My Desk - Johnny Hornby

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 12 November 2010 12:00AM

When we first founded the agency (CHI & Partners), we brought in furniture from our own homes.

I bought my desk from an antique shop in Petworth in Sussex recently and also bought another identical one for my study at home. I have shared an office with Simon (Clemmow) and Charles (Inge) nicely for ten years, although Charles also has another one because he doesn't like listening to me on the mobile all day. We have a TV on the wall for client presentations and a flipchart in the room and we do a lot of our work in here, so it has always been the centre of the agency.

I realise my desk looks suspiciously neat. It's not normally quite that tidy but papers that have been on my desk for more than three days, I just chuck in the bin. I figure everything is stored on the BlackBerry (1).

I have probably got one too many devices because of the advent of the iPad (2). It's a life-changing gadget and perfect for me, because I just look at ads, things I can't afford and check e-mails. I don't bother taking my laptop around with me any more and it probably won't be long before I can get by without my laptop altogether.

I read The Times (3) but, increasingly, I read it on my iPad on weekdays and get newspapers only at the weekends, when I read The Sunday Times. Peter Mandelson's memoirs (4) are there for a number of reasons. He is a very good friend and was on the board of CHI for five years. The ad we made with him for the serialisation of the memoirs in The Times was one of the most talked about of the year. I've kept the print ad (5), with Peter on a horse, in a frame.

The Arsenal book (6) is one of many publications I own about that football club. It is one of the passions I inherited from my elder brother (the author Nick Hornby). From when I was five years old, he started taking me to the Arsenal. I am generally miserable over our football club's structural inability to ever win anything and I've inflicted it on my sons. My eldest son now goes to see them playing at home and away.

The picture is of all my children (7). It's nice to look up at them when I get a quick break from e-mails. They are Arabella, Maddy, Ben, Joe and Grace.

The granny (8) was sent to me by John Rudaizky, who runs Team Vodafone for WPP globally. We've been working with him closely and he sent that to everyone as a reminder that we have to help each other along on the global team. I think he thought I needed more reminding than most, which is probably fair.

I eagerly await the arrival of Marketing Week but if I can't get hold of it, I read Campaign (9).

The River Cafe cookbook (10) is there as the River Cafe is my favourite restaurant and Ruthie Rogers is a friend of mine. I eat there most weeks. If I'm alone in London when my wife is not in the city, I sit at the counter and Ruth cooks something for me. I suppose there is an element of "who is that tragic man dining on his own?"

I am a bit of a shambles and I find it useful to have shoes, shirts and suits in the office. On the rack, there are five suits (11), four pairs of shoes and loads of shirts. It's partly because I live in two places (London and Sussex) and I always seem to find myself in the wrong place with the wrong things. I'm also on a plane a lot, a bit like George Clooney in Up In The Air, who, tragically, I actually thought was an aspirational character for the first 20 minutes.

I drink a lot of coffee, three or four lattes a day, and I have five or six cans of Pepsi (12). A lot if it is a result of being a heavy smoker and having given up a few years ago. Simon said when we first launched that he wouldn't set up an agency with me if I smoked in the office, so I spent the first five years out on the street smoking. I look out on to Rathbone Street and Charlotte Street and out the window, I can see Jonathan Burley, our ECD, suffering the same fate. He seems to spend most of the day smoking outside.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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