Animal: Buster my dog
We did a campaign for a healthcare company about the benefits of pets and the weird closeness between animal and owner. My dog basically inspired this; he wanted to go for walks, I needed to be less fat. We started running together – dog happy, me marginally thinner and the campaign got shortlisted at Cannes. Jackpot!
Person: Gareth Thomas
I still play blind-side flanker most weekends for Harwell 1st XV. In fact, I have played rugby for more than 40 years, which makes me proud how the ‘rugby family’ has embraced Gareth Thomas. A brilliant rugby player and incredible role model for not only the LGBTQ+ community but now for people living with HIV. He is an incredibly brave man and should be commended and supported at every step – a true inspiration.
Music: The Go Team
Ian Parton and his eclectic assortment of musicians have created the most uplifting and original wall of sound ever. Any fan of sport’s highlight reels will recognise their work immediately as they have had their tunes rinsed again and again across advertising and TV promos – they are also very, very good live.
Film: The Farewell
Brilliant conceit and great acting. Gran dying but no-one can tell her, but they need an excuse to get the family together to say goodbye. Fresh and uplifting. Unlike Scorsese I think there is a place for Marvel, but we just need a bit of different as well. Other recommendations are Booksmart – laugh out loud funny – and JoJo Rabbit – nicely nutty.
Book: Our Boys – The Story of a Paratrooper
A combination of a history of the Paras, the Falklands, the men themselves and what it meant to be a working-class man in the early 1980s, written by historian Helen Parr, niece of a 17-year-old Para killed in the Falklands. Having been in the army very briefly in the late 80’s, this is an incredible read and defines perfectly what masculinity meant in Britain during Thatcher’s reign.
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