My Mentor: Gill Hudson On Felix Dennis

'He's the most inspiring guy because he cuts through so much rubbish'
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Felix Dennis has been hugely influential. It would be presumptuous to call him a friend but whenever we meet up there's always a huge big bear hug.

Felix Dennis has been hugely influential. It would be presumptuous to call him a friend but whenever we meet up there's always a huge big bear hug.

He was looking for editors for Maxim in about 1994. I wasn't even particularly interested but they offered it to me and I just thought: "What the heck, let's have a go." I never regretted it.

He's the most inspiring guy because he cuts through so much rubbish. He just says: "Do it first, apologise afterwards." It's very easy to get caught up in so much bureaucracy and he reminds you that you can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it. We launched Maxim in a matter of weeks and that's all we focused on. He was brave enough to say: "I don't care if you fail." He did really, but what he can't bear is if you don't try.

I hardly saw him but I always knew if he was in the building because his energy was just sensational. You don't have to see a lot of Felix to be inspired by him and I think anyone who's met him would testify to that.

He's incredibly bold. There was no interference. My vision was what counted.

He addressed some BBC editors recently at a conference I organised because I really wanted him to say to them the things he had said to me. They beamed and found him utterly inspiring. I had fan mail after his speech. He's got a genuine passion and energy and is charismatic and compelling. When he addressed the conference within 40 minutes everyone wanted to go out and produce the best magazine ever. You can't bottle that quality and there's not enough of it. He's very brave: he just does things, and if they don't work he moves on. To have such sustained energy at such a level for so long is amazing.

Gill Hudson is the editor of the 'Radio Times'

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