In The Spotlight
What’s your first memory?
Eating a pasty at age two and a bit while sitting on a little wooden stool made by my grandfather
What three words best describe you?
Fascinating, funny and flumoxed … which just about sums up the human condition as well as me!
What’s been your best job?
Social services director in Wiltshire – I recommend that everyone should give it a try!
The one job I haven’t had which I would have liked would have been England rugby captain in 2003!
If you were stuck on a desert island, and you could take one person and one object, who and what would they be?
A solar-powered laptop with satellite internet access so that I could continue to communicate and to learn. And an IT wizard (probably preferably female) to fix it every time it crashed.
Who inspires you and why?
Bob Holman for his integrity, Johny Wilkinson for his coolness, and all the work colleagues and service users who have had the confidence and wisdom to give me honest feeedback.
Where is your favourite place?
Godrevy in Cornwall …. surf, sand, wildlife, rocks, and a lighthouse on an island, with memories of a happy childhood and adolescence.
Which celebrity would you want to play you in a film?
Michael Palin … because, even if I’m not, he always seems kind and humourous.
What was the last CD you bought?
‘The Who’s’ new ‘Endless Wire’ CD and a recently digitally remixed version of ‘Aftermath’ by the Rolling Stones … some of us are still in a sixties time warp of values and music, which really isn’t such a bad place to be!
What are you reading?
I’m currently in the midst of:
‘The Dark Continent’ by Mark Mazower
‘The Seige’ by Helen Dunmore
‘Roots’ by Alex Haley
‘Blair’ by Anthony Seldon
‘The Rise and Fall of the English Monastery’ by Christopher Brooke; ‘The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge’ by Adam Sisman …
and more …
I’ve become a junky of literature festivals (Hay, Cheltenham, Dartington, Bath etc)!
What’s your favourite film?
‘Life of Brian’ is very clever, hilarious and pomposity busting.
‘Kes’ because of its pain, strong messages and emotional impact;
and ‘Walkabout’ for its gentle rhythms and scenery (and Jenny Agutter).
‘Big Brother’ – Treat or Trash?
This one’s a no-brainer! ABSOLUTE rubbish and exploitative. Please will everyone stop watching it, and if you must watch it PLEASE don’t tell the audience research people as otherwise it’ll just run and run.
Pets – yes or no?
I prefer my animals natural and wild, but if I was looking for more companionship a pet could be a great idea.
If you were on Death Row, what would be your final meal?
Possibly a pasty from the Portreath Bakery, but I don’t think I would be feeling very hungry. A VERY large Talisker malt whisky might be more appreciated (and anyway capital punishment is a lousy idea and ought to be banned everywhere).