Q&A: Leslie Manning, chairman, Rapidity Communications

Jo Francis
Monday, April 14, 2014

Although he is clearly way too young to retire, that’s exactly what Les Manning plans to do come May after 43 years in print. His four sons all work at London-based Rapidity, so we guess he’ll still be in the loop about what’s going on one way or another. Retirement will give Manning more time to improve his golf handicap and for his beloved Charlton Athletic FC.

What is your nickname? 

I have asked my staff. They tell me it isn’t printable

Why did you get into printing? 

My dad worked in an ad agency and I was offered a job as a junior salesman by one of his contacts

What would be your dream job? 

To own and run The Lone Star restaurant in Barbados. Unfortunately, it’s owned by Dave Whelan, and I can’t afford it

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Bryan Cranston (the actor who plays Walter White in Breaking Bad)

What is your dream bit of kit? 

The Charlton first team kit

Who do you admire most in the industry? 

Simon Baker, managing director at Printflow Communications

Who or what do you hate the most?

Nigel Farage and UKIP, in any order

What is your favourite saying?

A woman is a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke

What is your favourite album?

Seesaw by Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa

What is your greatest luxury in life?

Holidays in Barbados

What is the strangest job you’ve ever done?

Painting lines around machines in a tool making factory

Who would you like to be stuck on a desert island with?

Simon Baker again

What is your greatest ambition?

Charlton to win the Champions League

What piece of kit would you like to see invented?

A digital colour press that handled its own marketing and sales

Most embarrassing moment?

Taking a client to lunch and falling asleep at the table. Those were the 80s!

Who would be your favourite party guests?

Tony Benn (RIP)

Where would you go if you could time-travel?

Back to the 1980s to buy up Hoxton and Shoreditch

What is the worst kind of print?

Anything currently being printed by our competitors

What was the best business deal that you’ve pulled off?

Securing 100% of Rapidity

How would you like to be remembered?

As the first man to climb Everest at 120 years old

Life is…? 

Too short to be anything but happy

What was your childhood obsession?

Charlton Athletic and Sally Braddell (she was in class 4A)

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