Question Time: Gary Farrow
Monday 15 June 2009
Work: Chairman and chief executive of PR company The Corporation, where he represents such celebrities as Jonathan Ross, Michael McIntyre and Alan Carr.
Life: Aged 53, he is married to The Sun columnist and broadcaster Jane Moore. They have three daughters and live in South London.
Balance: Photography and watching Chelsea Football Club.
What makes you think that comedy can be the saviour of British commercial television?
Well, live comedy concerts have never been bigger. Michael McIntyre has done three shows at Wembley and four at The O2. Last year, six out of the top ten best-selling DVDs featured stand-up comedy.
How did you get into entertainment PR?
It was the classic climbing my way up from a teaboy route, starting out in 1973 working for Elton John at Rocket Records.
What was your biggest PR coup?
The successful banning of "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The BBC Radio 1 presenter Mike Read said he was not sure he was ever going to play that record again, and that very second I decided to take that as a green light to say it had been banned. I had to find a working payphone to get the news out, because that was long before mobiles or the internet. I started with The Sun, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail, and the television and the rest of radio followed from there. It was front-page news for three days, we sold a million records in a week and had established one of the biggest pop acts in music history.
And the fiercest firefighting you've ever had to do?
Working for Gordon Ramsay kept me busier than Red Adair.
Where are the best places in media to break a story?
The Sun, the Daily Mail, the BBC and the Sky News website.
What are your Desert Island media?
I'm a media addict, so I'll say anything that I can access via my iPhone, Blackberry or PC.
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