Tea or coffee?
Coffee – far too much!
Favourite TV programme?
I’m currently glued to Planet Earth II with my six- and seven-year-old girls. The show’s amazing camerawork, paired with the immense scale, diversity and raw beauty of this planet we call home, never ceases to astound me. Also, I find programmes like Have I Got News for You, QI and Mock the Week great for relaxing.
Fondest childhood memory?
The anticipation of Christmas Eve and then sneaking out of bed at five o’clock the next morning to see if ‘He’ had been…
Favourite holiday destination?
Summer in the Austrian Alps.
Most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?
When I was thirteen my big sister convinced me that it would be really cool to bleach my hair shocking yellow – the “Billy Idol” look, sort of. I did it, and she was so very, very wrong. But at least my school friends had a laugh…
Last meal on death row?
I love all different kinds of food, but I think this occasion would definitely call for the classic fillet steak and chips, with a decent bottle of red. Or perhaps an Everlasting Gobstopper from Willy Wonka’s factory – “I’ll be with you in a minute…”
Cats or dogs?
Dogs. Our girls would love a little Bichon Frise or Cavachon. It’s just a matter of time…
As a student I worked night shifts over the Christmas holidays at Stockport General Post Office, hand sorting Christmas post by delivery class and then by post code. Truly mind-numbing!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An astronaut – I’ve always been fascinated by outer space, and think some of the recent images we’ve seen from Hubble, the Rosetta space probe and Tim Peake are simply mind-blowing. A family trip to Iceland (the country, not the shop!) to see the Northern Lights first hand is definitely high on my to-do list.
Your best qualities?
Patience, empathy, fairness, resilience.
Any bad habits?
Yes thanks – too many to mention.
Who do you admire?
So many people, it’s hard to choose just one. My dad has been a really important influence on my life and I truly value and admire his selflessness and sense of contentment. In public life, I think of the personal sacrifices that Aung San Suu Kyi has made in her campaign to bring democracy to Myanmar – her sense of resolve and quiet determination in standing firm to her beliefs is truly inspiring.
What drives you nuts?
Opening and closing kitchen cupboard doors without using the handles. Quite an unusual one, I know!
Best bit of business advice you’ve received?
Keep a sense of perspective and don’t sweat the small stuff.
I’ve recently landed it at First Names Group! Otherwise, if I had the skill, a professional photographer.
Worst job you’ve ever had?
Probably the letter sorting. Straight after college I worked a ski season in Austria, which was definitely somewhere towards the other end of the scale.
Buzzword you hate the most?
That’s a tough question – so many to choose from. Let me Blue Sky it for a while and I’ll circle back to you when I’ve got an answer firmed up…
Not especially – although if I had the luxury of time I’d happily watch the golf majors (on TV, but preferably there in person).
City or country?
Definitely country. My wife Michelle’s dad is a dairy farmer in Southern Ireland and I love heading over there and spending time with the family in very relaxed surroundings. There’s a real sense of calm and space, and of living in - and for - the moment.
I am obviously a frustrated photographer. I also enjoy golf but don’t play enough and so am a bit of a hacker when let loose on the course. Michelle bought me a great set of Ping game improvement clubs a couple of years ago but sadly they still need a reasonably competent golfer to swing them… I guess I’ll just have to keep practising!