Philip Gould is a leading political analyst and senior adviser to Tony Blair. He has worked as a campaign advisor for Greenpeace and for Bill Clinton and has just published a book, 'The Unfinished Revolution' (Little Brown, pounds 16.99), about the modernisation of the Labour Party.

"After leaving school at 16 with only one O-level, I went to work in a building society, but returned to school to do my A-levels and then won a place at Sussex University, where I did my BA in politics. At university I also met my wife, Gail Rebuck, and together we moved to London, where I was starting my masters at the London School of Economics. After University I worked with various advertising companies before I set up my own public affairs consultancy.

"Since I can remember, I was interested in politics. I always wanted to be part of some kind of political campaigning. So at the age of 15 I joined the Labour Party and put Labour stickers on my school bag. I have been working for the Labour party for 13 years now and everything started when I met Peter Mandelson at a dinner party at my house in 1985. He was director of communications at that time and I was able to convince him that he needed to mobilise Labour supporters in advertising and marketing. He offered me my first big chance and he believed in my ability to succeed.

"Things like that can not be planned ahead. But it is very important to know what you are aiming at and what you want from life. I am a very persistent and determined person. I believe that a lot of endurance, doggedness and a little bit of luck have help me to get where I am now. Somehow all the hard work pays off in the end."

Stefan Lindemann