Society Diary interviews... Dan Corry

28 Mar 2024 Interviews

NPC chief executive Dan Corry tells our satirical columnist about his fondness for an occasional KFC and a hatred of suit jackets...

Dan Corry is CEO of NPC


Dearest readers, welcome back to another stellar interview, done by none other than yours truly.

This columnist’s latest interviewee is chief executive of New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), former head of policy at Downing Street and secret KFC lover, Dan Corry.

During the chat, Corry shares news about his upcoming short story collection, why he doesn't like suit jackets and his enduring dream of playing for Chelsea.  

You can read our exchange below. 

How are you?

“As well as can be expected! Running NPC is a joy but never easy or calm, a consequence of always tricky finances and a very engaged set of talented staff.” 

Which book or TV character would you say you are most like?

“My daughter would say Phil Dunphy in Modern Family. I’d prefer a nice version of Josh Lyman in West Wing (I was once a special adviser in No10 after all).” 

What is the worst style choice you’ve ever made?

“I don’t have much in the way of shoulders, so suit jackets always look pretty awful on me. Luckily, post Covid the need for suits has diminished a lot.” 

Do you have any party tricks?

“Not really. But I do play tenor sax in a jazz group who are not very good – hence we are called Bad Jazz. Our version of So What might make Miles Davis wish he had never written it.” 

If you weren’t a charity CEO, what would you be?

“I have not given up the dream of being left back for Chelsea – but fear that the tilt towards youth under our new owners will count against me.

“Otherwise, a writer – I have a collection of short stories coming out in the autumn so it may all happen! They are based on my time as a special adviser in various departments including the Treasury and No 10. I hope they give a real insight into that world (less dramatic but more interesting than satires like the Thick of It).” 

Would you rather have a pet penguin or pet duck?

“I think our cat, Adelaide, might gobble up the duck, so I’d better go for the penguin.” 

If you could live in a different country, what would it be and why?

“Spain, not least as I am trying to learn the language. But I also am very fond of Canada where I did my economics masters. And I recently obtained Irish citizenship via my (Jewish) grandfather so I know who I support in the rugby.” 

What is your guilty pleasure?

“KFC. I know it’s unhealthy and it does not go down well with many of my vegetarian family. But once in a while, a Mighty Bucket is irresistible.” 

What is your favourite song at the moment?

“Steam by the great tenor saxophonist, Archie Shepp. Wish I could be 10% as good as him.” 

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“Either spaghetti bolognese or a pad thai. I probably ought to add some veg to that if it is for the rest of my life – so how about some lightly steamed purple sprouting broccoli.”  

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