You know the name, now get to know the person. Roger McHugh, managing director at Beechfield Brands, discusses Countdown, Discos XXXL and walking on his hands

How long have you been in the industry?
I’ve been in the industry since 1991, formed Beechfield in 1994 and started trading in 1995. I performed a management buyout of Beechfield in 2006.

What’s the best thing to happen to you at work?
Meeting Paul Persey and having the opportunity to form Beechfield.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced at work?
Two years ago we had a catastrophic flood across the premises, when the banks of the local river burst. Fifty of us worked round the clock for three weeks to get us trading again. To come back from that and still manage a record year took an immense amount of effort.

Which tune can’t you get out of your head at the moment?
The Countdown music. It’s a bit of a thing in the office that when people are umming and aahing too much and I want them to make a decision, I do the Countdown music.

What’s your favourite TV show?
Ninja Warrior UK. Chris Kamara (ex-football player and one of the show’s presenters) is hilarious. I’d love him to work here as the resident entertainer with his deadpan humour. He can make light of any situation.

Salt and vinegar or cheese and onion?
In my family, we call poppadoms ‘Discos XXXL’. So for me, poppadoms are my favourite crisps.

What’s your most unappealing habit?
See above: the Countdown music.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Long distance (solo) cycling. We were recently coming back from a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales and the car was jam-packed so I offered to cycle the 56 miles home to make more space. I pretended I was doing the family a favour, but I thought it was fantastic!!

What’s your hidden talent?
I can still just about walk on my hands. I can only do a few steps now, but when I was younger I was quite good at gymnastics.

If you could have anyone else’s job, whose would you want?
I would love to have the skills to be a social worker who deals with people in desperate situations and is able to turn their lives around.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Get yourself a mentor. You can’t put a price on it. Beechfield has doubled in size in three years; without my business mentor that wouldn’t have happened. Paul Persey was my early mentor and I owe him so much for everything he taught me earlier in my career.

What is the best place you’ve ever visited?
Without question it’s Cornwall. I think it’s got everything: picturesque beaches, rock pooling, the Minack Open Air Theatre, the Eden Project… If you catch the right weather and you’ve got a young family then it’s bliss, absolute bliss.

What gadget or app couldn’t you live without?
We have two TVs at home and one remote and I control it. Well, I try to. Otherwise the kids have their programmes on full blast. Grrrr. The remote is power in our house!

If you could ask one person (living or dead) one question, what would you ask?
I have a brother called John, he’s a few years older than me and is severely mentally handicapped. I’d just like to have a chat with him. I’d ask him how he is doing, and if there is anything I can do to make his life better.

Roger with his family at Land’s End, Cornwall

Roger rides bikes for fun – no, really