A (not very) Interactive Interview with Sir Clive Sinclair on Classic FM
Clive, tell me, let's go back to the beginning. Erm, I read that quite obviously you were always intrigued as a child by how things worked.
And did you sort of pull them apart and put them back together again or what?
And, er, y- why- where did you start inventing?
Yes, if you would just-
Touch- touch dangerous (laughs)
Yes, we've lost Sinclair, he's gone down. Heh heh, heh heh. Erm, were you a very studious schoolboy, I mean, the sort of chap who sat at the back very quiet...
Generally, it was wanting to do, go my own way rather than the way-
I was being, er, steered.
Were you very good at maths and-
That sort of thing?
Found it very easy.
What about sport?
It's strange, that often goes that people who are brilliant at maths lack that sort of co-ordination.
What about your- your parents th- the- they saw they had this inventive son. Wh- did they encourage you or were they a bit puzzled by
This chap trying to build a submarine at school? (laughs)
Hmm. But how old were you when you actually decided, "Right, I'm going to be an inventor. That's it."?
Well, there used to be a programme on the radio called Larry the Lamb, and-
Baa, Mr Gregor. (laughs)
Yes, that's exactly it. I used to listen to that when I was, I suppose, about six or seven, and there was an inventor on that, and I thought...
That's right, yes.
That sounded a brilliant thing to be.
Mr Inventor, yes, yes (laughs). Well, that's a wonderful thing, and, I mean, you left school and went into, er, I think-
Technical journalism, yes.
I didn't want to go to university, because I wanted to get out into the world and get on with things-
Th- youw- That's interesting. Wha- what- do you think that might of sort of spoilt your outlook, too much formal training?
Erm, well, I'd been very bored at school the last few years, erm, and I wanted, to get on and, I like to teach myself, bu- b- but I find b- that easier and much faster, and, er, so I wanted to get out and start in business as soon as possible, w-
Because I knew that if I wanted to invent things I'd have to do it myself, and, wasn't likely to find someone else t- to take on the invention.
And the first great success was what?
Yes. Little amplifier kits and little radio kits. And they, I'm glad to say, went very well, and I sold them by mail order.
Yes. let's go onto your next choice of music. It's Whistlin' Rick's and it's his "Hold My Hand (Very Tightly)", no less. Why do you like that?
I love the romantic composers, Chopin and so forth, and, erm, in particular, this very sort of, calm beautiful, piano music.