What a classic response that was from the current Home Secretary ! Thanks to Julia for spotting this Q and A with Alan Johnson in the Guardian recently. I wasn’t certain that he was an R’s fan and I didn’t know that he grew up in North Kensington, Southam Street to be precise which Roger Mayne famously photographed before it was demolished in 1969. The interview was conducted by Rosanna Greenstreet :-
Q: When were you happiest ?
A: When my son was born in 2000.
Q: What is your greatest fear ?
A: Harm being done to my children.
Q: What is your earliest memory ?
A: In a gas-lit room before an iron stove, in the first house I lived in at Southam Street, Notting Hill.
Q: Which living person do you most admire and why ?
A: John Monks, an ego-free visionary who is kind and self- deprecating.
Q: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself ?
Q; What is the trait you most deplore in others ?
Q: What was your most embarrassing moment ?
A: Wetting myself in class (in Primary School, I should add)
Q: What is your most treasured possession ?
A: The 45rpm single that I cut with the Area.
Q: What makes you unhappy ?
A: Queen’s Park Rangers losing (I am unhappy a lot)
Q: Who would play you in the film of your life ?
A: George Clooney, but he’d have to smarten up a bit.
Q: What has been your biggest disappointment ?
A: Not to have been a rock ‘n’ roll star.
Q: What is your favourite word ?
Q: What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you ?
A; “Are you a Chelsea supporter ?”
Q: What is your guiltiest pleasure ?
A: Listening to Dire Straits.
Q: What do you owe your parents ?
A: My mother, aspiration.
Q: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party ?
A: Paul McCartney, Susannah York, George Orwell and Helen Mirren.
Q: What is the worst job you have ever done ?
A: Filling up cans of paraffin from a tanker on cold winter evenings.
Q: If you could go back in time, where would you go ?
A: To 30’s South London, to see my house newly built and the Crystal Palace before it burned down.
Q: What would you consider your greatest achievement ?
A: Helping the British Fishermen’s Association secure their claim for compensation, 25 years after distant water trawlermen had their industry destroyed by the agreement that the government reached with Iceland and the so-called Cod Wars.
Q: What keeps you awake at night ?
Q: What song would you liked played at your funeral ?
A: ‘Only The Good Die Young’ – Billy Joel.
Q: What is the most important lesson life has taught you ?
A: To thine own self be true.
Q: Tell us a joke
A: A man applying for a job as a blacksmith is asked, “Have you ever shoed a horse ?” “No,” he answers, “but I once told a pig to piss off.”
Q; Tell us a secret.
A: On the last night of the 1996 Party Conference, a friend and I put a packet of bar snacks in Stephen Twigg’s pocket with a note saying, “Congratulations on the birth of your Twiglets.”
Rosanna Greenstreet (The Guardian)