Money: Question time - TIM MARTIN.
TIM MARTIN, 44, chairman and founder of pub company J D
Wetherspoon, talks to JOIA SHILLINGFORD... DO you like a drink? YES. I
liked the pub I drank in so much as a student that I bought it. I hated
studying law and the manager of the pub hated running it, so I bought
out his lease. WHAT'S your favourite drink? ABBOTT ale and Butcombe
bitter. WHAT do you think about 24-hour pub opening plans? IT'S the
right thing for the country. We get a lot of tourists and they are
baffled to be put out on the street at 11pm. WILL this encourage people
to drink to excess? NO, it will stop them binge drinking before 11pm. I
don't believe it will increase the overall levels of alcohol sold.
WHAT'S your favourite pub? THE Imperial in Exeter. It's near
where I live and it's a listed building with a five-acre beer
garden. WHAT are you most proud of? A TEAM that's full of ideas. We
have broken lots of new ground like introducing all-day menus in pubs.
We were also the first to have no smoking areas in all our pubs.
WHAT'S the hardest thing you've had to do? CONVINCE the Bank
of Scotland to lend me the money to buy my third pub. Eventually, I did,
and it was a huge leap forward. WHAT'S your advice for
entrepreneurs? BE patient, be persistent, listen, listen again and
retain a sense of humour. WHO'S your hero? SAM Walton of Wal-Mart,
who built the biggest retailer in the world from scratch, starting in
1962, but stayed a nice man. WHAT would do if you were Tony Blair?
PROTECT savings and pensions by staying out of the euro, which the
Government doesn't understand and which will leave us with a
devalued currency like the German Mark in the 1920s. WHAT'S your
perfect holiday? ONE involving long walks along the Cornish coastal
paths. WHAT'S your favourite film? SOME Like It Hot starring
Marilyn Monroe, because it's funny. I don't like heavy films.
WHAT'S your favourite food? THAT'S the hardest question
because I like it all. It would have to be Singapore Mee, a dish with
noodles and seafood mixed together.