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All the best: Charlotte Dryden on her favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 44-year-old is CEO of the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast. She lives in Belfast with her partner, Gordon Hewitt. They have one son, Jack (3).

Best moment

Meeting Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale at the beginning of last year. She was here to launch a festival about women in the arts, and that was a real high point for me. I read her autobiography 10 years ago and was hugely inspired by this woman doing it the rock 'n' roll way. Getting to meet her was fantastic.

Best song

That's a very difficult question for someone who works in the music industry... it changes on a regular basis. Currently I love listening to Rebel Rebel by David Bowie as it's pure rock 'n' roll and has an iconic beginning. I've been listening to a lot of Bowie recently as it was the first anniversary of his death earlier this month. All his songs are amazing.

My best way to relax

While I love getting out to gigs and festivals, one of my favourite ways to chill out is at home watching a good movie with a couple of drinks and a cheeseboard. That makes me as happy as anything.

My best job

Where I am now - it's been an amazing journey. I was the first paid member of staff alongside Stuart Bailie, who was the first CEO here. It was just the pair of us from day one, so I feel very connected and close to this place. It's great to be in the driving seat now.

My best advice

It's not what people say, it's what people do that matters. My partner, Gordon, told me that and I think he's right. Actions are a demonstration that someone is committed to something, rather than just paying lip service to it.

My best movie

While I'm a fan of all Steven Spielberg's films - from Close Encounters to ET - I really love The Shining. The cinematography, acting, music and suspense are all fantastic. A documentary about the hidden meanings in the film makes it all the more fascinating.

My best gift

A good friend gave me a little poem called Don't Quit by an anonymous writer - she picked it up at a card show and it was credit card-sized, so you could keep it inside your wallet. She gave it to me when we were both just out of college and still struggling to find our paths in the world. It's still in my purse, although quite battered.

My best achievement

My son, Jack. He's three-and-a-half, and I can't believe I gave birth to such a gorgeous, funny, intelligent wee boy. We love him to bits.

My best buy

A little Sony stereo I bought in 2001 - it's been a staple device in my home for the past 16 years. Every house I've moved to, it has come with me and has played all my music. It even has a tape player on it, so I can play my old cassettes, and it sounds as good as ever.

My best book

For fiction I love Steven King, but the standout book for me is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. He's famous for having written The Kite Runner, but this book is all about women in Afghanistan. It's a heart-breaking story and I read it in one sitting.

  • The Oh Yeah Music Centre will be taking part in Independent Venue Week, from January 23-29, with a special gig on Saturday, January 28, featuring Arborist, Franklyn and Our Krypton Son. For tickets and information, visit

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