‘A radical readjustment of the planet’s population is, I’m afraid, inevitable.’
What’s your earliest memory?
As a baby sitting on the beach in Africa playing with another baby in the sand.
What do you wish they’d taught you at school, but didn’t?
How to run a business. How to maintain a long-term relationship. How to be the perfect parent
Ignore what you’re doing now – if you could do any job in the world, what would it be and why?
A marine biologist in exotic places with loads of leisure time.
Of all the places you’ve been in your life, which would you recommend to a stranger?
Up country Burma – it is still relatively unspoilt.
If you could pass one new law tomorrow what would it be?
All policies have to be demonstrably underpinned by scientific evidence or common sense that adopts a long-term view on health and environmental well-being. This would have prevented things such as leaded petrol, and indeed the whole reliance on unsustainable and polluting lifestyles. It would place political, economic and social imperative within a sustainable and appropriate context.
You can invite three people – living or dead, from any period – round for dinner. Who are they and why?
Charles Darwin – for placing intellectual and spiritual principle above personal need and having the courage to state the bleedin’ obvious in a manner that had such a profound impact on society.
Adam King (Bucks Advertiser news editor) – he sounds a good egg and I like meeting new friends.
Dudley Moore – he’d keep us laughing (and hopefully he could cook).
If you were stuck on Death Row, what would you pick for your final meal?
If I felt like eating, which is unlikely, I’d probably just have a bowl of porridge.
If you could write your famous last words in advance, what would you pick?
“A Handful of Dust”
If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
Wisdom. To know where I should apply my energies and be able to help others most.
How do you relax?
Fishing, hiking in the mountains and reading a good book – although not all at the same time.
If you had to give up something tomorrow, what would you find it hardest to live without?
My wife Sue.
What’s the most important lesson that life has taught you so far?
That I can change little other than my own attitude.
If you could leap forward to the year 2050, what would you expect, or hope to find there?
A radical readjustment of the planet’s population is, I’m afraid, inevitable on our present course because we only have one Earth. However, I hope that a sensible scientific approach will underpin global policy in time and the readjustment is voluntary.
You’re taking friends or family out for the day; where do you take them near Aylesbury?
Coombe Hill, Wendover. After a nice stroll on a clear day you get an excellent view of Aylesbury and the surrounding English countryside.
What’s your best kept entertainment or social life secret, or guilty pleasure?
I love watching The Sopranos and old war films such as Reach for the Sky. I like listening to my son’s band Orphanography, Neil Young, Bach and old Genesis, one of my biggest guilty pleasures is listening to UFO (at volume 11). I am a big fan of Radio 4 and laugh my head off at the News Quiz and ‘Clue’.
Which person in the public eye would you most like to meet and why?
Barack Obama. I read his book and would like to see where the man and public image meet.
Always leave them laughing – so please tell us a joke
A reminder of the old Bob Monkhouse classic is always good for a giggle: “When I was young they laughed at me when I told them I wanted to be a comic. They’re not laughing now!”