Quickfire Q&A with Ben Summerskill

Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of Stonewall and a Commissioner at the Commission for Equality & Human Rights, which opens on 1 October.

What’s your earliest memory?
Harold Wilson (Don’t ask!)

What three words best describe you?
Naughty but nice.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?
I’d love to have been a doctor but was always hopeless at biology.

If you were stuck on a desert island, and could take one person and one object, who and what would they be?
The object is a bottle of coconut oil. I couldn’t name the individual.

Who inspires you and why?
Desmond Tutu. He kept his dignity and sense of humour in the face of every manifestation of discrimination.

What is your favourite place?
Rhossili beach on the Gower peninsula. (Or, if it’s wet, Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.)

Which celebrity would you want to play you in a film about your life?
The Times once described me improbably as a ‘John Malkovich lookalike’. It seems churlish to argue.

What was the last download or CD you bought?
Dionne Warwick’s Greatest Hits. (Pipe and slippers beckon.)

What are you reading?
Engleby by Sebastian Faulks.

What is your favourite film?
From Here to Eternity. (Unfortunately even I couldn’t nominate Brokeback Mountain as Harriet Harman did recently.)

Are you watching Big Brother?
Only the last ten minutes if Newsnight is a bit dull.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs. I still miss John Stuart Mill.

What is the best present you have ever been given?
A carriage clock, from the staff in my first management job in 1986. (It stopped working in 1988 but I still keep it.)

If you were on death row, what would be your last meal?
Lashings of revenge. Served cold.

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