Mark Carney let his guard down a little during a question and answer session with schoolchildren on Friday.
The Governor of the Bank of England has a reputation for being measured and hard to break down in interviews but at an appearance at a school in Coventry, Carney let the public behind the curtain a little.
Carney took questions on the future of physical currency in the UK and the worst things about his job, but some of the most interesting tidbits came from questions about his personal life.
The Governor revealed that when he was younger, friends called him “Carnage” and “Carnival” — riffing on his surname — when asked by a student if he has a nickname.
When asked what TV shows he watches to unwind after a hard day at the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, Carney answered that his favourite show is The Great British Bake Off, the popular cooking programme shown by the BBC. Carney didn’t give any indication of what he thinks of the BBC losing the rights to the show, which will be shown on Channel 4 from 2017.
Answering one more serious question, Carney told his audience that the most difficult day of his time at the Bank of England so far was the night the UK voted to leave the European Union.
He was keen to stress that this wasn’t down to the result of the referendum, but rather because the bank had to put into place numerous complicated contingency plans to deal with the market fallout of the vote. “I felt a tremendous responsibility to make sure we got it right,” he said.
The governor got two hours sleep on the night of the vote, going to bed at about midnight before heading back to the Bank of England at around 3 a.m.
Carney’s appearance in Coventry is the second time in less than a week when he has shown a more lighthearted side. On Tuesday, during an appearance in London to promote the release of the new £5 note, he was seen dipping a note into a large pot of curry to prove that it was waterproof.
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