Interview: Chris King
Chris King is known to many as “The Tiger Bread Guy”, after his response to a child who wrote to Sainsbury’s was posted online… and well, went a little bit viral.
3-year-old Lily Robinson wrote to Sainsbury’s last year to ask why Tiger Bread wasn’t called Giraffe Bread, as its appearance was much closer to that of a giraffe. Chris King, who was working in the customer services team, wrote back to Lily in a reply that won hearts around the world. In fact, the hype was so great that earlier this year Sainsbury’s officially renamed the product Giraffe Bread as per Lily’s suggestion.
KEEPSAKE: Why do you think your response sparked such a huge reaction?
CK: It’s really hard to say! There are so many stories of rotten customer service out there so it must have been a surprise. When I wrote the letter I imagined what I would think if it was my kid, or someone I knew, and wanted them to get a nice reply. It’s a positive story that folks seem to have appreciated and wanted to share. And Facebook had changed the way [we] share pictures so it was much easier for a single image to travel across the world the way it did.
KEEPSAKE: Speaking of which, there is now a Facebook fan page in your honour. What would you say is the best way to deal with internet infamy?
CK: In my experience just smile and be nice about it! The response was so overwhelming and 99.9% positive. I was tracked down on Twitter and Facebook quickly and received so many messages saying what it meant to people – even a handmade card from someone in the States who was touched. It was bizarre, but lovely. I responded to as many as I could though I didn’t add too many people on Facebook – I have to be careful with social networking since I’m now teaching.
KEEPSAKE: In last year’s letter you wrote your age as 27 1/3. However, if you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you think you are?
CK: I always thought I wanted to be 18 for the rest of my life, then 22, then 25… 25 is probably about right. You’re far away from 3o but old enough to have a bit of experience behind you. I always remember Frank Miller, the comic book writer, talking about being depressed when he realised he had turned 30 and was now older than Batman.
KEEPSAKE: What gets you out of bed in the mornings?
CK: I cannot get out of bed in the morning… I would happily sleep until noon. Every. Single Day. So what gets me out of bed is the third alarm going off after I’ve snoozed it twice.
KEEPSAKE: The theme of this issue is Firsts. What was the first film to have a big effect on you?
CK: I love my films… But the one that sticks with me is Superman: The Movie, the first one from 1978. I must have been 5 or so. I remember seeing it in my parent’s front room with my Dad explaining anything I didn’t get. When it finally came out on DVD I bought the set and watched it as an adult. It still holds up really well… such a shame most of the sequels are guff!
KEEPSAKE: Describe your ultimate happy place.
CK: Sydney. I was there in 2005 with some of my best mates after we graduated from Uni, with a little money saved up and not a care in the world.
KEEPSAKE: If you could select anyone for a knighthood, who would you give it to?
CK: Whoever invented Irn Bru – my body has gradually become dependent on it. But my vote goes for a double Knighthood to Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish for services to entertainment. But only if they come back to BBC 6Music….
KEEPSAKE: Following the bread story you’re now mentioned on Wikipedia. If you could read your future Wikipedia page, what achievements would you like to see on it?
CK: Easy. World Cup winning Scotland captain!
KEEPSAKE: Name one fact about yourself that would surprise people.
CK: There’s a character in an issue of the Fantastic Four comic named after me. I met Mark Millar (the writer, and also creator of Kick-Ass) a few times, and as a joke he slipped my name into the end of an issue where they fought a monster in Scotland. My Mum was so proud!
KEEPSAKE: Write your epitaph in five words.
CK: Must try harder, sometimes did.