On the show, Gyles told a story about receiving a letter from yours truly when we were teenagers. We’d been corresponding as I was running Student Magazine and Gyles had a magazine too. I invited him over to my parents’ flat and, according to Gyles, suggested we start a publishing business together. I don’t remember the details, but it could well be true.
He explains how I was very energetic and jumping all over the room – that sounds about right. As Gyles says: “I looked at this monkey and I thought to myself: ‘you’re going nowhere mate’.” I said to him we should leave school and start right away, which Gyles thought was a ridiculous idea. He wanted to finish his A Levels and go to university, which I had no interest in whatsoever. I said: “Let’s get out there, let’s get going!”
We did not go into business together, but our paths have crossed over the years. I went on to start Virgin, while Gyles has had a distinguished and eventful career as a broadcaster and writer.
But I must question Gyles’ final tale. He claims that when he is heading onto the tube, my Bentley pulls up and the electric window goes down and I raise a single finger to him in greeting for old times’ sake. As Susy rightly questions on the podcast, that is quite an embellishment. I don’t have a Bentley and assure you I don’t drive around giving people the finger. But next time I see you Gyles, I’ll make an exception!
Head over to Something Rhymes With Purple to listen to the show and thanks for a lovely trip down memory lane.