Q&A: Patrick Roberts, independent sales consultant

Jo Francis
Friday, December 18, 2020

It’s been a landmark year for Patrick, who has spent a whopping 50 years in print. In 1970 he worked as a bench hand for Ward Printing and then became a production trainee at The Longman Group (now Pearson Educational).

Roberts: cigars and frequent travel are his greatest luxuries
Roberts: cigars and frequent travel are his greatest luxuries

His career also includes roles at Ancient House Press and Wolsey Press. For 17 years he has also worked for Citizens Advice and says things have been “quite intense” during the pandemic. He loves reading, travel, cricket and the theatre and has appeared in and produced many shows. As an independent sales consultant he is currently working for Greenshoots Print of Ipswich, and for Publicity Arts and Consultants in Design, both based in London.

Why did you get into printing?
I was drifting and my aunt, a head teacher, rang Longman, asked them to give me a job and they did

What would be your dream job?
Orchestral conductor

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Norman Wisdom [if he were alive]

What is your favourite film?
The original film of The Railway Children. I still want to cry!

Sweet or savoury?
Very sweet. I once had a crème brûlée eating competition with a friend in a rural restaurant in France. We called it an honourable draw at 14 each. Our sons were very embarrassed

Who do you admire most in print?
Harvey Abrahams of Publicity Arts. He is a Canadian Mountie of print – always gets the job delivered

What is your favourite saying?
Fine words butter no parsnips

What is your favourite album?
Mahler’s Symphony No 2 ‘The Resurrection’

Your favourite book?
James Joyce’s Ulysses. I have read it once a decade since I was 17

What is your greatest luxury?
Cigars and frequent travel. I have been to 44 European countries, five more were booked for this year and cancelled. But for Covid-19 I would have only had to get to Iceland and Azerbaijan to have visited all 51 by my 70th birthday. I still plan to do it by my 80th!

What is the strangest job you’ve ever done?
Organising much of the print and media for the presentation of a Guards Regiment’s new colours to the Queen in the gardens of Buckingham Palace (see pic). There were four colours for Her Majesty to acknowledge and soldiers got in between our photographer and the Queen for the first three. We got it on the last shot. The photo was taken at 16:28 and 500 prints were delivered as a 2pp A5 to The Banqueting House, for a celebration dinner, before 18:00

What superpower would you like?

Who would be your favourite party guests?
Iain Sinclair, Stewart Lee, Jurgen Klopp, Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, Camille O’Sullivan and Christina Trevanion

Where would you go if you could time-travel?
To see Stonehenge being built

What was your childhood obsession?
Cricket statistics

What is the worst kind of print?
The kind that doesn’t get paid for

How would you like to be remembered?
With a smile

Life is…?
All there is


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