A 20-question interview with well-known businessman Gerald Ratner
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
Don’t give up. Failure is the route to success. You will fail many times before you succeed so embrace failure.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2016?
Mark Carney is a mine of misinformation. He said interest rates would go up for the last five years and scared the sh*t out of us on Brexit.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Running a big company.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
I haven’t got all that much wealth, but, as you get older, you appreciate your health more.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
Business requires endless cash and if you can’t raise it anymore, that has a negative effect on the economy.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
Starting every sentence with ‘So’.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
I support animal charities but I don’t like the aggressive approach to fundraising by certain charities and their endless shock adverts on television.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
I hate people screaming down them in public.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Robin van Persie (my all time hero), David Tang (stylish and witty) and Mark Carney (so I can throw him out the window).
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
The Waterside Inn at Bray. I would order a magnum of Château Latour.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
During the week: At nighttime.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A double espresso.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
One that ends early.
Who is the most positive person you know?
My dog, Bear. He thinks he is human.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
I hate tattoos.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
I was a Ferrari. Now, I’m a Volvo.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I never called my jewellery ‘crap’ in that infamous speech. I described it as high quality but unfortunately I called a sherry decanter ‘crap’.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
A picture of my dog.
Gerald Ratner is the former chairman and chief executive of the Ratners Group. He is now a keynote speaker.
Follow him on Twitter at @Gerald_Ratner.
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