Culture: Ringside - with Frank Bruno

Frank Bruno
Frank Bruno

Since hanging up his gloves, Frank Bruno has become a much-loved entertainer appearing in numerous pantos, on our screens in interviews and as an after-dinner speaker.

But while being a successful sportsman and entertainer, Frank also had to battle his own demons in the full glare of the public, his struggle with bipolar disorder is well-documented. Rather than hiding away, he used the media attention surrounding him to help with the stigma attached to mental health, and to help raise the standards of care given to those suffering with mental health issues.

He is a huge supporter of charities, including mental health, and runs half-marathons to raise funds.

At The Apex, this big man with a big laugh will talk about his recent book, Let Me Be Frank, his boxing career, from starting out to becoming an adored sports personality.

In conversation with comedian and entertainer Jed Stone, Frank will no doubt give a full insight into his life with his trademark light-hearted humour.

He’s the man with the deep and distinctive rumble of a laugh, Frank Bruno, former world champion heavyweight boxer tells us what’s at the top of his bucket list, what makes him happy and what his guilty pleasure is ahead of his appearance at The Apex next year

What do you wear when you have five seconds to get ready?

My pants, I’m brave and proud.

In which shop could you spend the most time and money?

Harrods.

What did you last splash out on?

My Bentley.

What is the one thing in your wardrobe you will never get rid of?

My MBE suit.

What’s your best investment?

Investing my time into boxing

If you could only wear one brand of clothes, what would it be?

Matalan.

If you were to be stranded on an island with a female, who would it be? (dead or alive)

Madonna.

What is the best party you have ever been to?

The after party of the fight between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in America.

If we could take you anywhere in the world, where would it be?

The Caribbean.

What is your earliest memory?

Going to a Chelsea match with my dad.

What sort of child were you?

Inquisitive and hungry for success.

When did you last feel happy?

I generally am happy most days, but I’m at my happiest when in the health club or gym with my headphones on, in my own little world.

When did you last cry and why?

Yesterday, thinking of my kids and the future and how lucky I am.

What was your biggest achievement, apart from being boxing world champion?

Having my four children.

And your biggest disappointment?

Not spending as much time with them as I would like to.

What would you like to be better at?

Reading and writing.

What are your best character traits?

My sense of humour

And your worst?

Being very very messy and pretending I didn’t see it.

Who would you love to have a chat to if they were still living?

I would love my mum and dad, God rest their souls, to be there, Harry Carpenter, Carmen my PA, and Michael Jackson.

What’s your biggest fear?

Rats. . . human and animal!

How do you relax?

By going to Champneys and listening to music.

How easily do you fall in love?

No, not at all.

If you could make one law, what would it be?

To make sure sex offenders got mandatory help to help them and the victims.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Cakes.

Where would home be in your ideal world?

Land’s End.

Who would you like to play you in a movie?

Will Smith.

What’s your biggest bugbear?

Bitchy people and people that try to mug me off and love a gossip.

As a child, what did you want to be?

A boxer.

What’s the secret to a happy relationship?

Being faithful.

What’s your best quality?

I never judge people and will try to help anybody. I accept people as I find them and I’m not driven by materialism.

And your worst?

That I never listen if I don’t like the first few words.

What’s the most romantic thing you have done.

I don’t know what that word is! Ha ha.

What would be your last meal on earth?

Rice and peas.

Acting or singing, which would you like to do if you had a chance to become a professional?

Acting, of course, have a word – me and pantomime! Ha ha.

Who is your biggest musical influence?

Bob Marley.

What essential gadget would you not be without?

My mobile phone, when I can find it.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

The last mirror I looked in cracked! Ha .

On a day off we’d find you where?

In the gym or Champneys.

Have you ever had a starstruck moment?

When I met Michael Jackson.

What is your favourite tipple?

Jamaican punch.

Do you have a hangover cure?

I only ever had a hangover once when I was eight and I’ve never got drunk since.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

To go on Richard Branson’s new rocket to the moon.

In boxing, what was your big break?

Meeting Terry Lawless.

Do you have a philosophy for life?

To be happy – you’re here on borrowed time.

What was the last film that made you cry.?

The Colour Purple.

The first record you bought was. . .?

Eddie Grant

Your greatest fear?

Dying.

Who is your style icon?

Myself, of course. Have you seen my suits?

Who is your celebrity crush?

Madonna, shhhhh, don’t tell her

Happiness is. . .?

Living

What’s your most unappealing habit?

Picking my nose.

Name three albums you really love.

Anything by Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Dire Straits.

Who, dead or alive, is/was your favourite person on TV?

The two Ronnies.

Do you have a favourite theatre show?

I like watching ballet.

If you had a dream dinner party for five people, dead or alive, who would you invite?

Prince, Michael Jackson, my dad, Eddie Murphy and Freddie Starr. . . and I’d sneak Madonna in too and James Brown can entertain us!

Which reality TV show would you love to do?

Strictly Come Dancing because I need to move my hips now.

Frank will be at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, on February 16. Call 01284 758000 or visit theapex.co.uk