The Steeple Times asks “super-tutor” Topes Calland: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom.” What’s your guiding force?
The mantra I use with my students is: “clarity, confidence, creativity”.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
“Neither here nor there”, because I’m generally not.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
The freedom to stay in one place for any length of time.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
I’d be lucky if I could convince someone to swap my wealth for a family-sized packet of Revels.
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?
Cash is King.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home.” What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
Charity should, and inevitably does, begin at home. I’m a keen supporter of educational charities, or any charity that involves giving people a second chance.
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?
My ‘phone is one step up from two cups and a piece of string. I like to be able to call, and be called, in an emergency. Everything else can wait.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
A random sample of people from the Argos on High Street Ken. I went there a few weeks ago looking for multi-coloured Christmas lights and it really does contain the most disparate cross-section of society.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
Anything based around egg-fried rice. I bloody love it. So long as I have my rice, I don’t much mind where I eat it.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
It rarely occurs to me to drink anything much stronger than Um Bongo, so I’m tickled pink any time have a craving for a tipple; it makes me feel like a real grown-up.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Any party that doesn’t involve fancy dress. I don’t care if I sound miserable; I get slight acid reflux on my back molars just thinking about it.
Who is the most positive person you know?
I try to avoid people who are too inanely positive. I prefer ‘quietly optimistic’.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Channel 4’s Coach Trip. In fact, I’m not even particularly guilty about it. Scrap my answer to the ‘Orient Express’ question; I’d much rather go with the contestants from any given season of Coach Trip.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to needles, so something small and essential… preferably on somebody else.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
Probably a Ford Mondeo, or something equally unintimidating.
Cilla Black presented “Surprise, Surprise.” Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I hate surprises. I was a much bigger fan of Blind Date which is why I’m enjoying this interview so much.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
I don’t have a mantelpiece but if I did, I’d sit on it, just because I could.
Topes Calland is an Oxford graduate and the co-founder of Howard Calland Education Consultants. He has become well known for tutoring the children of rock stars and royalty.
For more information, go to: http://www.howardcalland.com