Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK...

Jonathan Durden's book launch turned out to be a family affair. PHD co-founder Durden, whose debut novel, Essex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll, isn't actually half bad (it's received high praise from The Mirror, after all), brought along his other half and his kids.

Channel 4's Andy Barnes turned up with his lady friend, as did Universal McCann's Graham Duff, while Media Week's own David Emin came arm in arm with Mrs Emin.

Simon George of Aegis-backed dazzleship had his two teenage daughters in tow, proving that the world of media is indeed a cosy family affair.

Also there was News International's Mike Anderson, presumably taking a breather from wading through Mike Gordon's handover notes, and Daily Mail ad director John Teal.

Speaking of outgoing News International folk, Mark Chippendale also showed up. When asked how much longer he'd be at News Group, he replied: "Not much."

And harking back to Durden's Big Brother stint, the token ex-housemate at this do came in the form of Ziggy ("call me Zach") Lichman.

Ziggy (sorry, it's just more catchy), who confessed he had a major soft spot for Durden, also revealed that he's planning to rekindle his music "career".

Earplugs at the ready, then.

CATCH TANTRUMS, TIARAS OF BALLROOM DANCING

Welcome to the hairspray and make-up-caked world of ballroom dancing, as BBC Magazines launches its Strictly Come Dancing agency challenge.

Never have media owners and agencies been so up close and personal, as the BBC Magazines ad sales team prepares to tango with Andy Taylor (Carat), Chris Amor (OMD), Sonya Arthur (MediaCom), Nik Vyas (ZenithOptimedia), Vanessa Clifford (MindShare) and Rebecca Linton (Manning Gottlieb OMD).

All those involved will be trained by the stars of Strictly Come Dancing over the next few weeks, reaching a climax at the grand finale in September, hosted by Strictly Come Dancing's Tess Daley and Craig Revel Horwood.

Prepare to see some steamy moves on the dancefloor. In the meantime, catch all the behind-the-scenes tantrums and tiaras at www.bbc magazinesadvertising.com/strictly

MEDIA OWNER STARS ON LUNCHTIME TV NEWS

A media owner became a media star last week when CBS Outdoor's managing director of sales and marketing, Tim Bleakley, "starred" on Monday's ITV London lunchtime news the day the company's Cross-Track Projection system went live on the London Underground.

Bitch is in no doubt that bashful Bleakley was a reluctant star, but who better to tell the world about the wonder of digital Tube advertising than the man who has helped lead a £72m investment in moving pictures within a rabbit warren of ancient tunnels packed full of electricity, trains and people?

CBS's PR agency, Media Foundry, has clearly been earning its crust of late, as Bleakley's dulcet tones could also be heard on Global's LBC 1152AM afternoon show, while the XTP ad screens were glimpsed by eagle-eyed viewers of BBC London.

Is it still overexposure if it all happens on the same day?

IRONMAN TRIATHLON IS NOT FOR WIMPS

Finally, spare a thought - and maybe even a few quid - for Matt Gower.

Gower, who splits his time between Publicis and BT Consumer's new-media team, is tackling an Ironman triathlon to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

An Ironman involves a swim, cycle and run of more than 130 miles in total - it's not for wimps.

So, show Gower some support at www.justgiving.com/gohardorgohome.

GREAT VIRAL... Join the hysterical laughter

Skype's debut viral to support its new video-calling feature embraces web technology, using webcam to tell the product story. Creators The Viral Factory worked on the premise that laughter is contagious. Users record their chuckling while they watch previous laughter fits and add their clip to the Laughter Chain. See www.skypelaughterchain.com

OUT & ABOUT

Jonathan Durden sitting pretty at the launch of his novel, Essex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll, at Soho's Green Carnation.

ZenithOptimedia takes gold at the Evening Standard pub quiz, beating MediaCom, Dewynters and OMD teams.

All smiles at the AOP Summer Party: Ed Ling, founding partner, AnalogFolk, with Jeremy Hill and Richard Townsend of Circus Street.

* E-mail your pictures to hayley.pinkerfield@haymarket.com.

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