Song of my life: 'Goldfinger' by Shirley Bassey

What is the best advice you have been given?

What is the best advice you have been given?

My mother said: "Go forward and choose the correct road to travel in life."

What one thing would change your life for the better?

Not working a 10 or 11-hour day. The trouble is I don't notice the time. The job is so varied and enjoyable that, some days, it doesn't seem like being at work.

What is the song of your life?

"Goldfinger", sung by Dame Shirley Bassey. It has so many high points - the brass section, the melody. The words are pretty crazy as well. It has been a fantasy of mine to conduct the song at one of her concerts.

What's the last book you read and how was it?

The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney, a great children's book. The series is based in my native county of Lancashire and rather like Harry Potter but based on fact.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Anthony Andrews in his Brideshead Revisited days. Or maybe Les Dawson.

Where is your favourite place?

Home, which is a fabulous new apartment in London, and also the Royal Court Theatre, Bacup in Rossendale, Lancashire, where I progressed from rehearsal pianist at 15 years old to musical director and eventually chairman.

Where in the world would you most like to visit?

Every stately home in England. I am a member of the National Trust and don't use my card as often as I should.

If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?

I would want a few strong words with Hitler to tell him how the world feels about his war crimes and how he robbed the world of so many people. Also, I would love to share a glass of champagne with Dame Shirley Bassey.

Apart from the job, what three things are the most important to you?

My cat Sinatra, my singing voice and all of my family.

What do you wish you'd known when you started teaching that you know now?

How tiring and emotionally draining the profession is.

What's the big question about life that you would most like answered?

I wouldn't. Life is mysterious. I think that is how it should be. Who knows what is around the corner ... Ofsted perhaps? You never know.

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