Fire In The Belly – The Peter Duke Life Story with Mighty Pete

– Hello and welcome to Fire in the Belly Today we’re having a self made EP, and we’re joined by Peter Duke, good afternoon, Peter – Good afternoon Pete Yes, how are you keeping well? – I am keeping excellent I must say this whole COVID thing is interesting times, let’s say interesting time, so – It certainly is It’s making us have to think out of the box a wee bit, eh? – We also stretch our wings about you know, so tell me, Peter, who are you and what are you doing? – My name is Peter Duke, and I described myself as a mobile refuse receptacle cleansing operative, which most people wouldn’t have a clue what that is But it’s basically I wash people’s wheelie bins And I’ve been doing that for 27 years now – Oh, wow that’s fantastic It’s a great way It’s a great business, why not? – Well, yeah, it’s not long ago No, I can’t really figure out how I really thought about it. I think it was along the lines of that there People get their cars wants to get windows gardens They have housekeepers coming in They’ve had people come into their house to clean their cars And I looked around I thought there’s nobody doing bins I think that’s really high stars from a small seeds when it’s in my head and I looked into it, to think my parents were too pleased with having given me a grammar school education, and then go ahead and wash people’s wheelie bins, but I convinced them that was a major, shall we say My aunt at the time, mentioned that she knew somebody who got her bins washed So amazingly, my mother as other two changed slightly because somebody knew somebody and I met managed to get that gentleman’s name and the details, contacted him and ended up in Staffordshire for a week with him Basically helped me guide me and I came back and set up and haven’t looked back since really – I’m looking forward to hear more about this Tell me before we get into what is Fire in the Belly mean to you – I’ve been thinking about that since then to discuss during this interview, Fire in the Belly, really develop questions and answer to be honest, I think my Fire in the Belly is to take opportunity, as I call it, when it comes along, if a door opens for you go through it, because you have no idea what other doors are gonna open for you But always remembering to leave that door open behind you, because you might want to go back So leave options open, I suppose And the Fire in the Belly is for me is always looking for something new Always looking for something to challenge myself And that’s what’s always guided me through my process has taken the opportunities if that sort of answers your question, – Yeah, it does. I mean, it listens to different different things for different people You know, a lot of people say it’s passion, but I love what they’re taking opportunities is always a good one – Yeah, I find it was certainly guided me in many different ways And if I hadn’t said yes, to those doors in front of me, then I wouldn’t have had half the fun and meet half the people I have So I’ve been very lucky – Oh, brilliant. So tell me this take us right back then So where are you from originally and where were you born? – Well, – family – I am born and bred in Belfast I was born not in the Heisman Stranglers oh dang was Belfast City Hospital And but yes, my parents lived in the Stranglers road in Belfast where my grandfather had a confectionary in tobacconists And just at the top of Korean gardens, if anybody knows that area is no Bob and Burke’s coffee shop on this fabulous road and that’s great fun because it means that they can go there sit in the upstairs room Bob and birds have a cup of coffee and remember having Christmases in that very room, which is grateful and most people can’t do that So that’s some fun I have I can bring friends with me and we can reminisce about this as well We used to sit in the fire was in the corner there and but yes, it was brought up in astronomers road above the shop And my mother and father worked in the shop alone My father was a teacher when my grandfather passed so it was handed on to us and I went to inst Marlowe, which is the profanity school within inst around Belfast academical institution And my father also taught at that school, which was interesting, but I think the headmaster had to work not to put us in the same class for too long Like my dad only ever taught me when they had to do a substitute teacher for my original teacher, because I’m sure it could have got quite volatile at times (laughs) Not easy to teach her some So yes, I was there I must say I enjoyed the confectioner So it was very nice been able to get access to sweets and I’m afraid my sweet of choice then was Lyons music jams And I was I still have a weakness for I must say. (laughs) So it has I haven’t like grown up and I don’t wish to so yeah – That was interesting So did you have interest, what subject did your father teach? – He was primary school So he covered most of the sorry I said the curriculum and we talked about who’s always

Primary School Hands up, then being Vice Principals Cliftonville primary school and Belfast Cliftonville road And then headmaster of his own school which was lovely for him, and Bally Henry and Glen Gormley And he was the headmaster for 25 or 30 years or more and loved it And the teachers and staff loved him, he just has a great way with people and real gentleman, a real nice guy, you know, I’m lucky to be his son to be honest – Well, fair play So it’s obviously a personal personable characteristics then that sort of got normal people really was it? – Yes, I think very much so a he doesn’t suffer fools gladly, but it would take a lot of effort to make them bark shows a real real character Like for instance, one of the nice things I fondly remember is that would go to take us to school in the morning after opening the shop, and then come home in the afternoon and do another couple of hours in the shop And then an evenings go to Queen’s University to do an economics degree at night Now why on earth he ever did, bringing up three kids as well I just have so much admiration for the man to be able to do that And he got an honours degree in economics through it all So amazing achievement And that was nice for me as a young school boy to be at his graduation at Queens, which was lovely has a bit memory So yeah – Just what what sort of encouraged him to go back and do economics, you know? – It’s not I have no real idea because I don’t think it has much bearing on his teaching I never really asked him which is probably terrible of me not to ask that question I know he’s in a nursing home his memories, not the greatest and I honestly don’t think I get a the answer I would be looking for even if I was denied, genuine I don’t know I really don’t know because economics is not an easy subject by any means You know, it’s so involved, it’s mathematics It’s got equations got everything involved in it You know, working to the populations and oh, so quite a complicated and the ticket to a degree University was, yeah, they’re all they’re easier degrees I would imagine you could take all economics, that’s for sure – Absolutely Yeah Interesting – Yeah Sadly I have. I don’t even know if there’s anybody alive I could ask Yeah, sadly I ask one question No, I will probably get the answer to – There you go. So then talk to us about your mother who was working the shop full time then – Yes, mum used to work as secretary for very large construction company in Northern H.J Martin And she would have been a PA I think to the director for that for a while And then I suppose when the kids when we came along, and she wanted to be with us, so basically took time off from that and then I suppose my grandfather had passed away So the shop then needed more care and more attention, and my parents would have moved into that direction the more so that’s for mom probably would have given up work, but I was still young at the time, too I can’t remember exactly when that time would have been I was born in 50s So early 60s, mom would have probably given up the store looking after us and looking after the shop is done when they go to work And then then basically a housekeeper to help in the shop and also help them in the house with us as well And Mrs. Mulholland lovely lady so going back so yeah, mom would have been on the shelf for most of my lifetime You know, I can remember – When obviously hard working parents both them in your dad sort of almost doing it doing like a triple shift your mom as well looking after you guys working as well if not P.A so hard working (mumbles) – Very, very hard And the difficulty was the shop never closes especially when you live in it That was the other problem I remember many a time Would you believe on Christmas Day The side door our house was the shop was 46 and we were 48 And even to this day, I can still remember the telephone number 666214 (mumbles) 66621 crazy how you remember that thanks for that And I don’t even remember on Christmas day that say door knocking and a customer asking could they get a couple of bottles of lemonade because there’s only two mixers for their party and again you got to think if you’re saying no there was three other shops on the confectioner shop on the road and you think yourself you know when you lose that customer if you say no, what do you do So living above a business is never a good idea – Well, okay, so you literally were immersed into at the same time – Shocking yeah And all the crazy things that happened to like we had there was a backdoor to the entry below our heist and the back door would have been about four feet above the entry, just the way it was built, happened to be that way And we leave the back door open for the big man every now and again to come and take the bins and next thing we find out that the local not thugs but characters shall we say young characters would be coming around on a regular basis to return lemonade bottles

because it was two and six to a six year offer (mumbles) Half crona was always excellent say six pounds that’s what it was all 60 for returning your lemonade bottle And of course what they were doing was nipping in the back yard when the back door was open and stealing the empty bottles to bring them back round to get their money off until my father fork died why they were coming in so often And we’re trying to stop that but yeah, things like that would have happened in the shop and but there are some characters come in with a lot of characters coming in for a cigarette in those days cause that would have opened a packet of ten or whatever and sold and singly Well, there was a penny book of matches, and the local boys maybe didn’t have a lot of money would have been very happy to get the cigarette and way off the left – Oh wow So did you guys ever work in the shop or where you kept separate? – No, we would have done it later on as we got a bit older and we would have helped out of serving the time, but most of the time, yeah, we would have done Not great deal ’cause there was always somebody there to do And but yes, we’ll help stock the shelves and undo the odds There would be a bell that would ring in the back of the house where we were sitting And that would let us know there was somebody coming in So we could nip down There was a stair, there was a doorway with my memory serves, right and about two steps down into the shop area And that’s as of the counter was just in front of that And the ice cream and often the cigarettes were behind And yeah, so sort of a net or you ship to the front From my memory It’s hard to remember back because we left there and about 72 I think they’re both so it said it’s going back a bit – And while I was filming, we were up to about the age of 14 then if I’ve done my math right – Either by us Yes Yeah. I think that would have been therapy Yeah – So what was the shop call a lot of interest – It was called Anderson’s, which is my middle name My name is Peter Anderson Duke So I was called after my mother’s side of the family, my brother who passed away sadly a couple of years ago, his middle name was Winder after my father’s name, so he would die was Robert Winder Duke And my brother was Duke Winder And then of course, my sister then came along And I think what give her her third name, they decided, rather than have a writing between the two families She was just called Pamela Jim So she’s not related to her name doesn’t really tell the other families So I think that was to keep the peace probably (laughs) (mumbles) be like – Well, so when you get to the third one, you’re like, yeah, okay, unless you could do something that’s gonna be even Let’s just leave it – Exactly So I think that’s my sister got Pamela Jim, she’s referred to as gene So, – Oh, great So, much of a spread between you guys – Not a great deal That would have been two years, I suppose roughly between the two of us I’m the eldest, my brother would have been the middle one And my sister’s youngest, so I’m the one that had to take all the flack cause they say growing up (laughs) – Poor you Poor you – I know, I know I don’t rub shoulders to take it’s okay – Love it, love it So curious then to talk to me about about school you know, how was schooling for you in your younger years – Brand new school was fine I probably wouldn’t have been the most studious character in school, I seem to be able to apply myself more nai than I ever did at school I didn’t see that I suppose the point of school I was more manual I enjoyed arts enjoyed making things and doing things with grammar school probably didn’t fit in with my abilities, maybe as much But still, I’m not knocking it I greatly appreciate the time I spent it inst and the people I met and the people I still know, enjoyed my rugby and my training and I left after O level because I knew O levels were a step too far for me, really So I got right into as I always say the University of life very quickly at the age of 16 But I must say I enjoyed my time At Inst, I enjoyed my, the people I met and the contacts and things you know, it’s I suppose it’s snobby to say it does something for you, but it certainly it gives you a Yeah, it gives you something out of life It definitely does – So, tell me what are the school reports say, what would we have seen – Could do better (laughs) I think that’s them being polite because, again, the problem I had was everybody knew my dad So I was, I wouldn’t say I was a marked man, but all the staff would have known of me through my father, so not the name Duke was very readily accessible, unfortunately And I wouldn’t as I say I wouldn’t have applied myself greatly in school And many a teacher I remember one of my teachers, whose nickname was Barney Rubble, because he looked a wee bit like Barney Rubble was name was actually in Richie and acts as fun as they owned a Ritchie’s chip shop on the Angus a castle railroad there That was a chase on several times, but he had that

