I am Ben Knowles a 29 year old from Kent. I work as a freelance musician, both teaching and performing. I play viola and piano but am more active as a conductor of both symphonic works, opera and musical theatre. For the past two years, I have been participating in large numbers of endurance events (marathons, bike-rides, swims, Ironmans, etc.) to raise awareness and money for Cystic Fibrosis.
What is your favourite joke?
Too dark to write here!
What makes you smile?
Cats – massive cat-lover. Music (my job and hobby) and making other people happy.
What is your favourite good news story?
When my CF student had her annual review and her lung function had improved.
What inspires you?
Two people I have met with Cystic Fibrosis – one is the reason I got involved in the campaign, a young girl I have taught violin since she was 4, who approaches life with an amazing enthusiasm; the other is a Banana Crumble writer, Natalie Crawford, who has CF and ran the London Marathon in four and a half hours.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I’d want to see everyone have their health – both physical and mental so they could enjoy their lives without limits.
If you could have one superpower what would you choose and why?
Healing touch – it is very tough seeing people, especially ones dear to me, suffer with illness and pain. I’d give anything to take it away from them.
What is your favourite food?
What is your favourite drink?
If you are going on holiday what luxury item would you take from home?
If you could make one law, what would it be and why?
I’d make it illegal for pharmaceutical companies to overcharge for medications – an independent body would set a price that would be fair to the company but affordable to the health service and proportionate to the prevalence of the illness to the country. I’d make this law so health wasn’t dictated by money.
Give us a random piece of information about you that people wouldn’t know?
Very nearly went into psychology instead of music.
What is your favourite phrase or saying?
“There are no magical fixes. It’s all up to you. Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy.”
What cause, project or event would you like to promote?
Cystic Fibrosis! We desperately need Orkambi, Symkevi and the Triple Combo medications available in the UK on the NHS to save the lives of 10,000 people who suffer this hideous illness.
Who is your favourite music artist?
Janine Jansen – concert violinist
Who is the person that you feel has shaped your life most?
Hard to choose between my close family members but probably my Grandad – he got me into music which is now my job and hobby.
PJ’s or Not?
Hot or cold? Hot
Cat or dog? Cat
Blue or pink? Red!! But blue if I had to choose
Tea or coffee? Tea
Glass half-empty or glass half-full? Half-full
Pyjamas or not? Not
Night out or night in? Night in
Pizza or pasta? Aw can’t it be both? Pizza surrounded by pasta!
Biscuits or cake? Again, can’t it be both? hehe. Cake layered with biscuits!
Wine or beer? I don’t drink but I enjoy a non-alcoholic beer
Football or rugby? Football
Cinema or theatre? Theatre
Gym or TV? Gym
Naughty or nice? Nice (although naughty can be fun in the right setting!)
Silver or gold? Silver
Tent or hotel? Hotel
Bath or shower? Bath
Starter or pudding? Pudding
Sheets or duvet? Duvet
Love Island or Game of Thrones? Game of Thrones (only seen bits of it though)
Finally, apple or banana? Bananas when they’re very ripe!
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