In the alternative world of mind, body and spirit Deepak Chopra is something of a legend, a super-guru A-lister with 20 years at the ethereal summit.
He is a publishing phenomenon with 40-plus books published in 35 languages and sales topping 20 mil- lion. His plethora of subjects range from complex scientific theories that challenge the ageing process, to self-help guides to love and weight loss, to a golf book that con- jures up an imaginary caddie with a spiritually enhanced sweet spot to help you out of those allegorical bunkers.
Chopra, 59, is also a charismatic speaker who has the attention of celebrities and politicians wherever he speaks on his unending sell-out world tour. The day after our inter- view, he invited me to his one-off London lecture and I watched around 1,500 awestruck followers — including Annie Lennox and Jerry Hall — hang on his every word.
Born in New Delhi, Chopra moved to America in 1970 where he practised as a doctor before branching out. He founded a now famous health centre in California, where he was based until a recent move to New York. He is married with two children in their 30s.
In 1999, Time magazine selected Chopra as one of the Top 100 Icons of the 20th Century, describing him as "the poet prophet of alternative medicine". We meet at the Covent Garden Hotel where the "icon" is considerably low key and modest.
In a pastel green Lacoste top and jeans, he talks gently and earnestly, with an unexpectedly strong Indian inflection, given his years in America. The only thing remotely starry about Chopra is the funky diamante trim on his chunky black- framed spectacles.
An interview with Chopra is fairly rare these days. Naturally, I have a soul-full of questions regarding my own spiritual salvation, but we only have an hour, so enlightenment will have to wait. Damn.
Read the full interview with Deepak Chopra in this week's Press Gazette or at www.robmcgibbon.com.