Here is a sort of repost of a Friday Interview from my old blog, back when I called myself Graham Bandage for complicated reasons. It is quite topical as long as it is still December, but before Christmas, when you are reading it.
In the latest of our series of interviews, Graham Bandage talks to Andrew Andrews, a man who went from being a humble market trader to one of the richest men in Britain.
Graham Bandage: Andrew Andrews, you’ve got a shedload of money.
Andrew Andrews: I should say so. Although I must say, I don’t keep my money IN a shed. Banks are safer and more convenient.
GB: It’s a shame, in a way. Imagine having a big load of money in your shed. That’d be ace.
AA: Can we move on?
GB: Yeah, I suppose. How did you make your money?
AA: Have you ever been to one of those German markets?
GB: Oh, yes. There are loads of them. I like them because they sell bread. But it’s not ordinary bread that you’d get from a shop. It’s extra-special bread that costs £10. Also sausages.
AA: That’s right. You can’t move for German markets in our city centres at this time of year. Gluhwein-crazed drunks stabbing each other. Teenagers off their faces on gingerbread. Bits of rope, the lot.
GB: I know you’re very rich and everything, but what’s your point?
AA: So what was happening in Germany?
AA: While all the German traders are over here?
AA: I flew over to Hamburg, and there were loads of Germans wandering around the market squares saying, “Was?” and other German words denoting confusion.
AA: Because there were no stalls. All the German market traders were over in Britain charging £8 for a hot dog. I could see a gap in the market.
GB: Well, just a gap.
GB: There’s no market. Your gap is essentially THE market. You’ve got a market-sized gap in the market.
AA: Anyway, I sent a load of English market traders over to Germany.
GB: How did that go down?
AA: Like a storm.
GB: Did you do the full experience?
AA: Oh yes, tarpaulin, wire coathangers, milk crates, the lot.
GB: That sounds great.
AA: Those Germans just couldn’t get enough of our teatowels and “genuine” Paddington DVDs. And at £47 a pop, who could blame them?
GB: So that’s how you made all your money.
AA: Oh, no, while I was over there I bought a Eurolottery ticket. Won £45m.
GB: Andrew Andrews, thank you.