Tony Parsons was born in 1955 in Essex. He worked at the Gordon's gin distillery in London until summer 1976, when he started writing for the NME about punk. He married Julie Burchill, a fellow NME journalist, and they had a son before divorcing. Now a television pundit, newspaper columnist and author, his latest book is Man And Boy. He has remarried, and lives in London.
With which historical figure do you most identify?
General George S Patton - he hated communists, had a cheeky grin and looked good on a tank.
Which living person do you most admire?
Muhammad Ali, because he has stared down success, failure and illness.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
I was sitting next to the mother of Stephen Lawrence at an awards do, and I said, 'Have you got an agent?' It made me sound like some empty-headed media whore.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Air fares - 20 years in economy was enough to last me a lifetime.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My eyes. They are small and squinty.
What is your most unappealing habit?
Sleeping with the next-door neighbour's au pair.
How did you vote in the last election?
I voted for Tony, even though he didn't have the guts to send his children to Islington Green comprehensive when we were neighbours.
How will you vote in the next election?
I'll vote for Blair again, although he doesn't exactly give me an erection.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I guess my son, Robert. There is nothing that he could ever say or do that would stop me loving him.
Have you ever said 'I love you' and not meant it?
No. Those words are sacred. If I say them, you can be sure I mean them. At least for the next 10 minutes or so.
How do you relax?
By learning kung fu.
What is your greatest regret?
I wish I had spent more time with my parents when they were alive.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
My novel has sold 375,000 copies so far. If the sales could get up to a million, I would buy a second home.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
As Frank Sinatra said - 'You've got to love living, baby, dying's a pain in the ass.'