Anyone Can Do It: My Story by Duncan Bannatyne

ImageDuncan Walker Bannatyne, OBE, is a Scottish entrepreneur, television presenter, philanthropist and author.  He was born in Clydebank on the West Coast of Scotland on 2 February 1949.  His business interests include hotels, health clubs, spas, media, TV, stage schools, property and transport. His OBE was awarded for his contributions to charity.  

Banntyne has written seven books. His autobiography Anyone Can Do It was his first.

Bannatyne’s father,Bill, was a most interesting man.  He served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regiment during the Second World War.  He survived working on the Burma Railway after being captured by the Japanese following the Fall of Singapore.  This must be the tenacity Duncan Bannatyne inherited.  As a child Duncan lived in one room with his parents and siblings.  Six other families shared the large house . He attended Dalmuir Primary School where he displayed a talent for arithmetic.  From there he won a place at Clydebank High School after he passed the eleven plus exam.

Most pupils owned a bicycle so the young Duncan resolved to earn the money to buy one for himself. However, the local newsagent would not automatically employ him but challenged him to find 100 new customers in return for a paper round. He called her bluff by doing just that. He later commented that it would have been more entrepreneurial to have sold the list!


I found this book is truly inspiring and insightful. I learned a great deal about the psyche of an entrepreneur by reading it.   I have also come to the realisation that I was never ruthless enough to have a future as such!  Duncan Bannatyne’s journey is interesting because he worked relentlessly on opportunities: he sold ice creams because it was popular in the summer, he started Quality Care Homes because the turnover was guaranteed money from the British Government. He then reinvested his money but did not always work in businesses that were of personal interest to him.  He was purely money oriented.  That would never work for me.

I have gained more appreciation and respect for him as a businessman, but I doubt we would get along personally.  I was not surprised to learn about his failed marriages.

Can anyone do it?   Personally, I doubt it.  You would have to have a lot of luck and good sense of business and ruthless determination to succeed.  That being said, this is a great read and is definitely worthwhile for all would-be entrepreneurs starting from the bottom.

Amongst the other biographies and autobiographies reviewed on this site are:  Black Like Me…howard-griffin/,, Tuesdays With Morrie…by-mitch-albom/, I Don’t Mean To Be Rude But…y-simon-cowell/, The Prince, The Princess and the Perfect Murder…by-andrew-rose/, A Hebraic Obsession…y-mort-laitner/.

Valerie Penny



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