countryside. I think that is heaven for me, basically.”

In Converstion

Beyond the delicious drinks, Oli is excited about working with Nicholson on a variety of projects. “I can’t wait to get out there and meet world-class mixologists and learn about different ways to use Nicholson,” he says. “Not least because it’ll be fun to impress my friends by making them superb cocktails.”Being able to mix a textbook Negroni is one thing, but there’s another aspect of Oli’s role that he’s keen to get started with: “I’m really looking forward to meeting friends of Nicholson,” says Oli. “I’m not necessarily talking about famous people or well-known personalities. But – when you think about all the amazing content out there on podcasts, YouTube and so on – there are so many people who have incredible story to tell. “When we host Nicholson conversations – just sit down and listen – you’ll discover all these stories worth hearing. I think that sitting in a pub with friends and listening to and telling stories is a dying art. We can bring that back.“To be able to go out and listen to people's incredibly captivating stories with a gin and tonic in hand is something that really excites me – because that’s genuinely what excites me in life. Sharing stories and talking amongst friends – it’s what Nicholson’s all about.”

Meet Steve and Alex, the duo behind Nicholson

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