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Pet theories: Kevin Cahill, CEO of Comic Relief

Comic Relief's CEO Kevin Cahill on lessons in leadership from his dog Boot
Kevin Cahill and his dog Boot at Comic Relief's London office
Sam Jones

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You know who's in charge and who's not

As top dog of Comic Relief, Kevin Cahill, 60, has the ultimate responsibility for bringing this month's Red Nose Day to fruition. And he'll be taking inspiration from five-year-old Boot.

"People who don't know dogs often don't know why they do what they do," he says. "But when you're a dog owner, their behaviour does make sense. And it's very fulfilling to understand how a different creature behaves. 

"Something you really notice with dogs is the sense of hierarchy and who's in charge in certain situations. It's all about the pack leader — in a group you know who's in charge and who's not. So if you extend that analogy, when you're running an organisation it does need to have someone who's leading the troops."

Kevin has been marshalling his troops to bring us the best ever Red Nose Day on 15 March. Expect some great TV, including Ricky Gervais revisiting his David Brent character. And of course tens of thousands of people will be doing mad things to raise money.

"I think Red Nose Day has now become this day of affectionate misrule where people — either in the office or at school — suspend the usual rules of engagement for a day and have a bit of fun," he says. "And while they're having fun they make some money that we can put into the crucial work that we're here to fund."

Flying Start is the global charity partnership between British Airways and Comic Relief UK. Visit


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