Nick Walker of RAC Telematics answers Barker's Dozen
07 October 2015
1 What was your first job?
My first real job after my studies was at Lucas Automotive in Birmingham. I joined as an electronic design engineer but quickly realised I wouldn't be successful at that so transferred into sales and marketing
2 What was your first company car, and what do you drive now?
My first was a Vauxhall Cavalier - a bright orange one, which would have been appropriate if I had been with the RAC in those days. I now drive a BMW X3 and a Jaguar XF. Both are black
3 What did you listen to on your last car journey?
Songs of Innocence by U2.
4 What do you wish you could do better?
Sing, without having people yell at me to stop. I play guitar and would really like to sing along to what I play - but I am really, really bad!
5 What's your biggest achievement?
My biggest business achievement was leading a team that secured a manufacturing contract worth $4bn. It took a year starting from scratch and involved negotiations across three continents. I think my biggest achievement outside of business and family life was winning the Porsche golf tournament in 2013.
6 What are your three favourite films?
The Usual Suspects, The Matrix, and Arthur, but the original version with Dudley Moore. I watched that one so many times I used to able to recite the whole script!
7 What's the stupidest thing you've done?
One Christmas, when I was a student living in a hall of residence, there was a barrel of beer prize for the best-decorated floor. I drove a couple of mates out into the countryside at 2am to chop down a Christmas tree thinking that would take the prize, but we were caught by the police. The tree ended up in the police station, we did not win the beer, and we were hauled in front of a magistrate for theft.
8 What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?
The same one as always: the priority of new feature development for our telematics platform. We are a team of creative and passionate people and that is a pretty explosive mix when you discuss the feature roadmap
9 What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?
Pink Floyd. I even have a complete collection of miniatures of their album covers framed in my home. If visitors can state the names of each album and the year recorded, I give up a bottle of single malt!
10 What's the worst thing about your job?
I have a team that seems to ignore any boundaries of fear and they drag me along. We recently did a charity event for Motability where we abseiled down the Avon Gorge. I was terrified. I have a fear of heights. But we raised over £1300 so it was worth it.
11 What one law would you make or change?
I'd make voting compulsory.
12 What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I realised I was not good enough to be a musician or footballer, I wanted to be a scientist.
I watched every science and technology programme I could on TV and studied science and technology subjects all the way through university
13 Who is your ideal celebrity date?
Chancellor of Germany] Angela Merkel. Having lived in Germany for the past 28 years, that would be terrific.
Job title Managing director - RAC Telematics
Home towns Munich and Swindon
Family Married with two grown-up daughters and one dog
Sum up your company in 13 words or fewer The RAC - one of the UK's most progressive breakdown and business service providers.l