And he said Duke if you pass your O level physics exam, he says I will either walk up the shankel with a tricolour on my back or Dinah falls with a union jack the choice will be yours and I funnily enough I did get my physical O level but I never bought the flag for him or as I should have done As a president as I left school you know (laughs) – Love it Love it So what subjects very particular subjects that stood out to me or— – Art I got an A in Arts at O level so that was my crowning glory I enjoyed English and now’s a wee bit chemistry was alright, and if I had applied myself, I don’t consider myself to be unintelligent in anyway, I just didn’t have that I don’t know how do you describe keenness to learn or keenness to read or doing whereas now I quite enjoy reading I quite enjoy learning I look things up as quick as I can There’s something catches my attention And looking up and researching on Google, which is great to have that access by which we wouldn’t have had so readily in school You know, again, the fun of looking up something now is so much easier than it would have been to go through trawl through 20 books, maybe to find it back then So I think in a way technology has made education possibly easier, more enjoyable in certain ways than it would have been I’m not making that as an excuse by any means, because it’s all we had back then It’s all I knew, but certainly I didn’t apply myself and certainly my reports would have been could do better feeling not doing well and can’t keep the attention this tension span would be short Nice guy, but doesn’t try hard or something like that So I think that would sum me up pretty quickly – Nice I like it I like it. So what was keeping you busy then? I mean, what was it outside of school activities or what was your thing? – Yeah, well, rugby would have been my main sport, which I thoroughly enjoyed playing Yeah, I suppose I would have been a reasonable player, I was lucky enough to play with some great guys who ended up going on to bigger and better things than me certainly, but funnily enough, they were never selected above me in school So if I maybe stayed on to do A levels my rugby career might have been totally different So while I was ’cause when you leave school at 16, and you drop off the radar very quickly, we’re always concerned unless you join a senior club and then you’re not going to get really notice So unless you’ve played on the first 15 schools cop or something, and you’re lost to that for so again, at the age of there’s no way I would have done that because I didn’t stay on But one of the guys I fondly remember a guy called David Irwin ended up captaining Ireland and going on to bigger and better things And then, of course, Keith Cross who played on the wing as well Colin Patterson, I played with it and Estonians for a while a couple times, who was on the British lions and lions come after many years So I’ve been very lucky to be associated with guys I haven’t played with them You know, and even even considered to call them friends you know, which is lovely – Oh, wow So what position did you play? – Ah said most of the backs really, scrum half would have been no, I enjoyed most because you were involved So back and on the wing certainly a skill level you could be quite lonely You can always get involved in the game, but as you get up and more senior ranks, you’re certainly involved all the time So I played Scrum half out half played centre, and never fast enough for the wing and fell back a couple of times But again, fullbacks quite quick position to be in So Scrum half white half would have been the two main options which I thoroughly enjoyed – Oh, tell me, did your brother and sister follow a similar path yourself or what? Where did they go nowhere – No, my sister when she went to university, she was a brainy one on the family My brother I didn’t move left after O level And my brother was an Estonian for a short period of time And I jokingly say he left before he was kicked out And he then went and joined method a so that was a rivalry within the high school too though very much so So he went on to MST and I think he enjoyed it immensely because there were girls so they always seem to enjoy that side he was always very seemed to be attracted to lots of women I don’t know why I couldn’t see it myself but I suppose that’s what brothers do They don’t see that But and then he would have been very much a hockey man and a very, very strong hockey person In fact, he was collegians fixture sexually for 25 years, which is quite undertake I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anybody do that as a club for that like the time before And of course, at because of that he was so well known through hockey circles And he was coaching He coached girls hockey, typical him girls hockey, of course, yeah He coached hockey to quite a high level He played quite a high level too And he had a devil may care attitude I would have loved to things came naturally

to him in sport for some reason And like he had a trial for Ulster cricket one point, I think And unbeknownst to him, he didn’t realise the gays were there to checkmate And he just sat in the boundary not showing much interest and then I don’t think he did get selected, but it was just like water off a duck’s back to me, I didn’t worry too much and things like that But it did come easy to him and hockey did as well And then he was also on the fringes of Olympic hockey, he had got an opportunity to go off with a junior squad for Ireland under 21 And then they were talking about possibly the next stage without for him would have been a Junior Olympic trip or something So but unfortunately, he died and the tragic accident and that meant that he couldn’t fulfil that sadly So, but he was so well respected that there was more than five people turned up for his funeral And that was the day that hurricane in Belfast was a couple of years ago So for people to travel from Dublin all over, that shows you how much they liked him You know, it was amazing to see that (mumbles) And eventually, the collegians very kindly put him up for the Belfast Telegraph awards, and put them up for the unsung hero award And he was the first one ever to win it posthumously, a couple of years ago So I went and received that and his honour, which was a lovely thing to have to do on his behalf When he passed away, he’s only 56 So a lot of life ahead of him, but so I have to do that living for him – (mumbles) Let’s see Yeah So is it always a tragedy? – It’s not easy Yeah – So tell me, I mean, 16 years of age O levels under your belt, where we often – A couple anyway, so it was a couple more done after that But anyway, we won’t go into that in too much detail Thank God Nobody asked too much about my previous record Nowadays, when I’m working in things We push out onto the carpet and hide as best we can I think I’ve graduated better in the University of life probably I would have done a University of schooling or anything like that But anyway, it hasn’t done me any harm and I can still laugh I’ll hold my head up, you know? Yes, well, I left school and because of my drawing skills, it always fancied being an architect So a job came up in those days careers basically, were a teacher who maybe was my uncle careers teacher was a chemistry or physics teacher who did the careers on the side So whereas nowadays is taken an awful lot more seriously sort of the question would be no, what do you like? I don’t really know what I want to do at 16 What do you fancy do? I don’t really know and so well, fancy (mumbles)? Well, here’s the guy you make go and see or go into the Job Centre and go this route So it wasn’t great advice, but I find a job somewhere and it was a the Job Centre Actually, I went into and it was a job looking for a trainee draughtsman So I applied and got it and I started there The prices some of the things five pounds a week at the beginning and start learning or doing a small drawing officer system So basically going over drawings, checking them, checking their measurements and stuff, and going over the archives, the other architect doing measurements and having him do measurements So that was entertaining but I decided quite quickly that like a university, the architecture degrees long enough as it’s like seven years old, the longest you can do I thought to myself, if I’m going to go to be a drawing office assistant, well then to get anywhere as an architect, it’s gonna take me a lifetime before so I look for other opportunities The next one came along was working as a junior sprog, as they call it back in those days for Isaac (mumbles) as a salesman So and the benefit of that this would have been a couple of years so my salary had gone from five to like 10 I think, in the architect’s office, and Barack news, we’re offering 20 So double my salary and I thought Yeah, sounds good to me as a young guy rugby and all the rest of things I was doing it about 17 or 18 So 20 pounds a week was a big difference and also the possibility of getting into sales and selling cars with the commission side of it So I joined that users as they say, a junior sprog and my job then was to D wax cars because in those days any car I think we still do new cars coming in and transporters we’ve been covered in wax to protect them so we d wax with a steam cleaner and clean them up and have them ready for the showroom and the sales team And so I started off there worked my way up into sales slowly and then they decided I suppose with my background where I came from, that I would be good to send down to the BMW Ferrari and Donegal pass so and most people most the sales team in Lisbon road where I was saw that as a promotion, because you were selling higher for higher price cars So your commissions, so yeah, so it was it was quite a feather in my cap to get moved promoted to the BMW side of things which I loved

and Ferrari saw them for a while And yeah, I must have enjoyed my time there Back then it was a bit fancy being in sales now because it’s so much target orientated Or back then it wasn’t just so pressurised that it was quite enjoyable And we had some great crack with the rest of the guys in the team, you’ll meet him for coffee, having the excuse that we had as a demonstration to do with a client we end up in three bears normal route for a quick coffee team meeting as well as we call it, and then back into work again Don’t think he got away with that nine days and car sales, – That’s great, so I’m going to go from the D waxing to the you know, BMW Cars and Ferrari cars That’s quite a quite a shift across really – Well, it wasn’t it maybe wasn’t that quick It was probably over a year or two And I moved into car sales into B and to Volkswagen Audi, which was on the has been rolled in there The old original people are still around So that shows you how longer it was, and so I worked my way there in the sales team And then the opportunity came for a sales rep to go and they decided I would be the one to move time, just small shorter than Donegal pass, which the basis for the short end would have been very small, I suppose it would have been an old couple of terraced houses, originally knocked into a business at time, but there and then they moved to the big showroom in Bedford Street, which was nice And unfortunately, there was a gentleman I had worked with in this burn road, a salesman who didn’t perfectly get along with and want to move to BMW, it was great because he wasn’t there So I was able to get almost the job and then move to BMW and lo and behold, he was moved there as well So it got to the stage where it was better for me to move, shall we say? Because he wasn’t going to be moved Sadly thing about him he was an amazing salesman could sell snow to the Eskimos No, problem, but the difficulty didn’t quite have the idea how to manage people And he really he shouldn’t be kept as a salesman, because he was learning more than some of the directors McCarthy was selling And they thought without experience, then they’d be better salesman and really he wasn’t savvy they just picked the wrong guy and that’s what ended up me having to go because you just at loggerheads It wasn’t a good scenario, shall we say? – Would you be in a little bit headstrong by chance? – No Well, I explained exactly what happened What happened was I have sold a car to a very, very successful business among directors came in one day and bought a car off me just happened to be that I was there that day that was a five to eight a BMW was 20,000 back in the late 70s, but 70 it was a lot of money So all the paperwork done everything organised And he wanted the car on the Friday to take his family way to Donegal for the weekend because obviously had a house up there and he thought BMWs of the company before, but not with me So in a way it was reputable enough And again, he was a director of a very successful company in (mumbles) So I arrived on the Friday afternoon, ready to do the deal And he handed me a check for 2,500 or something, which basically was a deposit I said, “What was this?” He said, “That’s deposit.” I said, “Hang on.” I’m here for the 20 grand, I can’t let this car I can’t take that check back And he says, “But the finances arranged through our company.” I said, “Well, look, we mentioned finance to me.” So I was in a situation do I take the car away with me, knowing his family and all ready to go to Donegal will try to be in the office waiting to go practically, and possibly lose that seal Or knowing that this was a reputable businessman to let them have the car, put the check in the thing and then check out the finance when I get back So I made that decision to go ahead Didn’t phone up, didn’t check in because I thought Hang on, I’m an adult here Supposedly make that decision So I made that decision come back and this particular gentleman asked had everything sorted I said, “Yes, it’s all fine.” All sorted, no problem, got on the phone and check about the finance Typically my luck, the guy who dealt with that particular business’s finance was off for the day and wouldn’t be until Monday So I couldn’t even check ever been passed and okayed So a panic over the weekend, Monday came and my boss had done some checking himself and realised that I’ve only received a deposit So he basically suspended me for a week instantly didn’t even give me the chance to go in and check But everything was okay And it was fun to go back I said, “Look, I’m not going to work I’ve because I took that risk for you.” Blah, blah, blah He got on the blow things and all that So at that point, didn’t argue with the guy I just felt it was a bit hard to be sent home for a week And I don’t believe anybody in the company that ever happened to you before You know, I think it could have been handled differently But that’s not I wasn’t the boss so it wasn’t up to me and so that was the final straw

I just thought no, really, he’s not going to be happy with me at anything I do he’s going to be watching like a hawk And I just thought this makes more sense to be an adult you got to make, you know, got to think, I suppose is the letter of the law I did wrong But would I have been also wrong if it lost that sale? You know what trouble we’ll get an answer Possibly, I made the wrong decision But I still stand over it thinking that I knew the guy, there’s no way he’s going to steal the car You know, that wasn’t gonna happen So what’s the worst could happen was no finance would take another day or two to come in So I took that risk, and it ended up with me moving on, shall we say? (laughing) – Very different times to me What age were you at that time? – What was that? 70, 20, 20? So again, that’s a lot to take on for a young guy but I think being 20 back then is a lot younger than being 20 today, if that makes sense I think or maybe we’re more I was more naive back then than a 20 year old would be today, if that makes sense – But it’s very, very different times to really it’s as you say, 20 year olds now Well, the internet exposes everyone to a lot more as well – Absolutely. Well, it would have it would have been easy for me to send a quick text message to ask is this okay, you know what I couldn’t do back then You know, can I get on the phone? Can I make a phone call? Yeah, I possibly made the wrong choice But I still stand over thinking that no, I had to stand up more to suit my life and make a choice And I think I made the right one. (laughs) – It was interesting that you were able to call off the car the making models instantly There seems to be a bit of a fascination McArdle– – Suppose is stuck in my head is that particularly one up until not that long ago, I remember one of the first book waggon Volkswagen Golf they sold and every now and again I bumped into the lady hadn’t she wouldn’t have a clue up and they live Nikki Every night She lived up that way and every now and again No, that’s just you say that would have been 77 And they still bump into that lady who I recognise and every now and again, I say, “Do remember the golf I sold you.” Oh my god, it’s you, you know But I still remember that lady So you do remember some of the first one you sold the first Volkswagen, I can still remember the first Ferrari, I sold the GTX sort of target top on my commission was 113 times So you know, that was a lot of money back then So I still remember that one I remember the character I sold it to who’s nice He was a club owner in Belfast at the height of the troubles An awkward gentleman, shall we say? (laughs) And he’s not an evangelist in America, which is a very, I have my doubts as to why he’s an evangelist We won’t go into that (laughs) – I was gonna say best selling Ferrari isn’t a name BMW, as I’m sure you must have met some amazing people – Yes, I met quite a lot of successful business people in Bella met some strange characters too, there was a I didn’t actually mean it wasn’t my seal But I remember when I was in Lisbon road where the New Yorker Co Op is known there’s been just over the fire station that used to be Isaac Agnew (mumbles) And the co op sets of backers, Marks and Spencer Lee not sits back from the road Well, that was our children And I remember a gypsy came in with his wife, and family And the car could only be described as the worst ashtray you could ever imagine From back to front and everywhere basically was just a rubbish tip And of course, nobody would talk to him but this one particular guy started talking to him He came in with cash and carry our bags to buy a brand new Mercedes So the car was ready and prepared and the wife and the family and all Kim dropped her off and the wife disappeared couldn’t figure out where she had gone She had gone down to the mechanics area of our shores Were all the repairs and all the preparations were done disappeared into the changing rooms there and wash your hair came back up with her hair tied back and still dripping the received the keys and the new car and drove off And that was it (laughs) So yes, we’ve had some car remember another situation where I was selling an XJS jag, a red one on them So I was taking that in as a as a trader XJS jag and he was buying a (mumbles) red, which was the light ready coloured BMW sports with cream leather upholstery, really a nice looking car And he was in the florist business and then moved into chip shops around Belfast I won’t say the name because you know, but he turned up in a carrier bag of cash I think the car was 21,000 and we owe them 10,000 throws XJ and the balance was about 11 and a half or something

