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A working class hero is something to be
Having worked with a host of big names, from The Beatles and Frank Sinatra to O.J. Simpson, Simon Cowell, Jade Goody and, currently, Imogen Thomas, he is one of the best-known PR men in the world, famous for breaking some of the biggest stories in newspaper history – and also for successfully suppressing ones that were ready to dominate the headlines. But behind the high level jousting with the hardened bootboys of the British media (and the decent types too), Max Clifford is a remarkeably straightforward and down to earth working class character, who – as it turns out – loves the life he lives.
Olaf Tyaransen, 15 Jun 2011
Do you believe in God?
(Pauses) I hope so. I’d like to think. It’s very difficult sometimes when you see little ones that are dying at no age at all, and all the horrible, terrible things that go on out there.
Are you religious?
No. no. I was brought up as a Methodist but I don’t go to church or anything like that. You treat people how you want to be treated. I’ve put a lot back because I can, and I want to, and I help a lot of people that are up against it because I want to. That’s the truth. Anybody who knows me – and not many people do – will acknowledge that. Every television show I do, the money goes to children’s charities or hospices or whatever. I fund various charities, and I’m a patron of this and a patron of that, and I help particularly with families that have got terminally ill children. But I’m in a lucky position that I can well afford to do it and it gives me a huge amount of satisfaction. Even with Robert Murat. He was being destroyed and I stopped it. And I don’t know anybody else in my position that would do that.
Do you have dealings with many other PR people?
Not really. If I saw them in the street, I’d say ‘hello’. I kind of keep to myself. I don’t go to the social things and the functions and the awards. Once in a blue moon. If I do go, it’s just because there’s half a dozen people who would like to go, and I take them.
When was the last time you threw a punch?
Em... (pauses). I used to a lot. I used to fight a lot when I was younger, just because I’m quite quick-tempered, or I was. Now I’m much too old to throw a punch. But I was, particularly with sport. I’d always have to play under aliases. Water polo was a perfect sport for me because the referee can’t see anything, so you can thump and kick and no-one can see it. In football I was always being sent off, normally because of somebody else. The wingers are small lads and they’d get kicked around and I’d get involved. It was normally like that. It’s bullying and it’s the same with establishment and power and all of that. I don’t like it.