The 5-Minute Interview: Raymond Gubbay, Impresario

'In another life I'd have been a lawyer, judging from the size of my bills'
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The Independent Online

Raymond Gubbay, 60, is celebrating his 40th anniversary as the UK's leading music impresario. His 'Christmas Festival' tours the country from 15 to 24 December

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

Checking that our box-office sales figures are on target. This is our busiest time of year. We've got the Royal Albert Hall sold out for our Classical Spectacular, and we're selling fast for the Christmas Festival.

A phrase I use far too often is...

"Oh Blimey" (usually when I'm checking box-office sales figures).

I wish people would take more notice of...

Our adverts. If I'm being flippant. Otherwise, I think it's terribly important to get children out of schools and into the performing arts and music.

I'm not a politician but...

Children at school should be able to go and see live music performances, go to theatres and the opera and visit art galleries. Sadly opportunities are lacking under any party except mine, which doesn't exist.

A common misconception of me is...

That I know nothing about music. I'm just doing it for the money.

I'm good at...

Answering questions straight.

But I'm very bad at...

Ballroom dancing.

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

Being asked to appear on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs - which I did this morning. I'm not allowed to tell you what they were but my list certainly kept changing - I've been in music a long time now.

The ideal night out is...

Enjoying wine from near my house in Provence with good friends under the stars.

In moments of weakness I...

Break my diet.

You know me as a music impresario but in truer life I'd rather have been...

A lawyer - judging from the size of my bills.

The best age to be is...

Whatever age you are - never what you're not. I couldn't give a toss about wanting to be younger.

In a nutshell my philosophy is this...

Enjoy life, 'cos it ain't a rehearsal.

Sam Jones

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