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Five minutes with... Bryan Bunn
11:08am Monday 17th December 2012 in Business: Meet The Boss
Favourite North-East building and why?
Apart from the Riverside Stadium, as a Boro fan, I always remember the first thing you saw when returning to Teesside as a youngster (apart from the smog) was the landmark ICI tower at Portrack.
When you saw it you knew you were nearing home. It was also a key symbol of the heritage of Teesside, of its engineering and manufacturing heritage.
What was your first job and how much did you get paid?
Technical apprentice at ICI Billingham – so long ago I can’t remember but it was about £21 per week.
What is the worst job you’ve had?
I’ve been quite fortunate in my working life with some great jobs, but I do remember a period when I was young when I was one of 102 apprentices paid off by ICI.
I spent a couple of months odd-jobbing to make ends meet before I went back to college to study. I tried to sell biscuits on a market stall (and ate all the profit) and I also tried my hand at selling Kirby Cleaners (great gimmick but never sold a single unit.)
What would you cook a guest who came around for dinner?
Easy – I do a mean chilli with rice, spicy salsa, cool sour cream and special cheese, plus a few bottles of beer to match.
What would your superpower be?
To time travel. Forward, to get all the results from the big sporting events, and back to bet on them. Really would be good to try to bring future benefits forward in time, if possible.
Name four people, dead or alive, who would be at your perfect dinner party?
My wife, Elaine. My business partner, Willie – just looking at him makes me smile – Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett for their off-the-wall humour and life stories. That would be a great evening.
Most expensive thing you’ve bought – other than car or house – and how much?
Elaine bought me a lovely watch for my 50th birthday this year – a lot of money.
The Bourne trilogy, which are way better than the films, which were good.
When did you last cry?
Just now trying to complete these questions.
What is your greatest achievement?
Three things: Personal – meeting and marrying my wife, Elaine; Family – having three lovely children, Stef, Kendra and Josef; Work – taking the blind leap of faith and starting Nortech Solutions.
What’s the best piece of advice in business you’ve ever been given?
Always spend less than you earn.
Most famous person on your mobile phone?
I’m not one for the fame thing but I have strong relationships with a number of local well known business leaders.
What was the last band you saw live?
Queen – a massive fan and it was great to see them at a recent concert Describe your perfect night in.
Great afternoon out, fresh air and back to a nice warm room, great company and food then relax and have fun with family and friends.
Who would play you in a film of your life?
It has to be George Clooney or Homer Simpson – a close call either way.
What irritates you?
Wasted time, talent and negativity. I am definitely a glass half full person in my attitude to life and I struggle with people who seem to walk around with their own rain cloud.
Wasting time and talent is another irritation.
I also get wound up sometimes when I look at the North East in general – we are a well-kept secret but terrible at recognising our strengths and selling ourselves.
What’s your secret talent?
I was once a half-decent ice hockey player.
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