Eurobase Systems chairman John Wilson may be hard-headed when it comes to work, but he has a fantasy about taking Southend United into the first division – get real....

What newspaper do you read?
FT and Sunday Times

What career did you want to have when you were a child?
I have no idea, I cannot remember much serious thought about a career or anything else for that matter until I was around the age of 22

What was the worst business decision you have ever made?
I have made quite a few bad ones over the years. Thankfully, I have also made a number of good ones. I would say that the worst one was not starting Eurobase earlier

What do you like best about insurance?
The people. Seriously, after 28 years, I still find the industry interesting

What would you do tomorrow if you left the insurance industry?
80% of the business of Eurobase is insurance-related, hence this will not happen

How do you relax if you do not play golf?
I have two boys at home aged 15 and five years – golf is my only relaxation

What is the biggest insurance claim you have ever made?
Having worked in the industry for many years I do not claim for every item possible. I have had two claims in 30 years. The largest was about £5,000, that was due to a house burglary

Who do you most admire?
My wife because she has suffered me for so many years

Do you have an unfulfilled ambition?
Lots regarding Eurobase but, excluding that, it is to own Southend United FC and take them back to the first division. I would say premiership but I like to set goals that can be met

On dress down Friday, what do you wear?
At Eurobase, every day is dress down – I always wear a business suit

How many people have you sacked?
Two directly, and both were sales people where it is easy to measure poor performance. Hence I did not feel bad in either case

What is your favourite quote?
I asked my staff this question and they said it is “No”

What is your most over-used phrase?
I asked my staff this question and they said it is “No”

What keeps you awake at night?
Not much except my wife's snoring but please don't tell her

What was your first job?
Computer programmer with ITT

What was your education?
If we are talking academic, I was quite a sad person when young and studied statistics and numerical analysis

What is your favourite film?
I do not have one. I enjoy watching good films, but once watched they are forgotten. Even my five-year-old has to remind me that I am watching a film I have already seen – and that normally occurs when the film is nearly finished.

What is your favourite book?
I do not have one. I do not like heavy fiction – I prefer easy bedtime reading such as Dick Francis.

What is your favourite tea?
My wife tells me it is kidney tea because it is good for me – the answer is therefore kidney tea

What is your favourite joke?
It is really a sketch, of the Spitting Image variety, centered on Margaret Thatcher. The scene is set at lunch in the cabinet room. The waiter asks Margaret: “Prime Minister ,what would you like for lunch?”
“Steak,” she replies.
Then the waiter asks: “What about the vegetables?”
Margaret looks around the cabinet table and retorts: “They will have the same as me.”

How often do you use public transport?
Train weekly, travelling to our city-based office

Who do you vote for?
I was a socialist in my early days, then I learnt the truth

How did you vote in the last election?

Are you in favour of the Euro? Yes/No?
Yes, at the moment, but the increasing bureaucracy and increasing business and employment rules could make me go the other way.