I was delighted to be asked to contribute a few comments to the BBC North West Inside Out programme on Peel Holdings this week. In a nutshell I said the North West is very lucky to have a business like Peel, led by a driven and determined character like John Whittaker, but that their success comes with a ruthless streak. They tend not to lose. I also mentioned he is a devout practising Catholic. Maybe I sound a little like the Indian mother on Goodness Gracious Me, always spotting her own.
My one and only on the record encounter with John Whittaker is recorded for all time here in the May 2010 edition of North West Business Insider. I rather regret not making more of this encounter and putting it up on the web. The theatre of the clash between JW and Sir Howard Bernstein seemed exciting at the time, and we milked it as a news story and demonstrated how we accessed such big hitters. I wish in a way I'd delved into the great man a little more while I had the chance and splashed it some more. Hats off then to Property Week editor Giles Barrie for doing just that with his opportunity here, but I notice that he too has chosen to hide it behind a paywall. Sometimes it's better to save these things for the printed product, I certainly thought so at the time.
I also have to commend David Quinn and Arif Ansari for an excellent short film. It was fair, balanced and gave a number of valuable insights into the business. The only shame for them, like me, like Giles Barrie, is with Peel you just don't know what to leave out - but part of our challenge is always what you omit as much as what you include and how the story is then told.