Russell Hughes is the managing director of Aluston Health, an innovative, new company which takes people with alcohol problems to a clinic in Latvia to undergo a special five-day treatment which cures them of their alcoholism.
Russell, 45, knows all about having to deal with drink issues. A successful businessman in his own right, he spent years battling alcoholism until he found out about a chemical intervention known as "The Code" which is available in Eastern Europe.
Two years on from having the treatment he is still alcohol free and continues to run both his international electrical goods business and Aluston Health.
Where do you live?
In Sunderland in a terraced, Victorian four-bedroomed house. I’ve restored it to its former glory but added a bit of a modern twist. I love the Victorian style with the high ceilings and all the space – but don’t like the gas bills!
How long have you lived there?
What’s your dream home?
A place by the sea with big, open windows so I could spend every day admiring the view.
How do you get around?
I like big cars, trains and planes so what I use depends on where I’m going.
What is your favourite part of the North East?
I love the North East coastline. Anywhere that’s near the sea is good for me. I have a real affection for Holy Island because of the scenery and the history of it. I was once stranded there overnight accidently-on purpose as a surprise for my partner – and we have a fantastic time.
What is your favourite building in the region?
It may look a bit like a snail, but for me for sheer impact and majesty it’s hard the beat The Sage Gateshead.
What is the best holiday you’ve ever had?
I once spent four weeks in a place called Kermer in Turkey in a fantastic hotel where every whim was catered for - and not a cloud could to be seen for the entire trip.
What’s the favourite thing in your home?
My kitchen and all the gadgets that go in it - and my bedroom for those lazy Sundays.
If you could have one luxury what would it be?
My car. It’s a BMW X5 and I love the build quality, although I find it very sad that us Brits have lost nearly all of our car manufacturing.
What are you working on at the moment?
My new business, Aluston Health. There are so many people in the UK who suffer from alcoholism and there’s not really anything in place that can help them quickly – which is what alcoholics want. We’ve had some great success stories so far of people who have got to Latvia and have come back literally cured after five days.
Who or what is the love of your life?
My children (Rebecca, 15 and Natasha, six) and of course my partner, Dasha, who works with our a new company and still works as physiotherapist.
Where is your favourite place in the North East?
Newcastle. Although I now live in Sunderland I was born on Tyneside and I’m really passionate and proud of my home city. I was born in the West End and I love the people. There is a certain kindness you get from Geordies that you can’t get anywhere else.
What is your favourite shop?
Selfridges in London - what a shop. I could live there!
What is your favourite restaurant?
Fishermans Lodge in Jesmond – I love the location and the food.
The Auderley in Mayfair, London. They serve fantastic smoked salmon.
So hard to choose but I love oysters and most seafood.
Are you any good at cooking?
I love cooking and spending time in our family kitchen. My family were originally in the hotel trade so I grew up surrounded by food and just developed a passion from an early age.
What’s the last play or film you saw?
Avatar in 3D. I loved it, maybe not for the story but the effects which I thought were absolutely mind boggling.
What book are you reading at the moment?
James Patterson’s Cross Country (a real man’s book!)
What are you listening to on your iPod/CD player?
I love dance music or any song that gets me going.
What’s your favourite TV programme?
I love Star Trek, I think it stems from my childhood. Now that I’m an older I must admit I always fall a sleep when watching it so it must relax me!
What are you proudest of?
My daughters and my dad.
Do you have any wisdom to share?
Always look before you leap and before you make a big decision sleep on it.
When and where were you happiest?
Yesterday, today and tomorrow – I’m always happy when I’m with the people I love, regardless of where that is.