Took me a long time to kinda 11 and a half thousand pounds in cash So things like another one, I fondly remember that the height of the troubles was delivering a Volkswagen van I think I can pick it up a beat up old car It was, yeah, something like that across the limestone road or somewhere across time I had delivered sort of later on, I think was the last day that eight o’clock at night So I was kind of again, I was given cash as the balance was about seven or 8000 times So I had to drive all the way back in this second hand car, through roadblocks through all the things to hate the troubles was seven and a half thousand pounds stashed under the seat I was just hoping that I wouldn’t get stopped and trying to explain why a 7000 planes were cash under the seat of a car, you know, so things like that So the height of the troubles which I never thought I thought about but looking back night Yeah it wasn’t the most sensible things today, but you did it (laughs) – Sure, there weren’t too many anti money laundering checks going on there and – I can’t say no, no Couldn’t say anything like that (laughs) – Tell us where you’re driving yourself – Yes, yes that that was a nice thing because the couple of teachers that because our showrooms and I was driving to town and stuff to deliver cars to up to Moscow to a place in North hard street in Belfast, it was another place we had a showroom sort of driven crap driving cars all about all it was great whatever I was able to toot the horn in a Porsche Ferrari at one of my teachers as I drove past who had said to will never amount to anything unbeknownst to them, they wouldn’t know if it was mine or not But still I was able to take wherever the suit looking the part is a driving pass So that gave me great pleasure – Love it Love it So you’ve moved on then from Isaac, I can use them wherever you have to them – There was several jobs in between, because I really, for quite a long time I didn’t really knew what I wanted I think the sales that has annoyed me in that what I found was that you learned all these courses, but I went on several BMW sales courses which were brilliant But the trouble was when you come back to the showroom, there was nobody there to put you through what you learned There was nobody to say right let’s put into practise So you were very much on your own And you’re always pandering to the guy above which he didn’t get on So it took me a while to find out else for a while So ended up in kitchen seals for a while I think that goes back to the drawing office days I ended up designing for a very expensive German kitchen company called Paul and Paul, which I think are still going but you know, back then this was 83 there abouts I remember designing a kitchen for a company called the director of a company called farm fed chickens be a stop in Portrush And at the time, his host backed on to on the greens on the road Portrush So a nice big hose just beside a forest remember it very well I can take you to the host and I designed the kitchen in there was 26,000 pounds Imagine in 1883, the equivalent of that must be 100,000 today, like it wouldn’t be far off So that was astronomical And that was fun Because in those days with all the drawings had to be done by hand, there was no cam card like the half today, there was no pushing a button But dimensions, up comes three dimensional pictures, we were doing all our drawings, three dimensional drawings doing them from different aspects of the customer to see what it would look like from the kitchen window, only leg from the dining room door or the back door So that was three joints and had to be done all in perspective But obviously, there has to be a cut off time as to the amount of joins you could do Of course, if somebody wanted a new draw front, that meant we had to change the drawing to change the drawer front or the worktop, or if they wanted to, instead of a covered one of the three drawer unit, we then had to go back to the drawing and take the three drawer and put it in a cupboard or take it or vice versa So that was time consuming whereas now you just push a button But it was great fun as well Great fun during that meeting again, lovely people I think so far the threads what I’ve been doing is people that’s if you work with people on people like you will that that’s part of the 90% of the seal You know, and that’s what I find – Would you say it was at the sales side you enjoyed or was it the actual doing side? I mean, which was more, – I suppose in the enjoyed the sales side, I enjoyed meeting the people And I suppose the part I didn’t enjoy was the fact that it put all that work in and they can still say no, because it might have gone through a slightly cheaper kitchen or, again, we were the top of the tree like, we were high and so you were, there’s not many people wanted to bid 26,000 pound kitchens into houses And we did have a cheaper range called gold rife But again, that was because we are we opened the showroom and Abbey centre And again, I often think you need to open showrooms where your catchment is you’re better opening up, probably a shorter like Pokemon pony or in a bike route where you’ve got or the antrum road or the moon road where

you have that clientele, but the RV Centre wouldn’t have been the clientele really for a lot of 26,000 kitchens So that was a struggle there and eventually it closed down ’cause they just weren’t getting the business But I enjoyed that I enjoyed meeting the people that joined the drawing side (mumbles) And then I moved from that into insurance for a while, which I enjoyed, because I knew that whenever I left some of these hosts are probably left and in a better condition than when I arrived So that was always a very pleasing part of it And I worked in petrol stations have worked for Harry Caray, which was a friend of again my father I told him and he also the connections that I’ve had through grammar school and my father have been that’s open doors And again, we’ll go back to my thing of taking the opportunity when it comes And that was my first sort of big opportunity because I was working in with Harry Caray delivering clothing and that was good fun too There was no pressure It was just working with Julian and his father, one great story I had the father of Harry Caray, John I can’t remember but Mr Caray anyway he started the whole business off because he went to skips fine skips and stuff being so late so we could sell that no curtain remnants and things and yes he was banned off cuts of stuff and selling in the shop very clever just finding something that somebody wanted and selling it that was what he was doing And then I expanded to them and the big business that have no but his father didn’t suffer fools gladly and I remember when he was telling us that them the Batman was due to come into the shop and roll Avenue Now the Batman wouldn’t be something that Mr. Caray would have appreciated very much shall we say? So the staff award whatever you do, don’t tell my dad so find this suited gentleman the briefcase come in Mr. Caray was there and I had an awful habit of saying to the customers when they come in what do you think about their love it but what do you think of the price or is too dear (mumbles) knock down the price if the customer felt was too deep talk about the 50% of the price it was it was gonna cost but he didn’t care as long as the customers happy So this gentleman came and he kept asking to stuff is that is that guy always here to see really it’s okay don’t worry sorted so he went off to another shop and then came back I would have an hour later this guy was still winning is this guy with four stops it’s okay Mr Kato please do Wait a second So if 32 by two shop moving tick price tags about again causing mayhem eventually just went over Excuse me sir, can I ask what your when he says yes, I’m the fat man I’m here to see what he grabbed his briefcase and the Batman by the backside and through my to the shop I’m really panicked for about three days later thinking he was going to be arrested Oh, there was gonna be, big fine, but whatever way happened got sorted But yeah, so that was one of the great stories I had there But working for them A friend of mine from the Rugby Club who again you will really and all the connections which are great, but working there a guy called add Logan’s stop me one day and time and say, “Peter, I have an interview for you.” I said, “Come to clue what he was told him.” I’ve never talked to me about an interview He said one of my contacts is the manager of the Liverpool building society in Belfast and they’re looking for an assistant manager Hi, cheers first started laughing And I said a few expletives on bleep bleep bleep What the bleep would they want a bleep bleep interview me for? And he said, “Please, look, I’ve set it up.” “I’ve told them about you.” And I said, “Well, out of courtesy to you for going out.” I’ll certainly go but please don’t hold your breath There’ll be nothing come to this With my background and my education and everything else There’s just no chance So went for the interview, short story, I ended up in Liverpool to the head office where I was interviewed by the head and the area manager And by the end of the day, I was back home as the assistant manager little to Billings is it so quite a change from being delivery boy for Harry Caray to within a week or two of that systemized Liverpool billing society and asking me what paper I wanted every morning with my morning coffee So forth driving a 1600s gL Capri which was the company card had been the previous managers, and just simply I got it as a company car And at the age of I don’t know what it would have been 25 maybe So, quite an opportunity But again, that’s going back to that door As I say, taking that over to when that door opens, taking the opportunity and seeing where that I honestly didn’t once I got on that plane to Liverpool, I was not believing I was going to my parents very bought very kindly bought me a nice overcoat, a briefcase and earrings to look the part of the new suit So they looked apart And to this day, I don’t know what they saw me but he saw something so I wasn’t an easy job I can tell you because we were selling my job was to sell investment opportunities to solicitors accountants,

you know in those days would have been handling clients money from settlements of estates or some devices and drown leave it with them limited put in a building society for a while they aren’t of interest so my job was to sell our products to the likes of them to get investment in but again, we were two or 3% lower than the Halifax or the nationwide so really up against it but I managed to get business and unfortunately the company then pulled out of northern Alberta and became the Birmingham Midshires and only it didn’t open and it wasn’t anymore So again, that was me looking for other employment again but great opportunity and as a nice to have on my CV – You seem to have risen to the top of you know, any sort of sector you’ve gone to whether it be you know, as a good news you got into the breweries and you’re even the kitchen, you don’t just go for a plain old kitchen, you go for the top end German – Yeah, looking back I never thought of that Yeah I don’t know why It’s just again, it’s that door opened up That was the company that was looking for somebody So when I sat there, the guy said, “Can you do perspective drawing?” I have some idea what a perspective drawing was So I did a hand drawing there in front of him He likes it, (mumbles) yeah, and they said I suppose my background, had a big part of that my upbringing, the fact that I was capable of articulating maybe in a better way than some So it helped me in good stead as it because even on the odd occasion of going back to my bed washing, there’s the old person who say, “Oh, you don’t sound like a bin washer.” If that so I don’t know what I sound like but particularly, you don’t often hear yourself talk So but comes across, so maybe that’s been part of my grammar school education But and I honestly believe it comes from my parents and they, and my father’s my parents peers and those people, I offered it, you know, people say, “Oh, you’re taught so much at school about manners.” I said, “No, my manners come from my parents.” My, I think I’m a gentleman and the way I treat people I stand on the outside of the ladies, as we walked on a road or the road side, I opened doors for my stand up And when people come into a room and there’s a group of us at a dinner table, if there’s a meal on that female joins, I stand up until the lady is seated stall, things like that, which I think we’re losing maybe in the greater scheme of things and again, when they do it with younger women walking down the street decent people like that They look at me as well Imagine me having a conversation as we cross the road they move to the other side what they’ll have gone and I said no, I’m just walking on the outside Did you, will you do enough? And you know, things like that But that has been always taught to me by my parents and watching what my parents friends do and does in a creative people and I think treating people respect can take you so many places that you can’t believe And I think maybe that’s what I’ve been able to do with all these businesses I’ve shown respect I’ve come across as, probably boil down to being a good bluffer (laughs) – It’s true, because I mean, like a lot of things it doesn’t, you don’t necessarily carry the skill set with you, but if you carry the tools with you and as you say, you come across politely, I mean even manners, respect, being able to speak properly That’s a lot and a lot of companies will actually want that They can put the stripes on you, but you got to be the right animal in the first place – But I think in all things that we do, and I think you and I know that (mumbles) we work with called Pat Slattery, who’s a great motivator and a great mentor When you hear him talk, it’s very important that you treat everybody with respect and that starts with you, yourself If you treat yourself with respect, then that knocks on as well But everybody you meet, if you treat with respect that comes back, you know and I think that comes across in all the jobs I’ve had as I am a front face if you like, if I smile when people see me then they’ll smile back If I’m a grumpy soon so then people will be grumpy to me Most people will know me that my signature is Peter Duke with a smiley And that’s all my legal documents and has been for years And even to the length of when I’ve had the same documents for my brother in passing and things like that I still put the smiley on, I might put it a grimace because it’s that type of thing, but I still put it and then my reaction I get from whenever I sign checks or assign my lodgement docs in the bank to see that person smile Wow Well, that’s the only smile they’ve had all day That’s brilliant I even say on my tax return but I always put a grimace and a couple of tears rolling down the cheek or not one so That’ll give somebody a laugh at the other end but but that

