Business Interviews 2014: The best answers to our questionnaire

Company bosses often surprise us with the answers they give to our questions: here are some of the best

Michael Dunn of Gospelware in Gateshead
Michael Dunn of Gospelware in Gateshead

Every Monday The Journal carries a big interview with some of the top figures in the North East’s business community.

Alongside the interview is a glimpse into their working day and a questionnaire which aims to give some insight into the person behind the business.

But not all of the answers are exactly what you’d expect, as this selection of some of the best answers reveals.

What car do you drive? A Ford Fiesta that was given to me by my Grandma. It doesn’t even have wheel trims (Michael Dunn, Gospelware)

What’s your favourite restaurant?  Don’t have one; cooking is a passion of mine so any spare time I have I try to invent new dishes and then try these out on the family (Steve Caseley, Solar Capture Technologies)

Kromek chief executive Arnab Basu
Kromek chief executive Arnab Basu

Who or what makes you laugh? I’m not too impressed by a lot of modern comedy (Arnab Basu, Kromek)

What’s your favourite book? I wish I had time to read something other than architectural magazines (Craig Fitzakerly, Fitz Architects).

What was the last album you bought? I can’t remember the name of it but it was by Abba (John Riddle, farmer and councillor)

Peter Cockerill, CEO of Calvert Trust Kielder
Peter Cockerill, CEO of Calvert Trust Kielder

What’s your ideal job, other than the one you’ve got? Driving a JCB (Peter Cockerill, Calvert Trust)

Chairman of Newcastle United (Paul Stonebanks)

What’s your greatest fear? Newcastle United somehow becoming successful (Bob Paton, Accenture)

What’s the best piece of business advice you have ever received? No one is indispensable (Bruce Heppenstall, Wellstream Flexibles)

And the worst? Do it on the cheap (Ian Watson, Hadrian Healthcare)

What’s your poison? There are two types of wine: wine you like and wine you don’t (Ian Malcolm, Elringklinger)

Ian Malcolm
Ian Malcolm

What newspapers do you read, other than the Journal? Just The Journal really (Lee Carlin, Grundfos)

How much was your first pay packet and what was it for? £70 at the age of 14 for selling piglets from the sow my dad bought me (Hugh Fell, George F White Group)

How do you keep fit? I don’t. I have a gym membership and never use it (Julian Leighton, Orange Bus)

What’s your most irritating habit? Making a joke out of everything and, according to my wife, being forgetful. And also being forgetful (Martin Lawlor, Port of Blyth)

Port of Blyth Chef Executive Martin Lawlor

What’s your biggest extravagance? Shoes and handbags (Rachel Turnbull, TT2)

Which historical of fictional character do you most identify with or admire? I’d say Cinderella for her strong will and determination to go to the ball, even if she is a cartoon (Kathryn Taylor, Gordon Brown LLP)

Which four people famous people would you most like to dine with? Elvis Presley, Pink, Robbie Williams and Denise van Outen (Pamela Petty, Ebac)

How would you like to be remembered? Not bothered if people remember me or not (Lindsey Dunn, Skills to Shine)


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer