Ian Payn

EBU Chair - 2020 - Present

Vice-Chairman 2013 - 2020 

Place of Birth: London

Family: married

Lives: In Fulham, London

Do you play Bridge? Occasionally, but not with the fervour of my youth.

Who would you like to be stranded on a desert island with and why? There is nobody who wouldn't get on my nerves after a very short period of time. That, I hasten to add, is because of my shortcomings, not everybody else’s.

If you could come back as an animal what would it be? A bear. Specifically, Baloo. With Phil Harris' voice.

If money was no object, tell us about your dream holiday? Route 66. Oklahoma City is, apparently, mighty pretty.

What book are you currently reading? It's the Pictures that got Small: The Charles Brackett Diaries; Widows and Orphans by Michael Arditti.

Who do you admire and why? Anyone who displays competence without making a song and dance about how wonderful they are.

Which 4 famous people (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party? Irwin Allen (to try to find out how he could alternate between being dead right and dead wrong so efficiently); H.L. Mencken (might have to get him to tone some views down just a fraction); Matt Monro (on the off-chance that after the brandy, coffee and cigars, he might be persuaded to sing a bit); Angela Merkel (someone’s got to do the cooking).

What is your ideal night out? Out? Sitting on the sofa with my wife and cat watching an episode of Midsomer Murders for the third or fourth time (because "going down the pub" sounds so common).

Tell us something about yourself that no one at EBU would know: I have taught canoeing. And nobody drowned.

Last updated: March 2021

Tollemache Cup winner: 2004 and 2006