You know the name, now get to know the person! Ashford Blake, senior commercial executive at Beechfield Brands, talks about his love of Rome and Shark hoovers, and the joy of sitting and doing absolutely nothing at all…

How and when did you start your career in the industry?

I joined straight out of university, and said that this would be ‘short-term’ whilst I looked for a job. I’m now coming up to my 13th year.

What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you at work?

Not one thing, but being able to travel all over Europe. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the customers’ surroundings, and really get a feel for what sort of products they are looking for.

Which three words would your friends use to describe your personality?

I asked the lads this question, and I don’t think I can share what their first words were! I’m sure they meant reliable, laidback and authentic.

What’s your favourite word or phrase?

Just be normal, which essentially means be polite, kind and mindful.

In an alternative life, Ashford would love to pursue a career as a full-time football manager

Ashford isn’t usually much of a sightseer, but Rome definitely caught his attention

Salt and vinegar or cheese and onion?

It depends. If we’re talking classic Walkers, I’m all cheese and onion, but if we’re talking Discos, then salt and vinegar is the only way.

Which tune can’t you get out of your head at the moment?

Better Place from Trolls Band Together. My kids love it, so it’s always on.

What’s your hidden talent?

I’m really fast.

What’s your greatest ambition?

To grow old, sit on a front porch with my partner and eat glorious food all day.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Not sure you can call it guilty, but sitting down and doing absolutely nothing.

Ashford is a dab hand at hoovering in the dark using the light on the front of his Shark hoover to illuminate crumbs! [© Liliana Drew]

Ashford is a fan of cheese and onion crisps, but when it comes to Discos salt and vinegar is the only way!

Is there another job that you’ve always wanted to do?

I would love to pursue a career in football and become a full-time manager.

Where is the best place you’ve ever visited?

I’m not really a sight-seeing person, I’m all about sun loungers and rum cocktails, but I did enjoy a city break to Rome!

Which gadget couldn’t you live without?

If I’m honest, my foldable Shark hoover. I’ve learned to hoover in the dark — it has a light on the front, so it shows up all the crumbs. It’s very satisfying.

If you could ask one person (living or dead) one question, what would you ask?

Bill Duke, who played Sergeant Mac Eliot in Predator: “What’s with the razor?”