Aaqil Ahmed should not have succeeded. Working class. A northerner. Brown. A Muslim. Definitely an outsider. Definitely a maverick.

When you look at his 30-year career, which he celebrates this year, you know that sheer hard work, determination and bloody-mindedness – the south Asian way – were just some of the weapons in his extensive armoury.

Oh, and being kind to others, really caring for them, nurturing and developing talent are part of his character too.

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