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Question Time with . . . James Ritchie, director, Simpsons Fish & Chips, Stroud

April 3rd, 2020 Reading Time: 3 minutes
James Ritchie
James Ritchie

What’s your favourite food?

Mexican food. Particularly chilli with loads of cheese and all the dips.


What’s been your best food experience?

The best meal out I’ve had was at Purnell’s in Birmingham. It was an eight-course tasting menu and it was incredible.


Who would you love to serve in your shop?

We have a few celebs that are regulars, Stroud is full of actors. Maybe Louis Theroux, I love how awkward he is. We’d have an intense conversation about the journey of a fish or something.


If money was no object, what would you buy for your shop

The freehold. 


If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?

I’d like to think I’d be living in a hut in a forest as a carpenter. I’d loved to make furniture.


Where would you like to retire?

I’m quite simple and would happily stay in the UK. If it was hot or the scenery was perfect all the time then you’d never appreciate a holiday. I don’t like being isolated for long periods and would always want to be somewhere I can get food delivered and walk to a shop.


Favourite fish & chip shop?

It’s a tough one, but it would be Millers in Haxby, the shop is so immaculate and has a great vibe, as well as Chez Fred in Bournemouth. Hands down it was the best fish and chips I’ve had, including my own. 


If there was one thing you would like to see happen that would make running a small business easier/better what would it be?

It would be really handy if I could clone myself!


What would you name your boat if you had one?

Fishizzle My Nizzle.


What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?

Sometimes I get a spud out of the bath while they’re coming out of the rumbler and get hit in the head by a potato. I seem to be the only person that this happens to! In terms of proper injuries, my little girl was jumping on my bed when she was two, she cracked her head on my nose and broke it. I didn’t leave the house until I was on my way to the hospital for a nose job.


What quote or saying do people spout but is complete BS?

“You can do anything if you work hard enough.” Probably not anything… 


What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

I read in The Times that happiness peaks at age 82, so only a few more years to go!


What do you miss most about being a kid?

Ignorance and the lack of responsibility. All you want as a kid is to be in control and now I just want to give it back!


The house is on fire, but everyone is safely out and all wallets/cash are saved. If you could make one last dash to get something, what would it be?

I’ve got a box of sentimental stuff so it would have to be that. It includes letters, my daughter Betty’s lost teeth, my nan’s Live Aid ticket, etc., all irreplaceable items. 


If you could change three things about your country, what would you change?

I’d make all education free – the country would get the investment back in taxes when more people are earning more – introduce free parking everywhere, and have a few more days without rain.


Who is the most impressive famous person alive today?

The first person to pop into my head is Steven Fry. He’s so knowledgeable and articulate, I just really like listening to him speak.  


Do you have any ridiculous goals in life?

I know it sounds crazy but my goal is to one day have a two week holiday.


What food combination do you want to ban?

Fish on pizza !