`Hello ... I'm on the beach ... ': cross words

Head to head Should we use mobile phones in public? Certainly, says mobile phone millionaire Martin Dawes. Never, replies deep-fat phone- fryer Ugur Vata

Pro-mobiles in public

"People need to be contactable. I've had a mobile since 1985, and wouldn't want to be without one. When you're on the move it's very important. I think it's totally invaluable when you're travelling, on aeroplanes and abroad, and even on trains. Trains normally run about half an hour late, so if you're going to be late for a meeting at least you can phone up and warn people, whereas in the past people would just be left high and dry. Mobiles give a feeling of well-being and take away the panic when you're running late.

I think generally people have good manners and switch them off if they're in a place they shouldn't be using them, and a lot of modern phones have a vibrator [mode] in them, so if it's in your pocket you can feel it rumbling. You know there's a call but it's not actually obvious to anyone else. A ban on mobiles would restrict communication: sales managers want to keep in touch with their salesmen, technical people need to speak to their head office. Thanks to mobile phones we have far greater communication, and if people are going to run their businesses efficiently, they need to communicate. People need to be contactable.

Mobile phones provide an opportunity to speak to friends, there's the convenience, and then there's a safety factor: people who are not high users will perhaps have a phone in the car in case they break down on the motorway. The health scares are a concern but to my knowledge there hasn't been anyone saying conclusively that it's bad for you. And you can get hearing devices which work very well. In the next five or six years everyone will have a mobile phone. Other countries have more mobile phones than we have. The Italians love them. It's important to have a mobile phone and to be seen with it."

Martin Dawes is a business entrepreneur. He sold his chain of mobile- phone shops to Cellnet in March for pounds 70m

Anti-mobiles in public

"I've got a mobile but I never turn it on if I'm going somewhere in town. I never use it publicly. If my phone rings, I excuse myself and find a quiet corner. Trains are the worst. People phone to say, `Hi darling, I'll be there in 10 minutes.' And then there are all the different tunes: one minute it's Vivaldi and the next minute it's something different, and you think, `For God's sake turn it off.'

Most mobiles have answering services, so why don't people use them? As for the health side of it - we are cooking our brains. Lots of people seem to be turning a blind eye to this, just as with BSE, but in the long term I think we are going to pay a price.

I get very fed up with mobile phones in the restaurant. The point of being here is to experience the food and pay attention to it. If you're eating with a fork in one hand and the phone on your shoulder, it's not really appreciating it to its fullest. One week there were two businessmen dining here. One had a phone which rang throughout their lunch, which was eventually broken by the other man who literally smashed it on the table and said, `You're having a meeting with me, and I'm not putting up with it.' The next time they dined, the other guy's phone was ringing a lot, so obviously he thought he'd go one better. So when his lunch partner had gone off to the bathroom, he said to me, `Deep-fry that for me.'

It was an odd request, but I was also fed up so I said, `Fine.' Chef served it with a slice of lemon and French fries on a nice white plate: we served it to him when it got to their main course.

I'd be happy to deep-fry another phone any time. If, after a nice, polite warning, customers still continue to use their mobiles here then I now say, `Watch out for that deep-fat fryer'."

Ugur Vata is the owner, and sometimes chef, of the Galley Restaurant, 25 Saint Nicholas Street, Ipswich

Interviews by Kate Mikhail

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Cover Supervisor

    £75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

    Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

    Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

    SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

    £1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam