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30 Minutes with…

…Marcus French, French's Fish & Chips, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk



What is your greatest achievement?

Running a fish and chip shop for 33 years. I say no more!


How did you get into the industry?

I worked in the family fish and chip shop from nine years old as a spud  boy. When I was 18 years old, I went full-time and I’ve ben running it since I was 25. The business has been going 96 years and I am the third generation.


If you could change jobs with anyone else for the day who would it be?

A pop star, just for a day. I think it must be a great high to be on a stage and entertain a large crowd, the euphoria must be fantastic.


What’s your favourite film?

Mary Poppins, because it was the first film I had seen which contained animation and music.


What was the first music single you bought?

Space Oddity by David Bowie. I just really liked David Bowie.


Do you have a nickname?

No, but my grandfather had a nickname, Tishy. He got it after he fell over and missed an open goal on the same day as a horse fell running to the finish line, a long way ahead of the field. The horse was called Tishy.


What did you want to be as a child?

A jailer, I loved keys and locks, I still carry lots of keys for work.


If you could have anyone join your team who would it be?

Jamie Oliver, he seems down to earth and cooks food which I enjoy. He would bring in the customers too.


What’s your favourite food?

A roast beef dinner as it reminds me of Sunday dinners at home with the family.


What sports team do you support?

I’m a Norwich City fan, mainly because it is my local football team.


If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask them? 

John Fryer, sail master on HMS Bounty (Mutiny on the Bounty) with Captain Bligh. He actually lived in my house, so I would love to meet up with him - and Lord Nelson who was born just four miles away in Burnham Thorpe - to find out about my home town and life in The Navy.


If you were Prime Minister for a day what’s the first thing you would do? 

I would reduce the amount of work businesses are required to do. We have to do VAT, wages online, pay child maintenance, attachment of earnings, paternity and maternity pay, pensions, NIC and soon online accounts quarterly. These are all jobs employers have to do unpaid.


If you could go back in time what year would you choose?

Somewhere between the 1960 and 1970 as those years were filled with good music and everyone seemed to have fun then.


Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, I love nothing more than going out in my boat and catching mackerel.


What question would you like to ask our next “30 minutes with”? 

Do you think robots will cook and serve fish and chips in the near future? 

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