20 questions with businessman, restaurateur and philanthropist Derek Taylor
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
Never give up on your dreams.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
Do as you would be done by.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
The increasing gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Not having kids.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
To live a long and happy life followed by a quick and painless end.
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?
All of those who presided over the debacle should face criminal charges.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“Press one for………”
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
I am fortunate enough to have started two charities. One is for disadvantaged children and based in Scotland. It is called Hopscotch and I am chairman of it. The other is my own charitable foundation, the Seedling Foundation. It gives grants to small charities typically in the educational sector.
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?
Those who drive cars or ride bicycles whilst on the phone without using a hands free device should be charged with dangerous driving.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Too many to mention but Alex Ferguson, Eric Clapton, Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela would be a good start.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
Thai food. My favourite is crispy chilli barramundi (Australian fish).
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
The sun is always over the yardarm somewhere.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Coffee at breakfast and a gin and tonic before dinner.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Dinner parties with no more than six people. Close friends, good conversation, great food and great wines.
Who is the most positive person you know?
My friend Lee. He runs a vintage Rolls-Royce wedding car business in Sydney and loves old cars and attractive, excited “brides to be”.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Not for publication.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
One of L. S. Lowry’s ‘matchstick men’.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
An E-Type Jaguar. Classic and timeless.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I used to be a runner and ran the London Marathon in 4 hours 30 minutes.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
I don’t have a mantelpiece but I’m surrounded by photos of friends, family and my two goddaughters
Derek Taylor spent 40 years in the software and computer services industries and founded Holistic Systems in the 1980s. At its peak, the company employed over 350 people worldwide and had offices in America, Asia and Europe. Seagate Software acquired the company in 1996 and in the time since, Taylor has taken on the role of chairman of Antivia and become involved in various other business and charitable projects.
Dererk Taylor’s London restaurant, Elistano, is situated at 25 – 27 Elystan Street, Chelsea Green, London, SW3 3NT. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7584 5248. Follow Elistano on Twitter here.
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