I was born in a smallish town in England, called Darlington. I had a somewhat classical English upbringing – I went to the same schools my brothers did (and my father had). It was there that my love of sports was revealed, as I played everything there was and managed to excel at some of them. I even understand cricket, and like watching it but I tried very hard not to play it. After school I became a lawyer like most of my family. Living with them was bad enough, working with them was impossible.

So I took a job in Hong Kong, never having been there before, and ended up a Senior Crown Counsel. I also refereed the Hong Kong International Sevens rugby tournament for three years, and managed to travel a great deal – usually at the government’s expense.

I came to South Africa on holiday in 1983 and fell in love with Cape Town, came back the next year and fell in love with a Capetonian, and moved here in 1986.

My first job was as a real estate agent working (as a white person) in the non-white market in the final days of the apartheid regime. My next was working for the biggest Afrikaans company in South Africa without being able to speak a word of Afrikaans. After eight somewhat interesting years I took a “gap year” and ended up being a Tour Guide.

Over the years I have absorbed a mountain of generally useless information, which has finally become an asset. My friends won’t play Trivial Pursuit with me, but I did win on my appearance in The Weakest Link – despite getting all the tour guide questions wrong!

Letters from previous guests