Separated at birth: Elton John and Pat Butcher?
To the Union Chapel for Absolute Radio’s "select" Elton John gig to promote his new album called, er, The Union, where Elton enjoyed himself so much he broke his curfew of half an hour and entertained the media crowd for 90 minutes.
Hit followed hit - Your Song, I’m Still Standing, Rocket Man - and former GCap executives David Mansfield and Steve Orchard joined celebrities Richard Curtis, James Corden and Matt Lucas in standing ovations after every tune.
One radio industry guest "loved" Absolute presenter Christian O’Connell introducing the singer as "EJ" and described the gig as "fantastic", although she added: "The more you looked at Elton, the more he looked like a cross between Ena Sharples from Coronation Street and Eastenders' Pat Butcher."
However, The Independent's editor-in-chief Simon Kelner had nothing but praise for the "utterly professional" singer when he guest-edited last Wednesday's paper - although Kelner was a "little unnerved" to hear his art director tell the BBC that "it was nice to get some direction for a change!"
Luckily, Sir Elton, who put in an 11-hour day on his first-ever visit to a newspaper office (pictured above with Kelner and Evgeny Lebedev), was equally unnerved to see how hard journalists work - so it looks like the editor's chair is safe... for now.
So many parties, so little time for media's A*-list
If your name was down, you were on the list - the Campaign A-List that is, which held a party at The Hospital Club last Wednesday for an all-star advertising cast from Channel 4’s David Abrahams to Associated’s Guy Zitter.
As the champagne flowed, gossip turned to weighty industry issues. Will anyone buy David Emin’s rusty orange campervan? Does Rob Atkinson really take power dressing tips from former Clear Channel boss Barry Sayer? And will Jon O’Donnell achieve his ambition of becoming a "stand-up Olympic triathlete"?
These were tricky questions to answer, so Havas’ Mark Craze and the RAB’s Simon Redican led the charge to continue the debate in the pub over the road - although Nick Bampton declined as he needed a clear head to face new boss Richard Desmond on his first day at Channel Five the following morning.
However, Bampton wasn’t the first to leave: the black-tie clad William Eccleshare, Stephen Miron and Nicola Mendelsohn made only the briefest of appearances before dashing off to hear Theo Paphitis from Dragon’s Den speak at the Marketing Group of Great Britain dinner. So many parties, so little time!
How NOT to behave at a WACL dinner
On the subject of media’s illustrious networking clubs, Bitch has heard an entertaining tale from a WACL dinner many moons ago, involving a client and his female colleague, then in the throes of a passionate new romance.
Appropriately, the speaker at the event was Anne Summers founder Jacqueline Gold, and the pair wasted no time disappearing to the hotel toilets clutching the evening’s themed goodie bags, returning 20 minutes later - much to the rest of the table’s amusement - "red in the face" and minus their novelty chocolate body paint.
Of course, the amorous pair were married to other people at the time - although they have subsequently wedded and produced two charming children. Which makes it all alright. Sort of.
I’ve heard of social media, but this is ridiculous…
When Richard FitzGerald moved from Dublin to become social media manager at MEC Interaction, he didn’t know many people - but all that changed when he won a year’s supply of burritos at the London Twitter Festival back in March.
The enterprising FitzGerald decided to combine his prize with romance by taking a different girl out for a burrito every week for a year, and then describing the encounters in his highly entertaining blog "52 Burrito Dates".
Judging by FitzGerald’s latest two dates, however, his quest for love has some way to run. Date 32 (Jessica) was "wild as a March hare", while date 33 (Fernanda B, pictured below), already has a boyfriend. Although possibly not for much longer, if he gets wind of Fernanda’s exploits through Twitter…
Interested in a date with Richard? There are 19 to go, so email him here.
'Call me' says Newquest's singing salesman
Another imaginative new starter is Kris Oldland, sales executive at Newsquest Specialist Media’s Pensions Insight magazine, who - just one month into the job - is becoming famous thanks to his singing voicemails for agencies.
Guy Blackden, head of B2B at Mindshare, was proving "a bit tricky to pin down", reports Kris, so he did what any sane sales executive would do - he recorded himself singing a jingle about Guy’s client HSBC, which you can listen to here.
Happily, Kris - who used to be in "a very bad band" called Three Random Words - now has a date in the diary with Guy and has not only hit targets for 2010 but is "making inroads" into January. Even better, he is working on new voicemail songs for other "very important contacts". Don’t call him, he’ll call you…
Vodka shots at lunch? It’s art, don’t you know…
There are long lunches and there are long lunches - and the IAA’s Christmas feast is December’s early winner for booziest afternoon, after rolling on from 1pm to 10pm at the Park Lane Hilton in a blur of cocktails, jazz music and "sexy elves".
Russian magazine Snob set up a stall taking photos of the guests as they drank shots of Russian Standard vodka (Brenda Muckle from LinkedIn pictured below), resulting in 20 litres of vodka being consumed over the afternoon.
"It never hurts to take alcohol to an industry trade event," said a Snob mole in possibly the understatement of the century, who told Bitch the highbrow magazine has a tradition of photographing its famous interviewees drinking shots of vodka as part of an ongoing "art project". So that’s what you call it…