Martin Craig-Downer, Emeritus professor UCL, has contributed to over a hundred scientific journal publications and many textbooks. He is a Founding Fellow of the International Academy of Oral Oncology and a Distinguished Scientist Laureate of the International Association for Dental Research. In the early 1960s he worked as a professional jazz musician with Charlie Galbraith’s band. The Tank Room is his first novel.
- Star sign: Pisces
- Inspirations: Anyone who can master and perform the arcane routines of a Scottish eightsome reel without inviting ridicule; anyone who can do the tango convincingly.
- Favourite books: Almost any of the novels of Evelyn Waugh, Saul Bellow, Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro.
- Favourite film: Blues Brothers.
- Favourite car: VW Beetle, circa mid sixties.
- Favourite food: Lobster Thermidor.
- Favourite places: Rome, Florence, Chicago, San Francisco, Provence, Western shores of Turkey.
- Favourite things: All the junk I hoard (obviously, or I wouldn’t keep it).
- Biggest challenges: At official receptions, having to carry the Health Minister’s handbag, at her command, through crowded assemblies of inebriated professional colleagues, to deposit it at her place at the top table as she was glad handing the hosts. Typical of the regular ritual demands the Minister made on senior male civil servants.
- Things I’ve learned: Keep schtum.