Gary Farrow: My Life In Media

'An embarrassing moment? When Take That split I said that Robbie Williams would never be a star'

Gary Farrow is one of Britain's best-known entertainment business PRs, with a client list that includes Sir Elton John, Gordon Ramsay, Jeremy Clarkson and Sharon Osbourne. He started out working in a record shop before joining EMI and becoming a media manager for Wham!, Blondie and Duran Duran. He is a consummate media networker and lives in south London with his wife, 'The Sun' columnist and broadcaster Jane Moore and their three daughters.

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

I was always interested in television, radio, newspapers and art. Having attended St Martin's College of Art and working at One Stop Records from the age of 15 it was only a matter to time before one of those professions got saddled with me.

When you were 15, which newspaper did your family get and did you read it?

News of the World, Sketch and The Times were always firm accessories, coupled with the Kentish Times, just to find out whose house had been burgled.

What were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

On Sundays the radio always stayed on throughout the day. We sampled the delights of Round the Horne, switching off just after the charts and before Sing Something Simple. On the TV front: The Persuaders, Dad's Army, On the Buses, World in Action, The Frost Report, The Man from Uncle, Ready Steady Go!.

Describe your job

To provide 24-hour conduit with the media for PR, media and communications. Advice and expertise for an ever expanding stable of artists, executives and corporate clients.

What media do you turn to first thing in the morning?

Sky News, radio, TV, BBC website, newspapers and then the numerous cuttings services and the London Evening Standard.

What is the best thing about your job?

You remain your own boss so therefore set your own agenda. I usually work a six-day week and most nights. I am continuously mindful never to suffer with complacency.

And the worst?

I have a 20-month-old daughter whom I don't see as often as I wish I could. Luckily I have a wife in the media who understands long hours and is very supportive regarding business dinners and events.

How do you feel you influence the media?

I am lucky enough to have a cutting-edge stable of superstar artists, executives and companies. We provide a professional stream of information between both (media and showbusiness) parties, thus serving both parties at all times.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

When Take That split I said that Robbie Williams would never be a star. The other embarrassing moment was a collision of heads -mine and Mel Gibson's - on the stairs of Legends Club. This resulted in me saying "What a silly place to put a mirror" and him saying "Fuck off, that isn't funny!".

What is the proudest achievement of your working life?

Having a 33-year working relationship (professional and personal) with Elton John and nearly 14 years with Jonathan Ross, from the mid-1980s at the birth of The Last Resort.

At home, what do you tune in to?

Radio 2, Radio 4, Virgin and LBC. Occasionally, Start of the Week - I am a channel switcher. BBC, Sky, ITN.

What is your Sunday newspaper and do you have a favourite magazine?

I subscribe to all, and mean all, Sunday newspapers. I need them for my job. Our paperboy does two rounds - one to my house and one to the rest of Wandsworth, but I always go for the News of the World first and then take The Sunday Times to the khazi. Favourite magazines are GQ and Vanity Fair.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire

I had always wanted to go to Harvard Business School and do a media/business degree. That will become a reality next year when I do the course which my wife bought me for my birthday this year.

If you didn't work in media, what would you do?

Although I trained as a commercial artist, I would probably have gone into advertising as a copywriter or into law, as anyone who knows me knows I am strong willed and hate losing.

Who in media do you most admire and why?

To stay at the top of your game within any of the genres in media is difficult, so I have respect for editors, producers and programme planners alike. On the PR front, I worked in the 1970s with and admired the late Leslie Perrin, who was incredible. I also have great respect for Will Whitehorn who heads up the media and communications division for Richard Branson's empire. Finally, Sir David Frost, whom I have had the pleasure of working with on a number of occasions and count as a friend, and whose body of work speaks for itself.

The CV

1973 Works at One Stop Records, "the hippest record shop in London at the time".

1974 Gets job as a runner at Rocket Records, after driving Elton John mad for a job.

1976 Joins EMI Records, where he works with Mickie Most.

1980 Starts Gary Farrow Enterprises Media Management company and works with Elton John, George Michael, David Bowie, Paul Young, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Bob Geldof. Also manages Jonathan Ross and Paula Yates.

1995 Becomes vice president communications for Sony Music Entertainment.

2005 forms his own company, The Corporation Group, with clients including Sir Elton, Sharon Osbourne, Gordon Ramsay and Jeremy Clarkson.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Business Development Manager / Sales Executive

£20 - £30k DOE + OTE + BENEFITS: Guru Careers: A Business Development Manager ...

Guru Careers: Copywriter / Direct Response Copywriter

£20k plus sales linked bonus. : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Copywriter to j...

Guru Careers: 3D Creative Designer

Up to £26k DOE: Guru Careers: A Junior / Mid-Level 3D Creative Designer is nee...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks