Jeffrey Archer: ‘I think the British people will say give the other party a chance – and Keir Starmer isn’t that bad’

The best-selling British novelist, life partner, convicted felon and former politician, Jeffrey Archer’s works have been translated into more than 47 languages, with total sales of more than 320 million copies.

What is your earliest memory?
The death of King George VI.

When and where were you happiest?
Watch Somerset play cricket. When I was younger, the only way I could watch Clarence Park games in Weston-super-Mare was to sell shows around the field and that brought me to my first love of cricket.

What is your least attractive and most attractive trait?
Impatient. I always want something done immediately, I can never wait. Generous. My hobby is charity auctions and over the past 40 years I have conducted over a thousand charity auctions and raised over £50 million. It’s my hobby and I love it.

What trait do you hate the most in other people?
snobby. I hate benefits. I hate people who think that because they attended a certain school or university and because their parents are rich or what we used to call when I was a child, aristocrats, they think that they automatically special. They are not.

What is the first thing you would do if you were prime minister?
Resignation — I am 82 years old.

Who will win the next UK election?
Labor. I think there comes a point in every cycle when people are fed up with the ruling party. If we (the Conservatives) finish two more years, we’re going to be 14 years and I think, understandably, the nation will say ‘give the other side a chance’, and Sir Keir Starmer ( leader of the UK Labor party) is not bad.

Who would you most like to go out for a beer with?
Barry Humphries. He is an old friend and one of the best companies I know. He is a man with a super brain. There’s no subject he doesn’t know more about than I do and I’m always learning from him.

Which fictional character do you most identify with?
Secret Service Richard Hannay.

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What is your most guilty pleasure?
Chocolate. I’m not allowed at the moment because I’m slimming down. I’ve lost 18 lbs in the last three months so the only thing I don’t have is chocolate.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Continue to exercise.

When was the last time you cried and why?
Face a crowd of 7,500 in Jaipur. I went there in 2019 to speak at a festival. In India, I regularly draw a thousand people but unexpectedly there are 7,500 people waiting for me. It’s like being a pop star. In fact, I burst into tears and then got on with it but yeah, it’s a memory that will follow me for the rest of my life.

Who will play you in a movie of your life?
Anthony Hopkins. We’re the same age. We have known each other for many years. I am a person of great admiration. I think he’s probably Britain’s greatest actor.

Do you believe in a god and there is life after death?
I worry about it. I thought about it but I’m still not convinced.

What is your favorite word?

What was the last TV show you binge-watched?
newspaper reader. Great. The acting was pretty excellent and I booked myself into one night. I have enjoyed it a lot.

biggest show off?
Art. I have more than 200 photos.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
17 year old gas pump worker. I live on tips.

The book you wish you had written?
Beware of pity by Stefan Zweig.

The book you can’t finish?
War and peace.

Which historical figure would you like to meet?
Thomas Jefferson. Well, he’s the ultimate multi-talented man, isn’t he? While dining with eight Nobel laureates at the White House, President Kennedy said it was the greatest intellectual encounter since Jefferson dined alone. Jefferson is a class animal and how the Americans have demeaned Trump and Biden when they have the likes of Adams, Jefferson and Lincoln is something I cannot fathom.

What song would you like to play at your funeral?
by Sinatra One For My Child. It is a masterpiece.

Jeffrey Archer’s New Novel ‘Next in Line’ Published by HarperCollins Jeffrey Archer: ‘I think the British people will say give the other party a chance – and Keir Starmer isn’t that bad’

Fry Electronics Team

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