TOP producer Mike Hurst has picked out the need to stop Simon Cowell from taking over the music industry in this week’s interview.
Each week we pick out somebody from the community to answer our questions and this week it fell to Mr Hurst, who has just set up a children’s theatre group in Chinnor.
What’s your earliest memory?
It’s a toss up between watching my local church burn down and seeing Frank Sinatra at the London Palladium, both in 1949. Both were religious experiences.
What do you wish they’d taught you at school, but didn’t?
How to add up. I am hopeless at maths.
Ignore what you’re doing now – if you could do any job in the world, what would it be and why?
Running the country. I am sure I could do a better job – but then we all do, don’t we?
If you could pass one new law tomorrow, what would it be and why?
Stop one person like Simon Cowell virtually owning the music industry.
If you were stuck on Death Row, what would you pick for your final meal?
Easy. Eggs, bacon, mushrooms and fried bread.
If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
I would like to know what other people are thinking, because it seems to me that so many have agendas that are the complete opposite of their stated feelings.
What was the last little treat you bought for yourself?
A jar of anchovies. No one in their right mind likes them – except me.
If you had to give up something tomorrow, what would you find it hardest to live without?
A cigarette. Sorry.
If you could leap forward to the year 2050, what would you expect, or hope to find there?
My grandchildren safe and healthy.
What websites you use or value the most?
Google, Rockmaster (my own), and Spotify.
Have you got a favourite shop within 20 miles of Thame town centre?
David Nichols, wholesale butcher at Saunderton. He is a very old friend and sells the best meat imaginable at the right price.
What’s your best kept guilty pleasure?
Gardening. I know it’s not unfashionable but for a musician I guess it is. In the garden you are closer to nature than anywhere else, and it’s creative.
Which person in the public eye would you most like to meet and why?
Silvio Berlusconi. He could be a madman, a Mafia don or a sex maniac, but is probably all three. Worrying but fascinating.
What do you go out of your way to avoid?
Parties. I absolutely hate having to dress up, sit with people you barely know and having to make small talk. In my case the subject always starts off with ‘Do you know The Beatles’, and ‘Is Cliff Richard gay?’
Always leave them laughing – so please tell us a joke
I was talking to a new doctor at the surgery the other day, and asked how she was getting on. She said she found the locals rather strange. I said I knew what she meant, adding quite a few have six fingers on one hand. Really she said, do tell, I am all ears. Blimey, I said, you’re one of them too!
For more information on Mike Hurst and the Henley Children’s Theatre Group, which he has set up in Chinnor, call 01844 351502.