Close-Up: The Hot Seat - Gareth Goodall, Fallon

Name: Gareth Goodall

Job: Head of planning, Fallon

- You've got five hours left before the world explodes. What do you do?

Nothing. As a former member of the Millennium and Hale-Bopp cults, I know from painful experience that the end of the world can be a disappointment.

- What's your best joke?

An epic and true story involving Cliff Richard, his 90-year-old mother and an aggressive Chinese waiter.

- What's your biggest fear?

The Town House, Uttoxeter, at closing time, duck.

- When did you last cry and why?

I'm a crier. Anything sets me off. Last seen blubbing to Rolf Harris' Two Little Boys in a Somerset field.

- Who is your hero?

My dad. Flag in hand, socks over jeans, furiously waving for offside.

- Name one thing about yourself that few people know.

I'm a published prize-winning author of stories I wouldn't want my mum to read.

- What's the worst thing about your job?

The daily discomforts of Converse. I long for the day I can ascend to the distinguished ranks of the slip-on loafer.

- What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Someone so much older then but younger than that now.

- Which historical figure do you most identify with and why?

My grandad Frank. A man for whom "It's buggered" was a good assessment of any situation.

- If you had a trained monkey, what would you make it do?

Finish my novel. It'd probably be funnier and less filthy, both of which would be an improvement.

- If your office was burning down, what object would you save and why?

We should all burn our offices.

- Are you happy?

Much as we'd all love to be tortured geniuses, we have it far too good to be anything other than happy.

- What's your most evocative childhood memory?

Realising, as I boarded the bus on the first day of a new school in a new town, that my mum hadn't been accurate when she said: "All the boys will have briefcases."

- What's your most irritating habit?

Sleepless nights.

- What belief do you hold most strongly?

If in ten minutes you haven't spotted the tosser in a room, it's you.

- What's on your iPod most-played list?

Bob Dylan. The world's greatest living artist.


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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).