has no become my signature, and it will be on everything I signed from my own legal documents, whatever And if people don’t like it, that’s too bad That’s not my problem But again, I think the fact that they show that and respect people and respect myself and come across as outgoing and open as well, maybe that’s why the these doors have opened for me is because I come across as being open Does that sort of explain it? I think it’s the best as best as I can explain, is that be open, be accommodating, be friendly, another that will take you places, especially sales If people can relate to somebody, will then they’ll do business with you If they can’t, they’ll move on to the next guy I’m not gonna do business, everybody I have to accept that But hopefully nine times out of 10 I will – I was curious, even the chapter you were saying about you know, with the scribing the tipsy you know and even coming in to purchase a car it’s like listen, you never know where someone’s coming from Years ago I was involved in a nightclub and I shop I was actually just working behind the bar the time and chap come in and got him a coffee you know as old the club was shot and we were just some maintenance stuff and give him a coffee and chatting away and I’ll ask him if I know who the owner is Mr. come from the cleaner, you know, and this be careful who you’re talking to, because you never quite know you know – 100% works in all walks of life And I have always had anytime I have to have money, which hasn’t been very often the monitor will base something fairly large I’ve had the cash in my pocket I’ve enjoyed going in looking rough, just waiting to see what the reaction will be And that you can wander around for some time before somebody will come over And I keep saying “Well, I’m gonna walk back out again” and I’ll go somewhere else until somebody comes I’d rather given the salesman the money, who shows respect and shows interested in me then weird for some comes to a walk into the fire And I had great pleasure and do not many occasion is taught me an awful lot But hang on, be courteous to everybody that doesn’t matter what they’re wearing, walk closer in who they are, and how they conduct themselves If you’re polite to them, the only time that they’re gonna overstep the mark is if they’re rude to you, then there’s you don’t deserve to take that because you haven’t shown rudeness to them Then you can say, Excuse me, sir, I don’t deserve that or whatever way you want to handle it But that’s the only time you change that attitude But yes, a suit of clothing And, of course the other way to some people come in with all the suits and all the things that are up that’s just blem bluster They don’t haven’t either, but you still have to give them the same respect Until you find out but yes, yeah, don’t judge a book by it’s cover – Absolutely – That works It’ll work for the rest of lifetime I think – I mean, fundamentally, we as humans, we haven’t changed that much you know the content and what’s going on maybe house but you know, principles we still like pleasing factories and respect as you said – 100%, 100% – Your sense of Liverpool building society? No, Birmingham Machar That’s left time – Yes Again, it’s hard to remember so far back, I worked in a couple of petrol stations Yeah, I work in Creighton’s in the night shift I remember doing that because the reason for that was the night shift was opponent or more than the day shift And I thought, well, not doing anything else I might as well do nights So I ended up there for three years doing nights And then a friend of mine for me during the day, and they say again, another contacts (mumbles), etc He worked for Mother’s pride, and every now and again to be short of a driver So at coincided quite nicely with me fitting my shift was from 11 to 7:11 in the morning, so it meant that they would fill the van for me and mother’s pride, which was in Botha road So it was a short distance to go from beta road to our Creighton’s to beta road from Philly So I went there, pick the van up and then did the reasons a lunchtime went to bed and then up again for 11 o’clock night shift and the odd time still was playing rugby I think to be able to fit the rugby in because my night shift started on a Sunday finish on a Friday night, Saturday and Sunday So it’s amazing when you’re young what you can fit in, I suppose a bit like got back to my father’s ethos that he was able to do You know, the things that he did, I didn’t find it difficult to do to go and do deliveries for bread until lunchtime and then go a couple of hours sleep and get up do the night shift again So I did that for about three years and then left turn on a coffee shop for a friend of mine again from reveal fact the brother of the chapter in mother’s pride So for him, I opened a coffee shop and run it until again, they had ideas of grandeur and things how it was gonna run They could see other people in coffee shops This is a great way for us to have our friends run and have coffee and so I think it lasts about two years before it just wasn’t making the profit in envisaged and again, stupid I it offered to pay me a small

salary, and then cash in hand And they stupidly say forget about the cash in hand until we make a profit I’m the sort of guy who can’t take something if it’s not there And I just thought, “No, we want to keep it open.” We want to keep it going as long as we can I even did cakes for even the bread bring in to try and keep the cost down, which I never charged them for, because I was concerned But the biggest problem was he employed a chef, we didn’t have the business for a chef on me And what I even say to Luke, to be honest, you should get rid of me, because the chef can handle the management side of it You don’t need to have us thinking for a while he did do that Because he was afraid that I just couldn’t drag the money out of it So I ended up working as brother had left mother’s pride, his own petrol station as a VC around working for him for a short term And that’s when the idea of the Benz came up That was working for him because I was on five minimum wage, but five, six times an hour working together Petrol station in on Clifton street just before Carlisle circus if anybody knows Belfast, and it wasn’t an easy place to work and I can tell you just beside unity flats, and but funnily enough, we never had any problem been from a different religious background to the majority of people living there, I would have been a Protestant and they would have been predominately Catholic But that never came into the issue funnily enough with under the owner of the petrol station, my friend John, he would have been the same and yet we got on well because I think we were bringing a service to the community And again, the vast majority of people in those areas are lovely people There’s only a very small minority of the problem as any of us know North now it’s a small minority called (mumbles) But I enjoyed my time there very much so but then I realised that if I could go and clean up in a to painter bin and did, four I was earning nearly double my hourly rate And if it took me 20 minutes, I could go home for the rest of it, so that’s starting to make me think, hang on, there’s possibly a business here, and nobody else was doing it So I looked into it And as I say, my parents, then I went across England, met the guy, and then decided I was gonna come back and start And I remember in those days, there was a thing called the lead you grant, which you could get this moved on several times since the edu, but it’s still there for people who want to go into business, but you have to go through hoops to get and I tried to get 1500 pounds or something And I managed to get nearly 1000 I had to go for a week’s course I don’t really know what in the end, but I went on the course anyway, because you got passed out at the end of it And that allows you to go and get the ground And I remember several times and putting us through the questionnaire of how do to your competitors did, how much do they charge? There are things that I my answer to all the time was, I don’t have any They don’t have any choice There is not the lecture but couldn’t understand this course (mumbles) you have been kidding I said I’m sorry, I can’t answer those questions I can’t give you the answer you want cause you’re not there So that was quite fun to (mumbles) that type of thing And I just felt it was a little bit used to me Because most people go into that had entrepreneurial skills has a sense of hide money and hider You know, you can’t really charge less than you’re making and so on So again, common sense to me And I think nowadays common sense seems to have disappeared I don’t ever remember learning common sense And I’m sure if I asked you, you probably never learn going to a class just was there We just have it. But I think a lot of kids today, and I think that’s because they’re inside on computer playing computer games and on technology more than we ever did We were practical We were right We were building things We were climbing trees We were working out how to get a bus to the other side of town and back And so yes, I got the grant and started my business And as I say 27 years old I’m still watching Ben’s So that’s I I got into that eventually as best thing I ever did, because it didn’t earn me a fortune because my attitude has always been if I earn enough in three weeks way work before, you know and as probably not a good philosophy, because I should have pushed it on and earned a lot more money but the beauty about it was it gives me time freedom It gives me enough money to cover my bills and allowed me to go through those open doors which eventually came to me and I at that time, I was doing amateur dramatics, and I got a few contacts which opened incredible doors for me Like we did a production of Greece in the arts theatre in Belfast, which is just off Botanic Avenue is not there, and nice to the building still there but sadly it’s not a theatre any more It was really sad because it was a lovely five 600 seater theatre, and it was perfect And we did probably one of the longest amateur runs of a musical ever done amateur company within three weeks I was as successful as the producer came to us and saying, Do another week I would pay us all

So again an amateur company being paid for doing a musical Fantastic But it wasn’t easy ’cause we would have been all of us would have been working So we’d come in from the day’s work, go into the theatre by six o’clock get ourselves ready for a shoot it And we would do the show until 11:00 On a Friday night, it was selling out so well that we did two shows So come into merch, get ourselves ready to do and it was a hard show ’cause again, being in the gang as it were The Greased Lightning gang, we had to do the big routine, which was where we built the car It was a beast lightning routine And that was actually quite acrobatic, we built the human pyramid for three to one And that so and every night the dance routine went so well we had to encore it So on Friday night we did that dance routine four times And the second show was on from 10 o’clock to sorry 11 o’clock We’ve got an hour off in between so from eight to 10:00 roughly the length of show an hour off and then from 11:00 to one o’clock So but we weren’t I was 43 then or something so reasonably easily fit and young I thoroughly enjoyed it just immense fun And the guy doing that was a guy called Peter Chari I was the teen angel in that particular show And I got to know Peter very well Remember, we were at an after show party was talking to us He says do you think I should go for this sort of business like that? That was just stupid You know, we use straight away that this man had potential to go anywhere with his voice he wanted and coincide Coincidence to that was a short time after that he entered a competition called gopher, which was a competition between ITE and UTV to find a star, basically, and Peter went on that show That the time I had an LP from a guy called Mandy Patinkin Now you won’t recognise the name but you will know him If you ever watched ER Or if you watch homeland Mandy Patinkin is the guy and not the jury sticking character glasses down again But if you look him up, he was one of the main actors in ER, but he’s an amazing tenor voice, beautiful opposite of this world And I had an LP of his and I give it to Peter and say, Peter, I marked it somewhere over the rainbow Listen to the way this guy sings Somewhere over the rainbow And consequently, he did And he’s saying that in the final of gopher among the competition, so it’s all my fault really (laughs) No, no, I think he had something to do more than me But it’s nice to know that the song that I suggest he didn’t sing and there’s been a few connections like that was me and Peter, over the years, which I maybe relate to you later on – Oh, I want to just take it back away But I’m just curious, what did you learn in your week over in England with the other mobile refuse (mumbles) – Guy, basically, as opposed to learn what not to do, if that makes any sense And I think when people go into franchising, and go into opportunities that come along Even network marketing to a certain extent what I consider to be another form of franchising is that you learn what not to do The people who have already done have made the mistakes So you’re hopefully going in a quicker rate, if you know what I mean the type of people to call on like, for instance, I learned very quickly, not through him necessarily through my own mistakes, but I was better not going to the north area of Belfast, or the antrum road or whatever, because the majority of people in those areas can’t afford to live there And if that makes sense, because they’re all having to send the kids to the right schools, they’re having to drive the right cars So they’re maybe struggling, whereas the people who don’t struggle believe it or not, and I was 27 years in business, I can tell you are the people who live in the States The people in the shake on the falls, they earn their livings, they set aside the money for the window cleaner For the gas man for the bin washer They go to their club every weekend and enjoy the night out on a Saturday, and they have their two holidays, they save their money for spring and they go for a holiday during the winter Now you look at people with high end incomes or supposedly high incomes, they probably struggle to go on a holiday twice a year And they certainly don’t go down to a club and have an evening or every Saturday or Sunday and enjoy themselves they go for a meal now and again, I find the same most of my customers don’t come from those areas and if they do, they’re very few and if I do get them once they say to me, I’m sure I’ll do the next time I needed done That’s not a regular thing with them I’m going back my father had a very close friend who ran the university shop and post office way years and years ago before it’s a big place it is night And he said the same he said the people he struggles to get money out of because he didn’t ever deliveries or the people living on the room He always was chasing them And that wasn’t a lot of money, you know a newspaper once a week or for a week, you know that the income would have been there And yet the struggled to get the money out

