The Steeple Times asks Isle of Wight born producer and scriptwriter Dominic Minghella: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
Empathy: Those of us who work in drama have to imagine ourselves into the characters we create; we are professional empathisers.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
Cynicism isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2015?
I don’t know who Kerry Katona is. I just Googled her and I still don’t know. So I guess what’s unacceptable is my wilful ignorance.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
My brother, Anthony, who died in 2008. Feels like yesterday.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
Another day with him.
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?
Without regulation, markets fail. Regulations are pro-market, not anti-market. The failure to recognise this apparent contradiction has cost us all trillions, and broken the lives of many.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“I’m not a writer, but….”
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
My sister runs Christian Aid and although I’m not a Christian, I trust that organisation with my money. I support mental health charities and Amnesty and I wish I supported the Prison Reform Trust. I also support (and co-own) Portsmouth Football Club, which sometimes feels like a charity!
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?
Sorry, what did you say? I was just checking my email.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
From the living or the dead? If the living: my amazing and huge family, plus a piano. And Keith Jarrett.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
I recently married the chicken liver pate at The Farm Shop restaurant in Brentwood, Los Angeles. So it would have to be that, there.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
6pm on a school day.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A Negroni: Only discovered them last year, mixed lethally by none other than Stephen Fry. Delicious. But I still have the headache.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
I don’t do parties; only family gatherings, and I love them because I am blessed with the world’s greatest relatives. And they sing. What’s not to like?
Who is the most positive person you know?
Matt, my manager in LA. Everything I do is “very tremendous”. The man is deluded, I tell you.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Fast cars and fast women. (One of those is wishful thinking).
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
Adonis: In his bald, short and old incarnation.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
A Volvo: Safe. Boring. Comfortable. In it for the long haul.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
God, there is really nothing surprising. Like I said, a Volvo.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
A little bronze Buddha some Doc Martin fans sent me.
Born on the Isle of Wight – and eternally an Islander – Dominic Minghella read PPE at Oxford before becoming a producer and scriptwriter. He is the creator of the Doc Martin television series and the BBC’s Robin Hood. Mingella lives with his partner Sarah Beardsall, whom he met in French class at Medina High School, and they have four children.
Follow him on Twitter at @DMinghella.
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