How Did They Do It? is now 60,000 words in and 2/3s of the way towards completion. A total of 35 interviewees have agreed to take part and 25 interviews have been completed. There are only 14 interviews online at the moment but I hope to rectify this over the next month or so.
Last week, I met Alan Johnson MP at his office in Parliament Square where he discussed his surprisingly destitute childhood as well as his time in office. Alan is an incredible addition to this series. He grew up in one of the poorest parts of London in the 1950s and was orphaned aged 12. After leaving school aged 15 he worked for a time in Tesco before joining the Post Office. Yet he rose to the very top of British politics, becoming Education Secretary, Health Secretary and Home Secretary. How did he do it? You’ll have to buy the book.
Other recent interviewees include Arlene Phillips CBE and Martha Lane Fox CBE, or Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho as of March this year. Martha co-founded Lastminute.com, the hugely successful online travel and leisure retailer. There are now 6 interviewees in this series that have been awarded CBEs and 6 members of the House of Lords. Lastminute.com was established back in 1998 when only 8% of the country had access to a modem. Today she works on major public and charitable projects, including a Gov.uk scheme to get more people in the UK using the internet.