OUTGOING Bank of England boss Sir Mervyn King was in charge of the playlist on BBC Radio Four yesterday, mixing Beethoven with Lou Bega’s Mambo Number Five in his Desert Island Discs.
King, who will attend his last ever Monetary Policy Committee meeting this week, was already rhapsodising in seemingly rose-tinted spectacles on his time at the bank, telling presenter Kirsty Young during his tenure “nothing has kept me awake at night” and “being governor is the easiest job – you’re in charge and you have the most tremendous support”.
The governor is now set to embark on a second gap year, and fulfil a promise to his wife to take dancing lessons – despite confessing to being tone deaf.
Luckily this time round it will be a holiday, unlike his first gap year which was spent working as a supply teacher in Wolverhampton. Apparently controlling the Bank of England is a breeze in comparison: “It was the most exhausting job I’ve ever had in my life.”
But he wasn’t using airtime to promote careers in the Square Mile. King said that before the financial crisis he had found it “disturbing” to meet school children who wanted to work in the City to “make a lot of money” – and that it was “a very healthy thing” that they were now looking elsewhere.
Perhaps a little weary after a lifetime of looking at numbers, King opted to take a book of pictures – the complete illustrated catalogue of the National Gallery – as his castaway book.
He also selected a telescope as his luxury item.
Will he be keeping a watchful eye on Carney? It seems not.
“He is an outstanding person” King said yesterday.