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.