And so I learned from that but going back, I learned basically, the process, how he built his filtration system, how he set up his business, and how he collected his money And I learned straight away from him that I wasn’t going to do that, like window cleaners Unlike other bin operators, they usually go back to the evening to collect their money I said, “Hang on, I don’t get paid for that.” I could come back to your host three times in a week and you’re not there So I have to come home again, still empty handed Or I call up Peter, I don’t have my money (mumbles) Can you leave it the next week? So I’ve had, no, I could take an article on 20 customers I’m like at the mall and the same night I’ll get some kind so I decided from then on, I’ve never ever collected money is that I will put an addressed envelope I’m turn up at your door to wash your bin I’m already there So I might as well put an envelope so your door wasn’t addressed I don’t stamp it I just put an address on it It was the most doing and you pop me a check and it comes back or you leave it under the mat, you leave it under the window so or is it simply bill you or you pay me in advance And that’s the way So that was what I learnt from not doing what he did if that helps that I learned that very quick I said no, it doesn’t pay me to spend two or three hours a week my brother then what subsequently went into bins for we joined up and he had his own bin run (mumbles) money But that was very time consuming And I just thought no, my time is more important than doing that So that’s the sort of things I would have learnt and learn how to use as we leaflets and set up that way Come back with a guy for design for a logo and learnt not to let them run up to bigger bill because then they would disappear and not want their bends down again So things like that Yeah, yeah, it taught me through it and worried about the best the power washer to buy which was very small in comparison to what I would use Just a basic domestic from a company going so yes, very kind that he took me in for that week, and took me out in his run and I enjoyed his time and it was great And sadly, we lost contact with each other night So I’d love to get back in contact and he’s still got I would imagine he’s not as well retired now, because I’m heading that way myself (laughs) – But it’s very, very entrepreneurial And I’m very, I mean supportive of your parents as well to sort of put wouldn’t say put up with it, but almost to go along with it, I suppose – It took a while, as I think I said earlier, my parents, certainly my mother felt that I was living at home at the time, I think and they said, they put up every obstacle he could because until I spoke to my auntie, but they basically said, we are coming to this face until you’ve showered and cleaned yourself. This will come out on me No, no, I live here No less and all the other things They said, “You weren’t given the grammar school education and this would be and it’s not right and blah.” But then again, my aunt and my mom would have my aunt was 18 years senior to my mom And so she would have been seen as the matriarch of the family if you like So, if my aunt said it was okay then it probably was okay And she was married to a military gentleman he was born to suppose on my uncle Jim was a major in bomb disposal So, again, that was alleviated him above the norm if you like being a major, so thank you people got they’ve been worse than it was probably okay So that’s how I got the connection through my aunt to her friend got the bend, done, got his name, got his telephone number formed him and then headed off to see him and my parents say look, best way to do is go and see him and I think they helped me out with a bit of mine do that See, that’s how it that’s not developed – That’s awesome I think the great thing is suppose you’re actually you’re actually generating your own business from that – Yeah, again, I look back I don’t I suppose I don’t feel it was something unique or grip but I suppose looking back on when you’re thinking but I started from zero complete zero no customers, nothing a bit like my wife a lot of people who listened to tell know, my wife from Paul’s doggy daycare, and she did exactly the same So but going back 27 years I suppose it was quite a big thing to do to take that leap But then I keep going back to those doors might refer to all the time is that that was a door that opened to me and I saw that opportunity opened the door, but there was I never thought I always realised I could always go back you know, it was something I can always go back to the petrol station I could always go back to doing something else that was never frighten me because I knew I can always go back to always find something to do And maybe that’s again my background and my education has shown me and the fact that I cannot can’t articulate them that opens doors and things so it never frightened I suppose looking back it was something to do my heads down You know what to say I was adult I was not young I save it as a major thing

I just did it but yeah, I suppose looking back, it’s not everybody would take that risk and jump in and do it – Were you driven by the money or the flexibility? Or what was it too— – Simple? I think a bit of both I was earning five point an R wasn’t getting me anywhere And I thought, well, you know, there’s an awful lot of bins out there I wish it really maybe looking back I should have pushed far more and I could have really sat back But I suppose delegation, I’ve always found and any of the members of staff I have considered employ have always screwed it up You know, again, I’m a people person, and my customers are my people I feel like I’m concerned, but the job’s done right for them I’ve had I remember, I was away a couple years ago, my wife, we decided to go away for a couple of months We went to France skiing, and it’s not far from a lovely little log cabin in a forest And we stayed there for two months And I had employ a guy who I got to know, through networking and say he was at work And I said, “Well, you try taking the bins, not sure if it works, right.” Well maybe work through something together on the bins So I paid him I think I was painting reasonably at 1011 times an hour or something like that So we got to the bins, and I came back And I realised one day hadn’t gone. And I said, Oh, what happened that day? So it was my 65th birthday, my wife decided to take me what customers and then it was another day hadn’t done And the reason for that was his forgotten his mobile phone And besides that, he couldn’t do the bedroom No thought of going back and getting it you know, maybe starting an hour later And then one day you didn’t do it because you got the wrong wrong cheat again, in our warehouse was in Lisbon time where I kept the vehicle, and he lived up to Donald so there wasn’t a huge distance to go but anyway, so whatever his reasons, and I just thought, hang on, what do you do? What do you do? So I have found it very hard to get the right staff over the time, and again, because they’re my customers, and I care for them I’m particular about who looks after them (mumbles) So but really I should go back now And having recently over the Coronavirus thing, I’ve been doing a thing called the outstanding network, which some of you listeners won’t know of but it’s well worth them, searching it on Facebook, if they can look it up And I would recommend anybody looking at moving forward, I’ve met a few people or not And I’m going to reach out to a couple of people who are in the cleaning business just to see how they managed and handled people to see if I can utilise some of that into what I do Because I want to step back from the thing cleaning, I’m 62 it’s not getting any easier And I want to do other things, but I don’t want to lose it as I give it to somebody and get 100 pounds a week before it’s annoying that my customers will be there And I can pop in nine again, just to say hi to them so – It makes sense – Yeah, yeah, yeah – Have you ever found weird stuff in the bin? (laughs) – I seen your (mumbles) most right no human limbs or bones or anything like that You know, probably if I’d been watching through the heckler troubles that might have been a different scenario completely But thank God no, the worst of all was I remember, as far as I know, every story, I like under incompetence, but, and I spin out of the moment, but the bottom have been if I open the lid, and the whole bottom note was moving, completely moving was full of maggots The whole bottom was just a continual movement of maggots and mostly thousands of them And I remember I ended a compensation on video, just every now and again, listen to the radio on the run And I send off a thing thinking are nothing to come back And I dealt with a John Ross show And next thing I got a phone call from John Ross to say right, you’ll be on the show on Saturday morning All right And again, that was one of the questions he asked me Did you ever find because whenever I described myself as a mobile refuse receptacle cleansing operator that gets the chocolate for most people So I explained the whole thing to me, so if you have I explained that it was nearly violently sick on the air When I mentioned the fact that it was moving thousands of maggots, but no, that’s all, nothing too serious, thank goodness Nothing valuable either Sadly, no, not even a great deal of money No, nothing of that extent Really – That’s amazing Tell me then, how did the acting come about the amateur dramatics and what was your first part? – Was— A girl I was going with at the time, I think I think she was a member of bambridge Choral Society and dragged me along and I thought this looks a bit of fun So I got involved on stage singing and dancing in the background Thank goodness where nobody could hear or see me Which was great And then I loved again, going back to my drawing and my hands on I love making props and coming up with ideas for props I remember one that came up with was we were doing a show called The Pyjama Game. I think it was as an old showbiz, lovely show and nice music One of the things was you went to a festival,

and they had a knife throwing act So I thought, how are we going to do this on stage? So I came up the idea with a board which was you could turn as angle is away from the audience And the idea was that I had sprung loaded with slits in it, which were covered with paper And I have sprung loaded knives made of plywood that come through the slips So what happens is there’s a guy off the guy who throws his throwing the knives as the CM replica of niceness and you can do it yourself at home And what you do is if you throw your arm back over your shoulder, and release that item, it goes backwards And you don’t bring your arm forwards at all intents and purposes look like you’re thrown up But you haven’t gone backwards over your back, shoot backwards over your shoulder So that’s the technique we use And as soon as he did that, I released the spring The knife came out of the board looked like he had thrown it That was great from the side That was really worked very well Also the girl who was throwing up, I was able to time one ad that we had an apple that was cut in half And we just use a wee bit of blue tack I think about the cactus together And what happened was when every third are ahead and they came through the slap at the top of the apple and it first and half and fell to the grind So again, (mumbles) I’m doing things like that, and coming up with ways I did from the audience side that work perfectly But then what happened sometimes as a stagehands would come on and put your hands through the slits to carry it off, which would give the key and we had to train them eventually No, powered off definitely Went out again, that’s what I’m sure she was or a bike is the fun side of it, too So, but yeah, so that developed into joining a company called first act, which was basically an invitational company But whenever I joined, I think we were very short of man And that was the only reason they included me because it was run by a guy called Peter Kennedy and he selected people from all amateur companies So it was a very, very, very top end company like everybody hoped that they would get into first act because the quality of the shows we did were incredible And most of the shows were his own writing We did a very great show called Klein Just beautifully written, beautifully done Tear jerking show, too short, neither go into that But his shows were brilliant and we did great I was the one we did Greece was in the arts theatre And we did several shows of his which were fantastic But the quality was so there because the dancers were so good The actors were top of the amateur tree because he invited them and as I say, I snuck in in the back row I got into the very short of extra man I think at the time he liked me and but I got Griff I met so many lovely people And I still go back to those days I have great memories of some of the best shoes we did We did a great show called the best little whorehouse in Texas And that’s a great show Dolly Parton was an and haven little may some of you may remember from UTV and in television and stuff, he played a part in working with him was great fun And I remember one of the dancers again, because it was such a frenetic dance was called the Aggie dance And basically the story goes where the local college team if they win the championship, then they’re the time gives them a night in the whorehouse free So basically, they’re the dance we had to do was coming from the American football pitch with our American football gear on stripped down and dress up as cowboys going off to the whorehouse. Of course, we had to do that while doing a dance routine So every night we had to encore out but it was great time I was playing rugby for bambridge rugby club at the time, and it was great for the boys any conference and I said no, I’m off to do my stage show Again So one that I’m like, as people would say pussyfooting a boat on the stage So one minute I’m knocking the height over each other and rugby pitch to them, as they would call the Robert Gates would say pussyfooting a bite on a stage in the evening. So there was making going off to do Jorge Sunday evening and doing a striptease dance routine and scenes in a whorehouse And guess what they were like so So yes, it was fantastic I have so far memories, but it was the contacts I made that took me on many a journey I met Peter on that, who then ended up going on to star and they miserab in the West End of London, and some of your listeners will know of Peter and a great talent So he ended up doing that and doing very well played the the policeman and Najib Jabbar, and I was lucky enough to go and see him There are many a time and Matt, more people backstage So he put on a few shows when he came back here And they would always get the phone call to pick up gear And one of the shows he did was a gala performance of the stars from the MS in Dublin And they would come up and do a charity show in the opera house to the likes of Colin Wilkinson, who are not again some of your listeners will know very well Our major, major talent he was in the film,

