The MT Interview: Roland Rudd

He's a social dynamo at the hub of Britain's business and political life, and his advice is sought by the bosses of a quarter of the top 100 blue-chips. His sideline is to run a serious campaigning body that aims to make the EU more business-friendly. Meet the PR man of the moment.

by Chris Blackhurst

Two occasions spent with Roland Rudd. The first is a visit to Manchester United, then a client of Rudd's Finsbury financial PR organisation. He wants me to meet David Gill, the club's CEO. We're met at Manchester airport by a car. On the way into the city and stuck in heavy traffic, Rudd starts suggesting alternative routes to Old Trafford. In the back, Rupert Younger, then his business partner, and I sit silently as Rudd orders the hapless driver around. Eventually, the exasperated driver snaps. 'Listen, mate, that sign says "no right turn". I'm from Manchester, I drive here every day. I know where I'm going.'

Rudd laughs at himself. He realises that for once his instinct to take charge has gone too far.

Later, on the return journey, Rudd is talking to his wife, Sophie, on his mobile. They're deep in conversation when he suddenly says: 'Got to go, darling, client on the line.' He switches calls. Then another client rings and another. They're all chairmen/CEOs of major companies and they all want to talk to Rudd.

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