FRIDAY’S CHILD - MICHAEL KELPIE

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This week’s Friday’s Child is Derry man Michael Kelpie. Michael who is the son of Kate and Charles Kelpie is the founder and creative managing director of the hit quiz show The Chase which recently won a National Television award. Michael is married to Nikki and they have a son Ben.

How would you describe yourself?

Lucky. I have a job I love, a wife and son who I love more and I’m reasonably healthy - touch wood.

Happiest childhood memory?

Hard to choose one because I had a very happy childhood growing up in Derry but summer holidays in a caravan in Donegal surrounded by dozens of cousins would rate pretty high on the list of cherished memories.

What was your first job?

A Christmas job in Austins working for my auntie Ann, engraving names on pens. Cash in hand. Happy days.

Favourite book?

Really hard. I read loads. I loved ‘Lost’ by Brian McGilloway. I was at school with his big brother Joe and I remember Brian as a wee boy. Now he’s grown into a fantastic author.

Favourite film?

The Quiet Man. God knows why but I must have watched it a thousand times and I still love it.

Favourite television programme?

Impossible to choose and it changes all the time. I could maybe narrow it down to my top ten current favourites. I watch a lot of telly!

Favourite expression?

A certificate is lighter than a toolbox so get your exams! My dad told me that.

Favourite method of relaxation?

Playing guitar.

Favourite holiday destination?

Ibiza.

Who would you most like to meet?

The person who knows tomorrow night’s winning lottery numbers.

What makes you angry?

A lot less as I get older.

What makes you happy?

Hearing my son belly laughing. Best sound in the world.

What human quality do you most admire?

Generosity.

What human quality do you least admire?

Selfishness.

What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

I used to be a session musician and in 1990 I was touring in Canada with Steve Earle. It was on the night of my 23rd birthday, the roadies stripped me naked, tied me to a chair, covered me in whipped cream and carried my up on stage in front of 15,000 people. Thankfully, there was a lot of whipped cream - and not a lot of smartphones!

What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?

911. My wife and I were in New York. I’ll never forget seeing the missing persons’ photos people posted outside the emergency centres in Manhattan in the days following. It still breaks my heart.

What is your greatest fear?

That I’ll wake up tomorrow and discover that none of this is real.

What has been the high point of your life to date?

Meeting my wife Nikki and the birth of our son, Ben. The two are connected (but there was a few years in between, just in case anyone’s wondering).

How would you like to be remembered?

I’ll be happy if I’m remembered with a smile, maybe a funny story and a glass of something strong.

What is your most treasured possession?

A beautiful vintage watch my wife bought for our 20th wedding anniversary. That, and my Musicman Sabre bass guitar.

If you won the lotto what would you do with it?

Add a fiver and clear my debts.

If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?

I’d have loved to have been a brilliant footballer. I’d wish to have played for Man Utd and score the winning goal in a Champions League Final.

If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?

Thank you. I’ve had a ball.