they miss playing the bishop or the priest But he also would play john vowels JOHN for many years was probably written for him the part h He was the first one asked to play the part And he came up I remember sitting in the audience having I went down and brought all their music gear, all their props up in my van at the time Again, meeting these guys is just amazing And watching them work I remember my girlfriend at the time was a musician, and a music director And she was in the audience with me watching column workers and rehearse armies Just having that note, that high note that he does and bring them home It was missing the way his fears contorted And she said, What’s that guy? He’s just that the air is reserved, resonating Ryan has all fears to come through So that was amazing but getting that opportunity And then other opportunities that come my way when Peter said to me, one of the funniest was his first show by combing the Opera House It was a huge band It was the first time he’d done anything Us so we have employed a guy the services of a guy called Hugh Wooldridge And who will this is one of the top directors in the West and he has done huge shows with Michael ball He’s worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber to nimbala few, and Michael Crawford So he was coming over to do this So it was that we were having a meeting myself Peter, musical director, and I was brought in I was direct introduces Peters, personal assistant on stage manager I didn’t say anything, but this is the first time I’d ever been described as a stage manager You know, normally I’m a gopher go and get this like, so that’s what people want me to do So I that really had to learn on my feet because the show was going on night, tomorrow night So basically, he expected me to be a stage manager He’s worked with stage managers in the West End to know the job backwards They’ve studied, they’ve gone to college to study So here’s me So anyway, one of my major mistakes was my job was to queue behind the closed curtain, the orchestra and people And what happens because he was in the auditorium, he was dying beside the lighting desk on the same desk So his job would be verbally to go and signal to those two guys, which I couldn’t see obviously, because I’m on stage So I have a set of cans on which are headphones basically as they call them in the business And I couldn’t listen to him and talk to him with these counts So the counts had about three foot of cable so I was standing side stage Now of course I couldn’t show go because the orchestra have to see me give that cue It’s not an audible cue to audible and visual cue So I have to be in the centre stage So okay, I thought I can do that So next thing he gives me the cue so ladies come up Sam goes up because he’s there doing it curtains open, I run on to give the cue because my cans don’t cover me It can’t take me a percentage there’s only three feet of wire so I run No, no, no, no good No good Peter You can’t be there. You’ve got to be in the middle I’m sorry You okay inside So what I do know what I’m do so eventually one the stairs, took me aside and said, Peter, look don’t worry And I had already told them that I was a bit naive I was in the deep end here And they’ve been so good to me and happening to me So and again, it goes back to what we’ve always been talking about this caring, showing respect for people, showing that you are vulnerable, showing that you need help And ask, of course, I didn’t think to ask, so he tapped on the shoulder and said, Peter, we can give you an extension for your headphones, right, brilliant So plugged in the extension I stood in the middle of the stage with my headphones on, he cued me, bang, go, bang, bang, everything went up and I walked off with the curtain, perfect But again, just knowing what to do, but never ever made that mistake again, ever And it taught me to ask and I didn’t know something Don’t be frightened to ask And it’s amazing when you ask somebody for help their friends of yours if you know what I mean, they’d rather you ask them then screwed up I was going to say something else No But then and they and you become, they become more helpful to you because you’ve asked, so that was a great opportunity and not open doors And then I was doing a Christmas show for Peter One year in the transport museum We started doing shoes They’re called the music box, every Christmas, very successful shoe form And I’ve done every one we’ve done for 11 years now And I met his manager at the time, he’d worked with us on tours of Holland and different things And his name was Michael Durkin, and I messaged him I said, Michael, if you ever need somebody to go on tour with you are give me a shape not thinking anything would happen He says, “I’ll keep you in mind Peter.” Again These are the sort of things you say and think oh, that’s not gonna happen So this was about a week Peter shoes are usually about a week before Christmas So that was fine Then got a phone call excuse me phone call about two days before Christmas

Was Michael Durkin, sent to you fancy gone to Holland on tour? It was Germany I said I certainly no problem when you’re thinking He says, “Well, the only problem is you have to go on Boxing Day.” Oh, right Okay So I quickly put a note write as many of my customers as they could and I speak to the life and save it as you say, yeah, if you want to go yeah, certainly go So I ended up driving, getting the bus down to Dublin Airport And that was the first time I met any of the crew The only one I knew was Michael And I flew off to Germany and was tour manager for a two month tour of Germany So talking about bands when in the deep end again, but again, that’s open doors and I learned things from that Then Peter took me on a tour with him as well That led me to working with David hole promotions in Belfast, who would be the local promoter for a lot of the local celebrities We have George Jones and the (mumbles) Ballantine, but the agency for them, so I ended up working with a hole in the wall game, which is a production company back home, some of your listeners will know, a comedy group who go out and write comedy and stuff So I ended up as their stage manager at night in this type of stage mines was totally different again, because they have a script So the partner stays manager’s job, as some of your people will know, as you have to write what’s called the Bible And the Bible basically is every cue, every line of the script, every lighting cue, same cue, firework cue, whatever everything is in this script And I have to then be at every rehearsal because they might say, oh, instead of coming in the right side of the stage, come on the left So I then have to note down on the on my side of my script that Tim’s coming in left instead of right, and all this is written down in notation Then if he comes into rocks, I say no, no, tell me to start last week You’re not coming in from right stage and all that lighting cues Now I moved from there to left to right So that becomes the source As known as the Bible, because if I can state the state of mind to show Sunday they bring somebody else in, that person can read my notes and completely control the show, never having done before So the Bible is the key to every show that exists Basically, behind the scenes, you know that but there’s a Bible at any stage most can go in and operate the shoe from so I had never done that before So I went to a girl who had done it and sat with her, saw how she did it, and then made a few notes and did that And then we went on tour of Ireland for a couple of weeks with that And I was the tour manager and the bus driver, and also catering on that trip as well, which was good fun I used to bake cakes and bring it down, which they thoroughly enjoyed and stuff like that So I always know the thing I always tried to do is, the more work I can do on a trip like that and cover more, and we’re more cops if you like for that job, the likelihood of getting back again So if I can cover several jobs, then for the price of one if you like them and likely to be asked back again, this is my philosophy and things like that probably end up being used abused more medic, but I had great fun And then the other guy was probably killing on the tour, which was great fun as well So, again, those doors opened through amateur dramatics and meeting Peter, and working with him And if I hadn’t said yes, those doors wouldn’t have opened So again, being so lucky, so lucky There’s a lot of time is telling me a story if that would have been Bill Clinton I got a phone call again, because I have the van the van from bin clean, has been used for deliveries and different things So I got a phone call from a guy called John Anderson, who again some people know through the school choir the year of home, he does a lot of that he was the guy who invented that he taught and method for years musical teacher Estonian himself He’s his own radio show media author and different things very involved in music He used to have his own band that would go out and do she’ll band shows and different types of Big Band shows And it was John Anderson And he had music stands, which are made of plywood completely useless to travel with, because it couldn’t fold off a nightmare Just I hope we get broken sometime I think the half nine companies again, thank goodness, they call me to ask me what I bring them to the sides to the stage at the side of the bill Clinton speech when he first came to Belfast And that was about 68 feet above the ground This stage has been built up because there’s 10, 20,000 people turned up that night to hear Bill Clinton speak So I said yes, and I brought these sounds down and drove them in the night and then the night off, backwards forward I thought well, I might as well stay here for the rest of day I’m having a better crack The atmosphere is fantastic It’s Oh, I’m involved in right in the middle of it also state So it was a phone backstage, which was just an ordinary from way back then It wasn’t a mobile anything And John would fall

made a few things or set a few things up, nice day back But next thing a phone rang again And it was a guy called Jerry from the White House stuff And he said, “Excuse me, who’s,” I says, “Peter,” and he said, you’re going to be there all day I said, “Yeah, no reason.” I was fine He said, “I’ll get back to you.” Didn’t know what he meant I’d have no clue what was happening So Van Morrison was due to play later on that evening with Brian Kennedy And the plan was, unbeknownst to me But Jerry, and then and for me back and say, “Look, Peter, the way it’s gonna run is, we’ll let you know when Bill Clinton arrives, because Van Morrison said, there’s a long enough time for him to meet and greet and then get to the podium to give a speech So we don’t want vandalism going on early Otherwise, we’ll be the flow So basically, Jerry was instructing me at the movement of the President of the United States So basically, he would pick up the phone and say, “Peter, he’s in his helicopter He’s on his way.” Create. Oh, no, no, no, no, sorry Period hasn’t taken off yet We’ll get back to you Yes, he’s on his way That’s fine, Peter He’s already at the city hall, he’s just getting out of his car And several times I had to send van Mars and back to the green room and say sorry, van, I haven’t got clearance to let you on stage yet And his girlfriend at the time was getting really close I don’t know why because not to do with her particularly, but she was getting another upset that he couldn’t get on stage And some of the other musicians I would have known for working with Vader So they were able to go on and set up and get sorted And eventually, I got the clearance and everything on Amazon So basically around the show But the nicest moment was I wish I had a camera in those days, no phones, of course, I was about 68 feet above ground level where Bill Clinton was doing a speech to the side of the stage that had occurred and offer it behind his podium where he was right in front giving his speech And this was again him going forward for a second term So we wanted it to go well because you get the Irish food and everything So it had gone extremely well So his his wife had come through this area to the back of stairs and there was only them there the wife the two kids had done the speech with him and now he came through And you know that way, when something goes well you put your fist off tighter side of your face and you crouch down And you get a Yeah Well, he did exactly laugh as he came through the curtain, because he didn’t see me There was just wife and him the two kids, and they’re gone So well he give that motion under that older screen Boy, if I had a camera would not have made some photographs But I didn’t So that was one of the doors that didn’t do them For me that occasion, having a camera take a photograph that probably would have gone around the world But I can have an opportunity to be six feet away from the president United States with no security, just me, and then van Mars and all the other people Brian Kennedy and everything else that went – So yeah, that was that was a nice one Involved – Are in fair play I mean, you’ve obviously had this opportunity to meet so many different people and see all these different things And I’m just curious about the contacts and how you’ve got into all this, you know – Well, I can it was very straightforward It was saying yes to codeine again, goes to just outdoor I’m saying yes, it was not the girlfriend at the time said you come and dine to see a show or I’ll have it started me So when time from then I got into shows and enjoy to move to first act met Peter that went on a different tangent because he he could see that I was capable, I suppose Again, none of these I have done from an expertise, background in any way But I suppose this shows I’m willing to learn And I do take it professionally I never consider myself to be a professional compared to somebody who stays nice all their lives, but I don’t believe I’m any less if that makes sense than them I just have done it I suppose I have done an apprenticeship and those jobs whereas they’ve done the other route of going through college I have done it through the hard graft of learning and making the mistakes which they probably should College wouldn’t make But boy has that taught me and again saying yes If you don’t say yes, if I’d say no to Peter, that is, I would never have toured, I would never have been involved with John Anderson to move music stance, I would never have met Van Morrison and told him, you’re off You’re not like back on stage yet You know what he took in good humour, because he would go back to the green room for a few more drinks. But if I had said no to that, Peter probably would never have asked me again So my attitude has always been say yes, but like a bit like Richard Branson Those famous saying is if you’re offered a great opportunity, but you’re not quite sure say yes, I’m working out how to do it later If you say no to that option, it’s not gonna be asked to do again So I think it’s simply because I’m prepared to say yes, and see where it takes me knowing I can Oh, because I can always go back I can always go back to Ben’s, I can always go back to work in a petrol station I can always go back to something I’ve done you

Because I have that experience – I get a curiosity Do you enjoy getting in the deep end? I mean, as you say, yes But I mean, some people that would panic them and send them off on one, but that seems to almost be like a feel for you – That’s a hard question to answer I suppose I’ve because I’ve fallen into these things I’ve never looked at what’s the worst can happen I’ve only I’ve looked at a common sense approach Well, what’s the worst can happen is I can sort of, you know, the only time I would ever panic me And again, I would hold my hands up, say, I’m sorry I have done that to the best of my ability, but I just couldn’t do it But hopefully I have enough time to ask somebody more going back Well, yeah, there are things which do for you again, you’re hearing the good parts, I suppose of these doors You’re not hearing all the bad times, but the most amount haven’t been bad But there was one on tour with Peter and we were staying in a forest as log cabins, which was just really handy and really lovely place to say ginkel do nothing is called in the centre of Holland trim in the centre, because easy to get everywhere from there And we were doing a tour about two and a half hours drive away, or a show that night, may job again, putting all the different caps on the stage manager term manager, looking after the washing the drying and making sure the costumes were pressed and ironed and everything ready So we’ve got on the bus, we had it off an hour or so into the journey I went up to the bus driver whispered in his ear, could you pull over please, I need to check something I knew he knew in the deepest recesses of my heart There’s no point looking because I hadn’t put the costumes on But I had to Anyway, I just knew that went on but so I had to go through the process Peter kept so what are we stopping for us? And that’s okay, don’t worry All right, because again, he’s about to do the show Last thing he needs is to panic So my job is to try and take any pressure off him and his girlfriend at time And now his wife was also on the show She was as a system Tour manager I’m not sure management Yeah, choreographer and everything So they both swell So that’s it I’ve opened the thing and had to come back Again How do you tell your best friend, your boss, everything that our new costumes for that night show? And we’re, we’re too far into the journey for the bus driver to go back So the decision was to leave me in Holland somewhere I don’t speak the language I don’t have a road map I have a mobile phone Leave me other industrial estate And the plan was the driver would then organise for a taxi night – What happens to the taxi? – Doesn’t come I don’t know how to find a taxi in a foreign country or how to go about it So next thing a taxi comes up and say to you, I said Yes, it’s me Drove as quick and again over there They’re very strict on traffic You get Oh, speeding is a nightmare So again, it is so frightening to watch a speedometer sit at 30 or 40, or whatever the speed is, and watch your watch at the same time going slower and slower and yet the time of the venue getting closer and closer Oh weird says so got there got the costumes Now unbeknownst to me, the taxi driver was instructed me to really station wasn’t to take me all the way back to the show So I was left at a railway station trying to figure out how to get to a place I didn’t know where it was gone a train That was all right, the train had to stop because we’re doing repairs to line So it wasn’t going all the way to where the shoe was Luckily, somebody sitting in the seat opposite overheard me He was going the same place I was going so he went off check to go to I want to get a taxi got a taxi from there And again, the situation of the speedometer on this clock was getting closer and closer to deadlines Where the show was gonna have to be put back But anyway, got it all son got sorted, got down and done got their shoe and on everything fine But the kindest thing has happened to me on that, which was that cost somewhere in the region of close to 200 Euros, which was my fault, nobody else’s fault I had to take that on the chin But unbeknownst to me, the cast I still brings along to me – Was the customer the collections fined? – To pay and I didn’t pay at all, but I paid the vast amount of it So, as I suppose that goes back to what we the thread of this conversation has always been treat people with respect when it comes back to sorry – I know that just a lovely thing You know, the people would do that for you, huh? – No, I mean, it’s, it’s almost a form of recognition Thank you as well, you know – What I kind of shows you that treat people respect, unbeknownst to you, it’ll come back to you in some way And, you know, I was so you know, and the way it came up to me

