A DEBUT book featuring interviews with some of the world’s most prominent business leaders was written by its author in his garage during lockdown.

Atholl Duncan wrote Leaders In Lockdown in the garage, which had been converted into an office, at his home at Westerdunes Park, North Berwick.

He conducted 28 interviews with business leaders from across the globe during the 100-day lockdown.

Among those interviewed were Sir Brian Souter, founder of Stagecoach; Mark Thompson, editor of The New York Times; and Sir David Behan, executive chairman of HC-One, a care home company with two care homes in East Lothian.

Atholl previously worked for the BBC as a reporter and head of news and current affairs.

He is now chair of the Black Isle Group, a business advisory company.

The idea for the book emerged from a trip to the beach.

Atholl said: “I came up with the idea when I was sitting on the sand dunes at Broadsands looking out to Fidra early one morning on a dog walk.

“There were two stories that were going on [during the pandemic]: the NHS helping people survive the virus and these business leaders trying to get their businesses to survive.

“I wanted to capture a remarkable moment in history and share with business leaders how people were coping and how they thought businesses needed to adapt to survive.”

He then spent the next three to four months interviewing business leaders and writing the book.

“Some people take years to write a book,” he said. “I had a few weeks.”

He added: “It was a lot of fun but was hard work; it kept me busy during lockdown.

“My biggest concern was that, when it was published in November, people would have forgotten about coronavirus – but here we are and we are probably only halfway through.”

Via the interviews, each business leader revealed how they had coped with the crisis and how they thought the world would change as a result, with many saying business could not carry on in the same pre-Covid way.

Atholl said: “Something a lot of them found was that they were working from their kitchens and were actually more accessible. A lot of them found talking about what they were going through therapeutic.

“The feeling overall was that this all proves we’ve got to change and do business differently; to think about things in a completely different way.

“Their view was that there is a deep-rooted issue in the way we are doing business.

“I think the year of Covid-19 will shape so much of how we are in the future.”

Another exciting discovery was how many of those interviewed had connections to East Lothian.

Atholl said: “The number of people I spoke to who, when I said I was from North Berwick, revealed they had some connection to the town was incredible; it just shows that North Berwick and East Lothian are on the world map.”

The book is available to buy via amazon.co.uk