Member of The Week - Philip Berman

Philip Berman is the Creative Director of Larchmont Films, an ex-BBC and C4 producer/director, and one of our longest standing members at PLATF9RM. We finally managed to pin him down to chat about football fanaticism and 80's music.

Hello Philip! So you've been a loyal PLATF9RM member since the beginning. How did you first hear about us?

It was thanks to a neighbour, James Christie-Miller who used to work with former PLATF9RM front of house, Daisy.


What has been your favourite PLATF9RM event so far?

It was the quiz you hosted in September, it was a good chance to mix and mingle. It had a nice, friendly ambience and the cheese tasting was a lot of fun.

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How do you feel about being interviewed, I know some people have aversions to talking about themselves!

I don’t mind being interviewed too much if it’s a subject I’m very well prepared for. I don’t have fixed views on lots of things. I'm a case-by-case person. Also with my background in journalism it's normally me asking the questions.

Tony Benn was renowned for always recording his own interviews - he was slightly suspicious of journalists and worried about his words being skewed or misconstrued.


If you could interview anyone in the world who would it be?

At the moment it would be Arsene Wenger. There are thousands of questions I would like to ask him. I would be very interested to know how he’s coached his defensive line over the last few years. However you would have to ensure he takes some kind of truth serum drug beforehand in order to have a genuinely honest, open interview.

*This interview was conducted just after Wenger stepped down. If Philip was asked the same question today he would say Theresa May to get the spill on Brexit.


What did you have dreams of being when you were younger?

A football journalist. In fact I was a football journalist for a little while. There’s a bit of a theme coming through here - my obsession with football. People often say it’s a childish thing you grow out of but I haven’t.


When is the best month to be in Brighton?

Well I don’t want to give the obvious answer but I’d be contrary to say anything but May. I could say April because you still have May to come and it’s also my daughter's birthday. But it has to be May, for obvious reasons (Open Houses, The Great Escape, Brighton Fringe etc).


Who are your favourite band that you don’t get bored of listening to?

Joy Division and New Order. Because they’ve been imitated so much. Purists would say they’re different bands and they are, and I might be criticised for lumping the two together, but the spirit is there with both.

They were ahead of their time and I think the bands that you loved when you were growing up have more emotional resonance. Some of their music still sounds really fresh. The 80's goth and synth revivals constantly remind me of their music. I lived in Manchester for a long while, and being interested in New Order, Tony Wilson, Factory Records and The Hacienda was woven into the fabric of it all.


What is the biggest change you’ve noticed at PLATF9RM since our opening?

More people. And the question is can PLATF9RM keep that community feel as it gets bigger? With people like Grace on the front desk we’re in safe hands! Always good to end with a bit of flattery!


Thank you for the insights (and the flattery) Philip!

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