They sent me in the bus on Fleur Peters partner came up to me and say, Look, Peter, I’m going to ask you a question `And they know me too well, they just know me backwards And and she says the only answer you can give me is yes I said, Well, I’m sorry, I can’t do that She says, No, no, no, no, you have to, as you have me an absolute unless I can say no, you have to So there you go – Well, that was, what that’s the case of where it could have gone disaster legal You know, so it doesn’t always go smoothly But that’s my job. My job is to make sure it is work Right, right That’s a tour manager’s job is incredibly difficult Because you’ve got a cast of people to work with You’ve got to make sure they’re happy If their hotel rooms not right, you kind of sorted their foods Not right You got to sort it. Especially in a foreign country where if you’re on tour, you’re maybe using a term chef that comes with you If they do like what he said, You have to maybe change that you have to get the answer If somebody’s family dies when they’re away You have to do your place Best to get them back From the back end of nowhere on a flight, I remember one time I had to actually go with it because I just wouldn’t leave it on our own This girl lost her grandmother who’s like a mother butter, cut to pieces She wasn’t ready at 1819 And the guy said off, just put it on I said, No, I have to go with her when she misses a connection Like she’s in grief here So that was a long day trying to keep her happy and get her on a flight and make sure she got home and then getting her back on tour again So loads of weird things that you can’t imagine, then when when there’s a live band aid off on your Nortel The kids could get a bit excited with a few drinks and relaxing There could be a lot of damage done So again, what they don’t realise but I do as a tour manager as we’re also what’s the best word to describe it – I can’t think of but basically, we’re promoting other companies who come from from other countries after us So if we destroy a hotel or damaged in such a way that might be that hotel might be close to other companies tearing So we can’t just think of our tour, we’ve got to think of, and maybe we want to come back again maybe a hotel we actually enjoyed And that was a good spot to come back to So you’ve got to think of all that as a tour manager, again, after them pay for dominates, and try and get back off, you have to make sure they get on the bus some time getting them up in the morning, because we’ve deadlines to meet, they think they drag themselves out of bed and get on a bus And then you’ve got musicians who are older You know, we used to remember one instance where we had a fine on the bus, but if you didn’t get on your bus by 10 o’clock when you were instructed to, then you would be fined and the money would go into a kitty litter And again, then all of a sudden you get the musicians wandering on, and I’d be about and they would immediately say to me, I hope you’re thinking of finding us in front of other ask them so how can I not find them? So you’re always at loggerheads because they were adults, you couldn’t They felt they couldn’t be told not to drink and the kids would be sacked if they were caught with drinking in the dressing room Whereas the musicians wouldn’t be alive if it was me, I would have banned at all but the boss who employed me, he said, No Musicians need a drink They’re used to it That’s what they do But when they’re clicking on the bus with their drink collaborating in a carrier bag, and the rest of the cast can’t do that, very difficult to manage So, you reminding eagles, you’re managing adults who thought they could drink whenever it suited them And other kids who were basically young adults who couldn’t So yeah, a thin line you’re walking to try and keep everybody happy But hey, that’s the fun of it all – Well, you obviously got quite a buzz from a huge buzz he is but I think it goes back to me being able to do the bends I come back to reality after a target motion somebody has been And the nice thing is I can do that for a period of time and enjoy that and I’m joined my customers, and then all of a sudden that maybe in three months time I’m going off on tour again So it’s never wouldn’t be as much fun if I had to do it all my life Maybe dipping my toe Nan again and doing it when it suits fits me very well, you know, again, and means I’m not stuck, I can go somewhere else I can say yes to that one because it’s only a short tour they want somebody for, whereas a stage manager is looking for a three, four year contract maybe to tour the world And you know, he’s looking for something more solid, whereas I only need one pays me for a week, 233 months because I have the bins other pays well, too So I get paid I probably would do it if it was just for the fun of it, too because but yeah, it’s nice to have that income – Absolutely Absolutely I’m just curious You mentioned baking and cooking There are a couple of times so you could have a chef or a bit of a banker – No, no, I can I just I just I’ve always liked challenges in life I joined a circus school for a while I’ll go grid pleasure, right is learning to take one of the ones I do love is tightrope walking I learned that and I just find that fascinating I didn’t find it difficult If it was 20 feet off the ground That might be a different question But another crazy story They’ll go off on these tangents

But working with Peter as Christmas show, we’re in the Europa after having a few drinks And one of the sponsors for his show, were the people who’ve been on the race to the glass, Koreans and manage the glass Koreans and to market them around the world It’s hard to believe they’re sitting there marketed in their own right But they are I remember, so I have a great idea for you. I think it was coming up until the anniversary of Titanic And I mean, the biggest thing that Harland and Wolff and the people on the Koreans hit, it’s been associated with Titanic because that was a disaster You know, Han woof made an awful lot of brilliant ships now was it was just coincidence and all that But still, they don’t like to be associated with things like I like to think of things better, but I see the guy have a great idea I said, Why don’t we? Why don’t I string Elaine between the two Goliath Koreans and we’ll do a table walk between the two And they went absolutely Malik said, Oh, we can’t do that The rescue Like I said, because of the safety harnesses, they’ll be all they’ll be risk assessments I said I’d even I’ll even form an idea they’re fun some of the circus companies to see if they would take me on to train me how to do a high wire act that that’s what I hate And I remember back that a woman Skelton from Blue Peter actually did a walk between the tar the two chimneys in in London knew that they call it chimneys can’t remember their name But yes – And I say to myself, as a kid of that age can do it I can do it And where something comes along, probably I can’t do mental things too Well, I couldn’t sell that to somebody But you see, if you challenge me to take a walk, if somebody else’s done, they’re no different to me, they’ve got feet, they’ve got legs, all the versions to balance so I could learn now There’s no reason why I can’t So maybe it’s the fact that I like challenges, but I was prepared to do that, but I couldn’t talk them into so the circuit school is based on learn to still walk and I taught myself to juggle before that So my Next thing I want to try and learn is unicycling, so we want to get home or buy a unicycle and I’ll be the next thing to have have a go out but I think it’s my habit go nature gives me great buzz and great fun and yeah, yeah, what that why should kids have all the fun? – Lavazza another half ago nature is a great, great attitude to have why not? I forgot what your question was one too often a bit of a tangent there, but that sort of— – I was actually asking about baking and cooking but— – Oh, yes Yes Again, that was just another challenge My grandmother many years ago taught me how to make I’ve always cooked at home I would have had nobody helped cook the Sunday dinner and then I will take it on as a youngster maybe 10 or 12 would have cooked a dinner for the parents ’cause I felt they were busy enough with three kids And I remember I always like to try and surprise them when they had friends and of maybe making the cup of tea for them and just turning up with tea and sconj or something on a train now when a dexa sconj are done biscuits for under a great delight I would have got from the people’s faces They weren’t expecting that I’m tearing up and I remember it happened once I would have been the right name And unfortunately, I spelt the capital of boiling water on the leg and severe burns but I didn’t say anything because I felt I couldn’t because they had guests and so eventually I think they noticed the red my red flag was so badly burnt, got to hospital we live here we would go to Bachmann’s way back in the day for Butlins mas ne as it was them for a two week holiday And sadly the whole time there were bands and go swimming in the pool the whole time because of the bad breath But just get on with it, you know, I suppose most days, so not but yes, that my parent my grandma taught me how to bake a really simple chocolate cake And to this day, the amount of people who love that recipe, All my friends are delighted when I turn up with a chocolate cake for them and they just rave about that particular recipe So I’ve done that a few times And a just a tip A challenge I got on a charge was in the pub one day talking about it was a girl’s 40th birthday And she says, Oh, I never get anything So I thought I talked to her husband and I said what do you think she’d like a kick wayward so I’d never decorated the cake before and so I made them a cake which was lovely to tear kick I had to go and buy special tends to make it would end up with a slant and the design sort of slanted two ways A covered with beautiful way dicing and made me flowers, and she was over the moon Because they were having their day in the pub that night and couldn’t believe that this kick was made for so have a go she wants the worst can happen You slept in the bed and start again, sir But yes, that gives me great pleasure to do And yeah, mix columns Now again, your pancakes recently from a wife and things for the COVID So yeah, I’m a girl Sure it’s a recipe Oh, welcome You’re just putting things together Absolutely Those great You have a real lamb It’s almost like a pleaser gene

You know you love to help or to please other people is up for the first time But yes, I probably I, my wife and a lot of people would tell me that that’s my problem I should say no more often, but it’s ingrained in me I think my father was a bit like that my mother and I wouldn’t have been as giving them a, she would sit and check people out before she would have a real good judge of character Whereas my father would make mistakes as I have done many times. But my father was in the Lions Club for many years, which is a charitable organisation worldwide, and he was district governor of all of Ireland So he reached the high echelons and things like that So he was always a giving that I can highly find the time to do that when, when he was teaching He was a head like headmaster at the top of your career And that takes off It’s not just easy, because you’ve got everybody to worry about as he said, if you actually put what he did into the terms of commercial, he would have been on probably a million, you know, half a million pounds a year because he’s got he’s got maybe 20 of a staff to worry about And he’s also got three 400 kids whose results depend on what he decides And he has the skill to manage which, and again, being a school teacher, he has to manage the accounts for that school There was no accountant in his day to do that He had to make sure that everything he can was balanced So he was the accountant for 300 people plus 20 management staff, his vice principal, he had to make sure it was happy, and got the books that they needed to do Now, if you take that to working in a factory of two or 300 people and turning out people, and it’s more important to turn on good quality kids So you know, really when you think of it as headmaster and teach below, their salary should be through this through the roof No, but he didn’t do it He did it. It was a vocation for him and something he got great pleasure out of them And to this day, I know people he was taught they still hold them very favourably and and I have never a bad word to say about them I meet lots of them Because obviously, when I went into a lot of the kids that he would have taught each mother would have been bothering me at school And never once have I ever said they didn’t like my father And I don’t just think it’s because of my connection to them They could easily say, oh, you’re a father, give me help But in that I’ve never heard one person yet say that – So, first of all, the thing to be able to say about, – Absolutely – Anything so yeah, the giving thing is something I do Yeah, I probably have a problem with that unless you wipe my neck and I say no, sometimes But again, I suppose it goes to your windows doors If I didn’t say yes, I wouldn’t have got those opportunities You know, I would say there’s very few people have had those options like me when I’m an amateur at most of this, but yet I am treated as a professional by these guys, which is I do treat it professionally Don’t take me wrong I wouldn’t go on the stage I wouldn’t go without feeling I can do that job as well as anybody else But yeah, like who would imagine I would operate Because those sort of people that Mars and George Jones in the shoe bands shows I still tour I roadie for two bands at the moment as well an Elvis tribute and a smokey tribute as well And that’s gonna open different doors and but yes, it’s taken the opposite sometimes I should say no, but yeah, that’s famous thing I’ve got friends who asked me the first thing they say to me, Peter, can you and I say yes, no, no, that’s a no no, no, no, no, no Yeah, I have to wait to what it is first, obliges I usually jump in But yeah, of course it can Because I usually find that they can The sad thing is they don’t always reciprocate And that’s probably what gets me sometimes But I would say I pray Some say no to anybody But yeah, if I pick up the phone and say, Would you be able to do something for me? It doesn’t use doesn’t often come back But then you learn to say no to them or not saying yes to them as often – Very true – Just out of curiosity, do you take more after your mother or your father or what? What way would you be – I suppose the openness of my father and the helpfulness of my father would be I wouldn’t be a studious obviously as my dad because he did what he did a lot I would be more willing to learn I fallen off and and i still struggled to learn techniques and seals, maybe I don’t like being told no So for therefore it goes back and all the way through my career and what I’ve done – Things that I can do myself are easy, if that makes sense Like, like type of walking – I can do that because it’s me It’s my legs It’s my feet Nobody can say no to me, because I’m challenging myself I’m not challenging my brain, I think your intellectual unicycle If that guy across the room can do, I can do it But that doesn’t always transfer to doing book work If that makes sense I still struggle with people maybe maybe learning to do sales and accounting The no there’s no no me

