William Heaney lost his twin brother at birth, an event which he says 'shaped him'. Born and brought up in London he claims to have studied at Oxford, after which he played bass guitar in a rock band touring Germany and the Far East. The band had some success in Japan but broke up after three years on the road and a bad experience in Osaka. He then spent several years working for a project with homeless people in London. He lives in London but escapes at week-ends to a Leicestershire cottage with his girlfriend, who is a successful concert pianist. His two daughters from his previous marriage are currently at university "wasting their time" he says. Now working for a government agency, he is a discount wine connoisseur who doesn't like to make recommendations for fear that others might deplete his favourite stock. Inherently shy, he is unwilling to talk about the 'evil rock and roll years'.