The Random 19 with world-famous sculptor Simon Gudgeon


One of our most popular columns – the one where we ask a local celebrity nineteen random questions. This month’s brave guest is Simon Gudgeon; world-renowned sculptor and founder/co-owner of the popular Dorset attraction, Sculpture by the Lakes. His sculptures are owned by rock stars and royalty alike, with many exhibited at the serene settings of Sculpture by the Lakes

Simon Gudgeon interview

1. What’s your relationship with the Blackmore Vale (the area, not us!)? 

We came to live in the Blackmore Vale area by chance. We were searching for a venue to exhibit my sculptures and came across a fishing lake in Pallington. We absolutely love it here, especially all the wildlife – from the birds in the trees, to the animals on the ground, and to the fish in the water.  

2. What was the last song you sang out loud in your car? 

Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd. Especially the chorus.

3. What was the last movie you watched? Would you recommend it?

Mule with Clint Eastwood. 

I’d recommend it, but only for adults! It’s a film about an old World War II veteran who became a drug courier for a cartel in his 80s.

4. It’s Friday night – you have the house to yourself, and no work is allowed. What are you going to do?

I love to cook, so I’d put some logs on one of my handmade firepits/firebells and get barbecuing. I’ve recently started making these firepits to sell now as well. 

5. What would you like to tell 15yr old you?

Live your life, don’t be scared to try new things.

6. Who’s your celebrity crush?

Clare Balding. She came to Sculpture by the Lakes to interview me for an episode of Ramblings on BBC Radio 4 recently and was an absolute delight.

7. Chip Shop Chips or Home-baked Cake?

Home baked cake, especially the caramel brownie I make!

8. If you were sent to an island for a year and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

(the island is already equipped with a magical power source and a laptop)


A herd of cattle, 

A crate of Paulliac wine – ideally 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild if money is no object. Thanks!

(that’s around £9,000 a case if anyone’s wondering – Ed)

9. What book did you read last year that stayed with you?

Fantastic Fungi by Paul Stamets.

10. What in life is frankly a mystery to you?

The fact that we rely on the natural world for our survival but continue to destroy it.

11. What shop can you not pass without going in?

A good butcher’s shop

12.  Favourite quote? Movie, book or inspirational – we won’t judge.

Use what talents you possess; The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. – Henry van Dyke

13. What’s the best evening you’ve ever had?

Honestly – a picnic with a bottle of wine on The Island here at Sculpture by the Lakes.

14. A penguin just walked in the door wearing a panama hat. Why is he here?

Checking out the other birds that we see at Sculpture by the Lakes perhaps? It would certainly alert more people to global warming…

15. Your top three most-visited or favourite websites (excluding social media!)?

Simon Gudgeon sculpture

Dorset Wine

16. Favourite crisp flavour?

Cheese and onion

17. The best biscuit for dunking?

I don’t. I’d rather enjoy a nice biscuit and a good cup of tea or coffee without ruining either of them.

18. What’s your secret superpower?

Being able to make things.

19. You have the power to pass one law tomorrow, uncontested. What would you do?

Ban anyone from becoming an MP unless they have 20 years’ experience working in the real world and not the public sector. 


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