getting on a trampoline there’s no no one me getting on a bicycle There’s no no me learning how to surf There’s no no, me kite surfing or paragliding, because that’s me – The only risk is me breaking a leg – Hey, well, that’s not always the worst thing in the world are as opposed to killing myself But that’s that’s me The other side of that, if you understand, hopefully that explains the and I think that’s been my educational problem is that I find the learning side is struggling, whereas learning physically isn’t a problem to me – Only curiosity mean, how would you have sort of what advice would you give to your younger self and what would you have done? – I think I think just what we’ve discussed would be more of what I would go back to say, you are better than you think And don’t underestimate your abilities because you have a grid, many of them and I suppose I still underestimate those abilities If I didn’t have the abilities that I have One tellers I’ve met me haven’t shown them to myself yet But if I didn’t have the ability to do the interview for Liverpool Building Society They must have seen something in me because they don’t suffer fools You know, they know exactly what they were looking for If I didn’t have the ability to get the job as a in the drawing Office of Apostle Paul kitchen company I showed him something which I had, if I hadn’t been able to show Peter the ability to help to show and then the state’s moment say, so I would go back to myself in those days and say, Look, whatever comes you do have the ability to do it Don’t be frightened And if somebody says no to you, it’s not us They’re saying no to us no to that offer at that time, but they might say yes later, so don’t take it as an insult to you, which they probably would have done And that’s maybe why in sales, they wouldn’t have reached the targets levels they should have achieved because able to take that to heart, but it was no the prices and grade of that BMW or You know, you can’t compete with the guy down there Oh, that wasn’t my fault That was something my employers wouldn’t go that extra to get that sale So I was me But I suppose I read into that, Oh, no, he’s refusing to do that deal with me So go back there and say, Listen, don’t worry about the nose Accept them as not, you’re not the person, just a situation at that time And don’t be so hard on yourself You have the ability, go for it Thank goodness, I did go for it, shall we say certainly go for I still will go for it But maybe have more belief in my ability, which I still look at others and think that I couldn’t do that, you know – That’s about isn’t really is I’ve come curious to know almost what, fee which Sunday to some of your precious moments – That sort of key things I think I think certainly setting up in business with the bins Because way back in the day, people said Oh, that’s not gonna work That’s not gonna work And, again, I suppose that is the one thing they showed tenacity and was believing that I could do it You know, other people did it Nobody’s doing it So let’s get it done So yes, again, the achievement was helping my wife set up her paws doggy daycare, although I’m very small part of that it was all down there And that was a great achievement I Captain the third would be team to winning the cup and the and the shield at the end of that year So two trophies I dropped the job goal to win it the next time So although I do argue that the opposition trying to charge it down, actually knocked it over the bar I think that’s what happened really, it wasn’t me who actually kicked it over I think they actually threw it over by trying to charge it though So that was a great achievement because it was a hard year and we thought out of the box in our trading schemes and things so that was great fun we use taxi the local school gym in Stoney Because we couldn’t change the weather was so bad that year that we were just weren’t able to cheat on the pitches So I rang the school, and they give us permission to go and use the school gym in the evening And we and that was turned into great fun because we played crowd football, cyberspace football, we were training, and then we went to the pub afterwards So that got us a team together, have a great team ship together and camaraderie And that developed onto the pitch where we were having an amazing year, coming up in the trophy and winning So that would be a great achievement, and a great feeling of, of success meeting my wife, and marrying her was a great achievement for taking me on with all my foibles So, I think that was another great achievement And looking for the next one, I don’t know where it’s coming from, but yeah, I’m looking for them So whatever comes on, I’m working on stage management and those be the small small achievements like working backstage and was found Mars not as a small achievement in its own way

Getting the phone call to do that, because I always say have to have in order for them to feel the love the ability to do that And the same with Peter for him to feel his day Because he can pick anybody, like he’s worked with so many people over the years wouldn’t be hard for him to to find somebody, you know And so I get great pleasure out of doing that and coming up with the ideas, even going back to the achievement of making that nice swing act, you know, that that was a small achievement give me great pleasure to hear the audience Whoo, ah, when that worked, you know, there’s nights it didn’t work and there was not Apple fell off that person’s head As long as somebody had come up to us from the audience What happened? – Brilliant just that small But why did that give you a kick? You know? – I’m just curious Have you ever been in front of the curtain? Is it always behind? – No, I have I have sung and danced in the Opera House stage I did a show called 42nd Street, where I had to learn dance routines, and the top routine I can learn routines That’s easy, but you couldn’t call me a tap dancer No, you couldn’t call me a dancer, but I can learn routines and do that I got great pleasure, I’d love to do more of it I’d love to maybe go to acting school and get a bit more I’ve also worked as an actress in Game of Thrones, and line of Judy, and things like that, I put myself down as a, an extra slot opens other doors of meeting you Again, on set I just love sitting and talking because you don’t know who you’re gonna meet, you know So that opens other avenues to make meet somebody You may not walk up to someone time when you make you get a chance to talk to some of the actors you don’t you don’t ever encroach on them But if they’re prepared to have a chat excuse me, then you can, and you just learn the nuances of being an extra and what, and having worked backstage with Peter, that I knew that straight away and all the things you can’t do, in that situation, you don’t go up and ask for autographs You don’t sort of sit there and you know, whatever So there’s three things you learn but yeah, that’s We have fun to do And yeah, so yes, I’ve been in front of I’ve been on the Kelly show I work through an agency There’s a friend of mine has an agency in Belfast called style Academy, a model agency And I firmly quickly say, I’m not a model, so, but she also does some TV ads and stuff So I remember on the real funny ones was Kelly, she would remember doing that the Kelly did his own TV show for many, many years yesterday, and they were looking for a stooge to do that It’s funny that my connections are just so wide But anyway, I said, “Yes, I’ll do.” So the idea was that I met named McFetridge beforehand, and we planned what we were going to do so she was going down It was at her dresser in the middle of Carrickfergus whose birthday was coming up 40th or 50th birthday, and the ones that set her up So basically I was the students to go in there was only one other hairdresser knew that I was lined up and I was given blood capsules And the idea that may McFetridge would come in and say knock this out Jobs dead easy, actually, anybody could do this, pull the scissors offer and come and cut my hair And of course, he would then cut mine This and all of a sudden back Oh my God, I’m sorry, I would put my hands to me I’d slap the blood of Mir and of course tonic wouldn’t suit So that’s what we did And we set it up perfectly And this girl came in and she fell to the floor I turned around, a lot of them are hand blown over me years, we thought she was going to pass out until me took control and said I’m really kidding only when you’re older So that was fun That one died on the show that night But what also transcribed it was that if they had known beforehand, they wouldn’t have used me because it worked out that my brother in law’s cousin was the owner of the hairdressing salon, and she was the one we were setting up So if there was any chance that she made it, find out who I was, then it probably wouldn’t have worked But she didn’t She went to know me from Adam anyway, but they wouldn’t have used me if that connection had been So just use you have too many, sometimes too many connections can be a bad thing in North Node when you do know too many people, you know – Oh, awesome, amazing Great fun Sounds like great fun – Anyway Okay, it was I keep looking for the clip somewhere, maybe on YouTube somewhere to see it I couldn’t find it You know, I did have it for a while But yeah And then the other one was I was asked to do an ad for don’t size when they were doing them, the X Factor So they had four of us lined up and I played the part of Louie Walsh In a quick, quick thing of for that So I’ve done two or three of those Yeah, yeah But again, if the door opens, I’ll say yes That’s a good one – To set a curiosity, what would you say your your core values are then— – Goes back to, again, integrity, and goes back to treating people with respect And that if you go through life treating people respect, then the likelihood is they’ll treat you with the same and I think seals and anything that they’ve done is I show rapport with a client again working

backstage and the no shows that I’ve done it’s very much a people person and being a people person comes to rapport the core values would be yeah don’t try and set somebody up because you only get away with it for so long You know in Northern Ireland’s too small you get too well known for being the other side I fall about a bit known for being the good guy, and the nice guy and the guy is going to help again I honestly believe that’s opened the doors open for me is knowing that it’s showing that I can do the job and if I can’t out get it done and showing that I have a rapport with people I think that’s truly my core values if that and I’m trying to be as gentlemanly as I can in my on my way through life I take some to think that when it’s all over my head on the show, I’d love the sort of thing He tried everything Had fun doing it was a gentleman – That would be quite nice to leave, you know? – Absolutely, absolutely – I’m curious, would you say that you like yourself or love yourself? – A difficult question I think everybody is capable of improving – I say then before that, and I consider this as my university education is going through life and I’m going through those I keep losing this term doors are saying yeah So wherever you want describe it, but that’s my university education And when I’m dead and gone, that’s probably the day I’ll be graduating And it will be the, for those who come after me to decide whether I graduated with honours, or just a simple degree and hideouts to describe it – So what was the question again? And I go I’ve just noticed so just curious to know and I suppose it’s as much to talk about you know, whether inner critic and inner language but you know, would you say that you like yourself and love yourself? – I wouldn’t say I love myself Because I faults, – I don’t think any of us would be human. If we didn’t have faults at all I can do probably better ask my wife, you know, and she would tell you the truth, unfortunately And my friends as well, I think probably one of my faults is I say yes too often And don’t always think of the consequences And there are consequences to everything – But it’s mitigating them as best you can I would have my faults, yes And saying yes, too often I need to think, and hopefully I learned from my faults as I go, I’ll have more faults I would imagine when I play, I think the best you can do in life is reducing them as you go And I don’t I probably will never get rid of them all Again, would we be human if we didn’t? Would we be the character or the person we are if we didn’t have those foibles it’s like somebody with a disfigurement or anything or any disability they are those people because of that So with most of them if you ask, would never want to go back and not have that disability or disfigurement, because that would change the person they are so I think I am the person I am with my faults and hopefully the good side of me is better than the fault so I love it I love it So tell me this in one or a few words What is your Fire in the Belly? excitement, excited excitement as to what’s next is going to be coming You know, the Coronavirus has opened doors at options working with the outstanding network which again I would suggest anybody listen to this has the opportunity to involve themselves best do so you have nothing against losing by doing it as open doors You may not afford open for you And again, I advise anybody is to try that door I’m looking forward to the next one going open But don’t close it behind you Leave it open, leave it in the Bella jar, knowing you can go back But please try it You never know the exact like, if you just have half the excitement I’ve had of some of those doors that open for me just simply said, Okay, I’ll have a go has been brilliant and I hope there’s a lot more to come – Absolutely Well obviously unicycle is cotton as well – I’ll let you know how that goes – Peter, it has been an absolute pleasure Thank you so much for coming on his story I love the stories It’s been been so great— – You know it’s been a great pleasure for me to reminisce and probably reflect on maybe I’m not just as bad as I think I am You know, that helps as well – So obviously, this is a cathartic process And it’s great to see that your language and your excitement and there’s so many great things ahead So listen, I thank you again, and I look for to hear and have the unicycle

and everything else goes, so— – I promise I’ll let you know Take care everybody and stay safe Thanks talking to you, bye bye – Thank you