Charles Saatchi reveals what he’s really like (or what he’d like you to think he’s really like)

Wit, man about town, art collector, husband to Nigella Lawson and former adman Charles Saatchi (pictured here with Nigella) has produced a book, Be The Worst You Can Be, that shares his views on life, art and his former wives with us. As ever with Charles it’s his ball so he asks (or rather selects) the questions as well as providing the answers. This is a ‘digested read’ from the Guardian.

Why is the book set out as a series of questions and answers?

Because my whole career has been a triumph of style over substance.

How many of the seven deadly sins are you guilty of?

All of them. Though you might be tempted to add an eighth: vanity publishing.

Will you tell me a secret about the art world that will make me feel like an insider?

Damien Hirst and I really do laugh all the way to the bank.

Do you believe in miracles?

I refer you to my answer above.

How do you think you will be remembered by the art world?

As the man who put the MUG into SMUG.

Why do you answer so many of the questions with irrelevant, jokey aphorisms?

Because I am the man who put the W in TAT.

You don’t seem to have much of a social conscience. Shouldn’t privileged people like you do more to make the world a better place?

From my west London mansion, the world looks perfectly good as it is.

Do you believe in the Ten Commandments?

They are hopelessly outdated. What is the point of being married to a woman your neighbour doesn’t covet? As the previous two Mrs Saatchis found to their cost when I took a straw poll of my friends and discovered no one fancied them.

What was it about you that first attracted Nigella Lawson?

I don’t know. It’s a conversation I often have with Paul Daniels.

Are you easily bored?

No. I can happily spend hours in my own gallery.

What are the 100 best rock albums ever made?

Thank you for asking a question that allows me to fill up several pages with a list that no one will bother to read.

Have you ever stolen, even as a child?

My first career was in advertising. Enough said.

How do you feel about women spending £1,000 on a pair of shoes?

Cheap at the price.

Why is France such a poor market for contemporary art, compared to London, New York and LA?

Because the French have a more refined sense of taste and self-worth and are therefore much less suggestible to hype and mediocrity. I try to avoid the country as much as possible.

Do you think you are a hypocrite?

No. You have to believe in something to be a hypocrite. I suspect I would have made a good politician.

Why do you make so many references to how stupid you are in your answers?

Because I am rather hoping that everyone will assume I am being endearingly self-deprecating and that I must actually be seriously clever. And failing that, it saves everyone else the bother of pointing it out.

Do you have a sense of humour?

I’ve always enjoyed taking the piss.

Do you think you are a good listener?

Next …

Why don’t you believe in global warming?

Because Nigella’s father has pointed out it’s a little chillier today than it was yesterday.

Have you ever asked Nigel Lawson what possessed him to call his daughter Nigella?

Sod off. I’m choosing which questions to answer and which to ignore.

What will St Peter say to you when you reach the pearly gates?

I’ve no idea how you got away with it.

Actually Charlie would have made a lousy politician, he loses his rag too easily. He was banned from attending pitches in the early days of S&S because in one he threatened to strangle the client. Thereafter he used to peep through the keyhole to see what was going on.

Be the Worst You Can Be by Charles Saatchi, Booth-Clibborn, £9.99 (there’s a Guardian bargain offer here).

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Avatar

    Bloody funny.