Sorrell and Schama's lucky escape from kosher risotto


Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the WPP group, has revealed that keeping kosher at university nearly sent his promising future up in flames.

Recalling cooking a meal with TV historian Simon Schama at Christ's College, Cambridge, the advertising boss said: “We were among the first Jewish boys to be excused from dining in formal halls so that we could attempt to keep kosher.

“We used to cook our meals together, and one night Simon — making his favourite risotto — almost burned down his room, and the college dorm, after he left a saucepan on the gas ring.”

The story comes from an interview with the college magazine marking Sorrell's induction as an honorary fellow at Christ's.

Talking to the college magazine as a new senior member of the college, he recalls how he already knew Schama from his school days, saying: "I had come up from Haberdashers with my best friend Simon Schama" and that it was at Cambridge that they both "developed an enthusiasm for journalism."

Moving on from university, Sorrell describes how he continues to keep busy with work but also "my new baby daughter, Bianca, and seven grandchildren".

He continues: “Amazing what a 2:2 can achieve nowadays, although with grade inflation since 1966 it must be equivalent today to an upper second or a minor first!" And says that his parents - "my typically Jewish mother and father" would have been very proud of him for receiving the Fellowship.

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