I was chatting with Tony Robinson OBE yesterday about – well – everything. We had lunch together in Newcastle.

Tony is a speaker, campaigner, writer, broadcaster and multiple business founder/owner. In amongst many other accolades and recognitions, Tony was presented with an OBE in 2001 by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, for services to small firms and training.


Tony is a brilliant man, and brilliant looking too. A real head turner. Take a look at that hat! (And the Always Wear Red 100% Merino Wool Skinny Bandage Scarf of course).

Anyhow, we chatted about how – over the years – Tony has campaigned tirelessly and effectively for causes affecting the smaller business world. I like Tony because he’s generous, clever and a do-er. He has made positive change happen. And he wants to do more.

I also like the fact that Tony is not chest-beating. Nothing about Tony is self-congratulatory. He talks only about the people’s lives he’s helped to make better and the good feeling he gets from making real change and pissing off the odd out-of-touch bureaucrat along the way.

Tony and I have decided that the number one priority for us both, in our quest to make our world and the wider world a better place, is to not die.

Staying alive is important. We agreed on that. So as we (and you) get older – we’re staying fit. Tony is running marathons and I am popping to the gym with the guys from STORM every now and then.


The other thing we both agreed on is that, as we get older there is absolutely no reason to slow down.

Or indeed to stay at the same pace.

We should get faster.

Sleep less. Bugger about less. Meet more. Affect more. Talk more. Listen more.

Do more.

If for no other reason than – because we can.

Tony travelled from York to see me yesterday. And he insisted on buying coffees and lunch. Such effort, generosity and sincerity is rare. Too rare.

Tony was touched by my STILL story. Whilst we’re Still In The Game – so we can do anything!

And so it is that Tony and I have decided to:

  1. Live forever.
  2. Get faster. Speed up our lives to do as much as we can for as many as we can.

I, and Tony, plan to deliver on at least one of those two.


  1. …Michael thank you for reminding me about not slowing down… promising not to choose to be “too old for that” and to promise to myself to grow old disgracefully. I just wanted to remind you that you make an impact with your words… thanks you. polly

    • Great fun – thanks, Michael. I will go faster and, hopefully, ever more disgracefully but perhaps not on Sunday. Sunday is the Yorkshire Marathon. My cunning plan is to go rather slowly for the first five miles and I know I’ll be going very slowly after the 20-mile mark. Sometimes it’s just about not stopping, gritting the remaining teeth, smiling and moving forward one step at a time. There’s nothing more inspiring than to see all the brave people enjoying the 26.2 miles – York is beautiful and the crowd of cheerers on are just awesome. We’ll raise £millions for great causes. Watch out for me in my ‘world is my lobster’ red hat with the names of the 5 fine friends I’m running in memory of. Made my day with your article – still in the game 🙂

Write A Comment