Up close and personal with media expert, writer and all-round good egg John Duckers
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am John Duckers of John Duckers Media, and as a sole practitioner I tend to make up any job title I feel like – managing director, chief executive, chief operating officer… all me. Since stepping down from the business editorship of the Birmingham Post six years ago I have been about 75 per cent PR, 15 per cent journalist and latterly 10 per cent children’s writer – publishing The Amazing Adventures of the Silly Six and now a sequel, The Crazy Adventures of the Silly Six, available for purchase from Symphony Hall Gift Shop.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
Monday to Wednesday I am working near Stratford-upon-Avon and the rest of the time I am in my study in Moseley. But on Friday afternoons, which are reserved for a few noggins with the troops, I travel by bus, having now reached the age when I no longer have to pay! You see all kinds of fascinating life on a bus but I could do without idiots on the top deck blasting out rap music.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
Heading out of Birmingham I am largely going against the traffic but the roads are still very busy. More and more I hate the commute. Driving standards are appalling. Smashed the car up the other day – unhurt but well hacked off.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
Yes it is because it remains more like a village and you can easily get about the city centre. I’ve always admired the friendly and open nature of Brummies as well as their resilience in adversity. Finally, after sinking into public sector dependency, entrepreneurship is thriving as we once again seek to be a city of a thousand trades, be that manufacturing, professional services, media or online.
Don’t do coffee breaks and rarely do meetings. All too often meetings get in the way of work.
I make my own sandwiches – doorstep style.
I march round Swanshurst Park in Moseley most days, usually early mornings. I dub myself a volunteer litter warden, picking up discarded rubbish with a special litter picker the council gave me. It is very peaceful. Or it would be if the Canada geese had not reached vermin proportions. They need to be either culled or herded into a lorry and emptied out in deepest Wales. Although that might be a bit unfair on the Welsh!
The Old Joint Stock off Colmore Row is my favourite watering hole. Expensive but the ambience is magnificent. My poison is cider, the sparkly stuff not the rot gut. Later you might find me in the best curry house in the city, the Kababish in Woodbridge Road, Moseley.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
We desperately need leadership, we need a council that can command respect and our vulnerable economic base needs to escape its over-reliance on low paid retail and leisure jobs.