Malcolm Oliver

Place of Birth: I was born in Hartlepool - please no monkey hanging comments - I will have heard them all before!

Family: I've been married to Anne for 46 years and have 2 daughters and 3 stunningly beautiful granddaughters aged 8, 6 and 6 months

Lives: I now live in Solihull having moved recently from North Yorkshire

Education: I attended the local Grammar School in Hartlepool but failed miserably (too much cricket) and left at 16. I'm part way through an OU History degree which I intend to complete by the time I'm 75. - not much time left.

Jobs: I've had a variety of jobs and have run my own businesses variously, mainly in the demolition industry, from 1970's to my retirement in 1998 thereafter I continued in a consultancy role to of number of demolition contractors.

What do I do? Now fully retired I tend to spend as much time as I can playing bridge and golf and spending time with my family (the main reason for moving to Solihull) and of course my work in bridge administration. I'm thrilled to be part of the team which successfully brought in pay to play, launched the NGS, and taking bridge back to its grass routes via the National Club Committee.

My bridge playing: I started playing bridge in 1965 initially watching a group of colleagues playing during lunch breaks. I had to sit in for a few days and became hooked. I hot footed it to the local library selected a book which I think was written by Josephine Culbertson and started devouring any books I could lay my hands on. I play at a reasonable standard, although some of my partners and many of my opponents might disagree. I mostly play nowadays in extremely competitive teams and pairs leagues in Warwickshire and in odd congresses and National KO events. My greatest thrill in a long, albeit, intermittent, bridge career was winning the Tollemache Cup, two years ago in my final appearance in NEBA colours.

Who would you like to be stranded on a desert island with andwhy? Ginger Baker so he could teach me to play the drums like he does on Cream's 'Outside Women Blues' and 'Crossroads' - marvellous demonstration of the rock drummer's art.

If you could come back as an animal what would it be? A great white shark - I wouldn't have the same respect for members of the personal injury claims industry if I caught them swimming in my patch!!

If money was no object, tell us about your dream holiday?Travelling by train around the cultural capitals of Europe.

What book are you currently reading? A Week in December by Sebastian Faulkes and rereading George Eliot's Silas Marner.

Who do you admire and why? My wife Anne who has put up with me forover 46 years - there ain't a medal big enough. Seriously though Margaret Thatcher for her courage and principles.

Which 4 famous people (dead or alive) would you invite to adinner party? A real toughie - Joseph Heller would be my first choice (I love the story about a reviewer who noted, when reviewing one of his later novels, that he {Heller} had never written anything else as good as Catch 22 to which his riposte was 'Who has'). One of my favourite singer songwriters but which one -Bob Dylan might be the obvious choice - no not for a dinner party, its close between Leonard Cohen and Loudon Wainwright III. I think it would have to be Loudon - he makes me laugh more than Len. Gustav Mahler a man who wrote the most moving and majestic symphonies of the romantic period, Jon Anderson of whose voice I have been a fan for over 40 years but I'd really like to know what on earth he was singing about in those twee lyrics of the early 70's albums of Yes.

What is your ideal night out? We tend to have days out now we are both retired and living in Solihull enables us to catch an early train to London, visit a blockbuster exhibition at the National, Royal Academyor Tate Britain, maybe followed by a free lunchtime recital at St Martin in the Fields, matinee at a West End theatre followed by an early evening dinner at our favourite London restaurant - all in all one satisfying but very very expensive day. Having said that movie nights with our granddaughters with all the attendant rubbish like popcorn and a rangeof disgusting confectionery takes some beating - we never tire of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe or the Madagascar series of films!

Tell us something about yourself that no one at EBU would know ..Deep down (really deep) I'm a nice guy! I once played the part of Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls to a packed audience at Darlington Civic Theatre - Frank Sinatra eat your heart out!