The Steeple Times asks financier Hugh Warrender: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
I was tempted to put something rude that would be true enough, but there’s a great poem by Rainer Maria Rilke called ‘As Once the Winged Energy of Delight’ (http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/as-once-the-winged-energy-of-delight/) that informs pretty much everything I do or think.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
If you haven’t tried it, you’ll never know.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
I must have missed this Kerry person. Bad manners are always unacceptable.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
My father, Robin Warrender, who died nine years ago. He was clever, elegant, fun, kind and my best friend. I think about him every day.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
A Domino’s two-for-one voucher would be good, that’s about all it’s worth. But at a push, good 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?
‘Banking crisis’ should be an oxymoron. Seeing as it’s not we have a massive problem, but I am resolute that capping bankers’ salaries is the most idiotic proposal I’ve ever heard – the best will always go where the money is and we need the best in our banks right now.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
To paraphrase someone famous, I can’t remember who – ‘while you’re up ……?’
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
It’s a good thing and I’ll support children and dogs.
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 think we had more peaceful lives without them but if you’re like me and late for everything they serve a useful purpose. Oh, and they’re completely addictive, and I hate that I am an addict too.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
My daughter, first and foremost, and the rest of my extended family – sisters, nephews, mother, aunts and uncles, cousins, they’re a good lot. My father, to add a friendly ghost element to the team, and my late step-grandmother as she was fabulous company. Some witty people like Dorothy Parker and most importantly Tommy Cooper. Elvis Presley to entertain us – Vegas-era dress. Paul Merton and Ian Hislop – the only people to watch on TV. My close friends would have to come – we’ve all had so much fun together over the years. The girl who reads Sky News in the weekday mornings, she’s a dish. And there would have to be someone else there to be the murder victim – you know who you are.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
Angel hair spaghetti with butter and white truffles at 5 Hertford Street with a glass of really good claret. And treacle pudding with double cream.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
What time is it not acceptable?
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Definitely the Negroni, but a really big one. They never last long enough.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
I like old-school, unostentatious parties at friends’ houses so long as they don’t run out of whiskey and I get to meet new interesting people before I fall over.
Who is the most positive person you know?
My dog Roussie, a gorgeous whippet bitch. She never gives up hope.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
I don’t think there’s any place for guilt when it comes to pleasure.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
It would just say: ‘This side up. Fragile’.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
A Bristol. Well-built, occasionally reliable, British and rare.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I surprise myself all the time, not always in a good way. I find it hard to focus on anything until I’ve done the New York Times crossword first thing – I’ve done it almost every day since going to Brown University in the US. If I don’t get to do it early I’m unhinged all day until it’s done.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
Last season’s shooting cards, a lovely card made by my daughter for my birthday, a clock that I paid more than £1,000 to fix and still doesn’t work, lots of tchotchkes.
Hugh Warrender is a director of the strategic marketing communications consultancy Dragon Associates. He was also a partner in setting up 5 Hertford Street and is the co-founder of the Knightsbridge School.
For more information about Dragon Associates, go to: http://dragonassocs.com
- http://home.total.net/~fishnet/ – quite the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen on the Internet.