What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I started in the film industry; well, cellulose film, to be precise! I worked as a trainee accountant at British Sidac, a manufacturer of packaging for crisps, tea and cigarettes. I first joined the IT industry when 3i introduced me to Networks First's chairman and founder, Peter Titmus, in March 1998. I was hired to help with its finance operations two months later, and have been involved ever since.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
It would definitely be planes. I learned to fly them when I turned 50.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
Major come to the door!
In my dreams...
...I am better looking, smarter and quicker than in real life.
If you had to choose just one leisure activity, would you choose an art or a sport?
It would be a sport, as art would not satisfy my competitive nature.
What never fails to make you laugh?
Watching stand-up by Lee Evans. He is a danger to my health; sometimes I can't breathe with laughter.
What would you like to do next weekend?
Have all my family come over for an annual BBQ, with about 30 of us eating and drinking, and ending up with a singalong into the early hours of the morning.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
If I were a pencil, I would write my wife a note to get me the hell out of there. She always gets me out of trouble.
What would you like to have as your epitaph?
"It was a better place for having him around", and I think that says why.
What is the best way to get UK plc growing faster?
We have got to surrender some of our green belt to enable us to build 250,000 more houses each year for the next 10 years. This will take the heat out of the housing market, creating jobs and a demand for consumables and the products that everyone needs with a new home.
Your closest near-death experience?
In April 1989, I left my two sons and pregnant wife at home to go caving down the Swildens Hole in the Mendips with my brother-in-law. Due to heavy rain the day before, we ended up trapped in a cavern with our only escape route blocked by rising water.
After three desperate hours bailing out water with our helmets, we were able to crawl through a small tunnel to freedom. We didn't go caving again after that close encounter.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Honesty. I think the clue is in the word "partner": if you can't be honest with each other, then you will only end up fighting at some point.
Is charisma or brains more important for a great leader?
Great leaders have both charisma and brains; ordinary leaders might have only one or the other.
Which four famous people (living or dead) would you invite to a dinner party?
Nelson Mandela because of his courage and his intellect; Sir Isaac Newton, who was probably the best scientist ever; Halle Berry as she is beautiful and smart; and Roald Dahl to tell us some stories.
How do you try to cheer yourself up when you're feeling down?
I tell myself what a lucky man I am, and it works every time.
Tom Mulvaney is managing director of Networks First
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It may not have been the face-to-face shindig we're accustomed to, but Colin Murray kept the belly laughs coming at the virtual awards earlier this month. Here we relive the highlights