The Gold Group chairman wakes at his mansion in Caterham, Surrey, at 7am. “I try to do some exercise, or at least put on a tracksuit. Then my housekeeper prepares cereal and orange juice,” says Mr Gold.
First he drives round his 55-acre garden and golf course with his groundsman, checking tasks to be done. Then he conducts meetings before taking his helicopter to Birmingham, landing on the football club’s training pitches. “I might see Steve Bruce or the players,” he says. “And I try to walk through our businesses when I can.” The Gold Group HQ is close to his home, and Gold Air is down the road at Biggin Hill. He returns home by 7pm, landing on his floodlit tennis court. He often dines at Le Rendezvous in Westerham and has dinner with his daughters each week.
Mr David Gold relaxes by flying. He keeps a fleet of planes, which he charters out as Gold Air, and a helicopter. His daughter Jacqueline (CEO of Ann Summers) will to frequently ring and ask him for a lift. Gold Air is profitable, “with the rich and famous becoming more sensitive, demand is great.” But the helicopter is his favourite. “With jet fuel at 22p a litre, it’s worth it. And unlike your car, which drops in value, you can buy one for £500,000 and sell it for the same. There, that’s the most important thing you’ve learnt today,: buy a helicopter.”