Michael Sykes joined the Royal Navy from Sheffield as a boy and later joined Submarines. He left in 1987 as a Lt. Commander and after directorships in both public and private sectors, he went to Croatia then Slovenia with his wife, Cathy, and opened a language school and translation agency for 15 years as well as examining for Cambridge University. From 2010, he Chaired a large Anti-Piracy company and travelled extensively on business through Europe and Asia.He has spoken at conferences about privatisation, English, and piracy, been interviewed by the BBC, and written articles for papers and journals. His home is in Hampshire.