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James Johns TYOK Bouncer
Andy Parsons

Things you only know if you’re a nightclub bouncer

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...according to James Johns.

Brains are often better than brawn

If you’re a big guy you’re more likely to be attacked, and at the end of the day, a glass to the head is bad news whoever you are. Sometimes you just want a good communicator on the door, because no one wants to fight someone who’s being nice to them. At my company Savysec, I’ve got six smart, personable guys who work for me on Friday and Saturday nights – their day jobs are at the pensions regulator!

Celeb encounters can be awkward

You meet famous people in the weirdest of ways. I’ve walked in on celebrities having sex in a toilet. I’ve asked Al Gore for a job, having mistaken him for Richard Branson’s bodyguard. And I’ve panicked over a guy I believed to be smuggling something under his trousers, only to discover he just had big calves because he was a Chelsea footballer. Oops.

Doormen go beyond the call of duty

We offer more care in the community than you might think. I’ve called 999 when cars are getting broken into and testified in court as a witness to a stabbing on my drive home. I even succeeded in restraining a house burglar for the police once.

The threats have changed

It’s not an airport: I’m probably not going to search your shoes for drugs. Anyway, I don’t care about a well-behaved clubber with bag of coke. What does worry me is that a harmful quantity of acid can be hidden in a container the size of a lipstick, or a knife can be concealed in a belt. Sadly, I see more and more young people without much of a stake in society. The threat they pose is very unpredictable.

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