The 5-minute Interview: Alex Proud, gallery owner

'I was once in Charles Kennedy's kitchen cabinet'
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The Independent Online

In 1998, Alex Proud, 37, launched the Proud Galleries, one of Europe's most successful independent photographic institutions. Tomorrow, he adjudicates the final of the photography competition 'Picture This' on Channel 4.

If I weren't talking to you right now I would be...

Lying at home with my one-day-old son, Ulysses.

A phrase I use far too often...

"Sorry I yelled at you." I have used this one a lot with my staff.

I wish people would take more notice of...

Society's less visible people – the elderly, mentally ill and those in jail.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was...

The end of my wife's 40-hour labour. When my son arrived it was just an indescribable moment. I wouldn't go as far to say I had a new-age man moment, but I did cry.

A common misconception of me is....

There are a lot. I am perceived as being arrogant when I am simply trying to make things happen.

I am not a politician but....

I am a politician. I used to sit in Charles Kennedy's kitchen cabinet. I would do more to protect civil liberties, burn ID cards and end the war on terror.

I am good at...

When a goal has been set I seem to focus best.

I am very bad at....

Knowing when to shut up and let others take over.

The ideal night out is...

With my wife and baby.

In moments of weakness I....

I would go home to my wife. She is tremendously supportive.

You know me as a gallery owner but in truer life I would have been...

A politician.

The best age to be is...

I would say 27. You have the money, confidence and experience to go out and really enjoy yourself.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is....

Enjoy today, respect those around you and love your friends and family.

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