This series is dedicated to the dozens of fascinating characters we have in our office. First up, we chatted to motorcycle enthusiast, Twitter extraordinaire, and WCRS Director of Technology and Innovation – Dino Burbidge.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
A cartoonist. I eventually ended up heading towards electronics, then swapped back to design, then nearly became a mountain bike designer and then swerved back into ‘multimedia’. I did get a chance to present some of my cartoons to the Queen though, so I guess I can tick that box.
Make up a word that isn’t in Google. What does it mean?
Voofloome. The word for the sensation of tasting chocolate.
What makes you tick?
Motorbikes and cycling are still pretty big in my world but I’ve also recently started clay pigeon shooting. Mainly Simon Fraser’s doing. I’m crap at it but love a new challenge.
We have a dog now called Matlock. He’s a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (think Border Collie, but ginger) and he’s going through his gun dog exams at the moment. He’s just taking his grade 3 and recently passed his truffle hunting grade 1. No, seriously. My wife does most of it but I do occasionally find myself stood in a field making pheasant noises while throwing fake ducks into hedges.
My garage is my second home. There isn’t anything that makes it into my garage that comes out the same. Whether it’s rebuilding engines, making pulse jets or crafting bedside cabinets, as long as I have a mug of tea and some dangerous power tools, I’m happy.
I love facts, especially fun ones and post them to my @Funfacts Twitter feed. It has about £16.5k followers now.
My family are a big part of my life. My kids they are both at secondary school and Mr. and Mrs. Hormone have come to visit, if you know what I mean. There’s never a dull moment and always something that needs fixing at Burbidge Mansions.
Who would be the 3 people you invite on a road trip?
Stephen Fry, Guy Martin and Ray Mears. My guiding life goal is to know just enough about everything so that I could restart society after the apocalypse. I reckon those three have a few things I could learn. It would be chaos though.
What piece of work are you most proud off?
Tough one but I’d have to say the first CD-ROM I delivered for the BBC. They shoved a suitcase of money at me and pretty much said “make a company, hire a team, deliver us a CD-ROM back in 9 months and oh, if it’s late, we’ll fine you £2,000 a day”. It was for Pingu. I went through a lot to make it happen. Even got broken into and the company robed while I was held at knifepoint. But we got it done and most importantly, kids loved it.
What secret skill do you have?
I can make an absurdly loud noise with a Kit Kat wrapper. I think I invented it.
What’s the dodgiest thing you’ve ever done?
You’d get banged up for it these days but I love science, especially chemistry… and making all sorts of explosives. I think it was a random Star Trek episode I saw where James T Kirk is stranded on a planet and had to battle an alien by making gunpowder out of chemicals he found. I worried about whether I could do the same if I was stranded on an alien planet and I went straight to the library to find out how to do the same (we didn’t have the internet in those days). Needless to say I’d be horrified if my kids got up to the same shenanigans. Proud, but also horrified.
Karaoke or fancy dress? Pick one.
Karaoke. As long as it’s not Bronski Beat or anything too high.
What really winds you up?
I’d love to say injustice, inequality and intolerance to others, but in reality it’s probably people who queue at right angles to a cash machine or cyclists who jump red lights. Proper gets my goat.
If you had one piece of advice to the give to yourself when you started your career, what would it be?
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”