The Last Word: Jamie Smith


Name: Jamie Smith

Company: Eight Wire

Job title: Partner and head of written content

What did you want to be when you were young? A fireman, a librarian and a helicopter pilot. It was a painful day when I realised all three were unlikely.

What was your first full time job? Newspaper reporter on the Luton Herald & Post. On my first day I was sent to cover a cabinet MP’s press conference. Turned out it was a one-to-one interview.

What is your best quality? I’m quite good at thinking sideways.

What is your worst quality? I can’t read a sentence without questioning its grammar, spelling and the intent of its author.

What is your favourite book? The Guardian’s style guide. I couldn’t function without it.

What is your favourite film? There are many but Pulp Fiction is up there.

What is your favourite restaurant? It’s in Falmouth. It’s tiny, the food is brilliant and it doesn’t cost as much as it should. For that reason it has to remain my secret.

How do you like to relax? You wouldn’t think it but I love exercise. I’m a keen cyclist, canoeist and sailor.

If you could build a house anywhere in the world where would it be? Haiti. A nice big one for displaced families. I’d stay where I am in Cornwall.

If you could be a superhero, what superpowers would you like to possess? Flying would be pretty cool. Beat the traffic. Could be embarrassing arriving at meetings with pants outside trousers.

Who was your teenage pin up? Claudia Schiffer.

Can money buy happiness? It can help you put together a good party but the point is you don’t need money to be happy.

What has been the best moment in your career? Probably setting up Eight Wire with Sara back in 2004. It’s been a white-knuckle ride, tremendous fun and I am constantly amazed by the opportunities that arise.

What has been the worst moment in your career? An argument with a bullying former editor who should really have known better.

What do you begrudge spending money on? Public sector workers who don’t pull their weight.

If you only had £1 left in the entire world, what would you spend it on? I’d give it to a child to buy bubbles. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in life? Live for today.

What makes you happy? Sunshine.

What makes you angry? Parking machines not giving me change.

If you could invite any two people for dinner, who would they be and why would you invite them? Inventor of the worldwide web Tim Berners-Lee and Eddie Izzard. Tim for the sheer volume of questions I’d love to ask him and Eddie to make us laugh.

What has been your biggest mistake in life? Not making the most of opportunities. It’s true about regretting mainly things you don’t do.

Tell me a joke. When I was young I used to pray for a bike, then I realised that God doesn’t work that way, so I stole a bike and prayed for forgiveness.

When is honesty not always the best policy? When a mugger asks if you have any money.

Describe yourself in three adjectives. Curious, caring, excitable.