The Steeple Times asks the renowned British television producer Charlie Parsons: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
You’re not here for very long, so you’d better enjoy it.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
“Je ne regrette rien” or as Dame Edna translated it “I don’t mind if I do”.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2014?
The way rich countries close their borders to poor ones, whilst exploiting them.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Being with someone who you know you’ll share a common destiny with till the end.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
Good looks and 100% health.
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?
We need to go back to when the role of bankers was to enable progress rather than to line their own pockets.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
People being described as having a “bubbly personality”.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
Sometimes big charities forget their prime purpose is not to self-serve so I try to give to charities I understand. I generally support something I’m interested in (probably medical) as long as there’s no religion involved.
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 don’t mind as long as users are considerate.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Hercule Poirot would be very important – he might stop a murder. That would be enough. I like lots of space.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
On Ipanema beach I’d have an American Hot pizza from Pizza Express with extra pepperoni followed by cheesecake from Joe Allen. On death row, I don’t need to worry about calories.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
After the yard-arm has set.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A cup of tea.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
My own. I know everybody. They’re the best.
Who is the most positive person you know?
Waheed Alli, my ex partner.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Going to gay bars or clubs with people half my age.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
A lion – I have all the characteristics of my star sign, a Leo.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
A red vintage Mercedes convertible – still running and still classy and very open to the sun.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I’m actually a nice person. I’m also wise.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
About five mid-century black glass vases (I’ve just started collecting) and a Keith Vaughan painting in gouache.
Charlie Parsons co-founded Planet 24, “one of television’s most influential production companies” with Bob Geldof and Waheed Alli. The firm was responsible for many television programmes including The Big Breakfast and The Word. He brought Survivor, the first reality show, to television screens in dozens of countries around the world through Castaway Television and is a graduate of Pembroke College, Oxford.
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